Flesh+Blood

Year: 1985

Synopsis: Masterless mercenaries in 1501 Italy unintentionally kidnap a woman, who was far less naive than assumed.

Pros:
• Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, and Tom Burlinson power the medieval fever dream.
• The supporting cast was also at the top of the darkest of games, highlighting the wide spectrum of humanity.
• Leigh’s Agnes was a genuinely perfect character, who opportunistically mastered her drastically changing situations through largely successful manipulations to survive.
• The visuals were equal parts glorious as grotesque.
• Left ambiguous whether God was guiding events or if it was merely human desires, as heroes and villains did not exist here in the expected sense.
• Fully subverted the medieval action-adventure genre.

Cons:
• The extreme violence, especially sexual violence, was not for everyone.
• The ending might have been happier than what could have been expected, if the viewer was not really paying attention.

Discussion:
What if the damsel in distress was smarter than her captors? Well, she certainly was here, or at least was quick enough to survive. She was not lying when she said her captor and forward looking husband to be were the same. The two merely utilized their big brains in largely opposite ways, leading to the near destruction of all around them in their battle for a woman that might just have been happy with either. In the end, the whole story was a shared nightmare representing the end of the dark medieval world. It might just have been a miracle that anyone survived to see a new world with opened eyes.


Rotten Tomatoes — 81%

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