Blank Check with Griffin and David Wiki

Flesh + Blood is episode 142 focusing on the movie of the same name, as part of the Podship Casters miniseries covering the Hollywood years of Paul Verhoeven. Posted January 7, 2018.


This week’s episode begins a new mini series (Podship Casters) covering the Hollywood films of director Paul Verhoeven. Already an accomplished filmmaker in the Netherlands, 1985 marked his American debut with the unpleasantly realistic period piece, Flesh+Blood. But how gross was the medieval times? What was the influence of growing up under Nazi occupation on Verhoeven’s worldview? Is it intended for the viewer to root for the plague? Together, Griffin and David discuss his original Dutch movies, Bosch paintings, and how Flesh+Blood’s failure at the box office would inform his study of American culture and his future films. [1]

Everyone is practically vibrating with excitement to start this new miniseries. Takes a few minutes to settle down after callbacks to a bit from one of their least-listened to episodes ever, and a rundown of Paul Verhoeven's films in his native Netherlands (check out one of them on Pornhub!?) before sailing into Hollywood. The entry point for discussion of this movie becomes the fact that Verhoeven's number one actor in his Dutch movies, Rutger Hauer, came to Hollywood at about the same time. They worked together on this movie, and then never again after reported disagreements on set.

How is this movie similar to Monty Python and the Holy Grail? How does Verhoeven's obsession with Jesus and his extreme dislike of organized religion show up on-screen in this film? Are we watching the extremely young Jennifer Jason Leigh learn to act in front of our eyes? Is there any character at all to root for among this group of awful people? Holy crap, is that Bart Simpson?

Finally, Griffin and David see Verhoeven as a great technical filmmaker with classical skills who uses those skills as a trojan horse, under the label of satire, to inject some really weird philosophical ideas of his into popular American filmmaking. He's almost an impressionist of conventional Hollywood movies. This film exhibits that on a small trial-size scale before he gets the funding to go bigger in his next several projects. Stay tuned for those!

Milestones and Ephemera[]

  • This movie may or may not have been released in theaters, before ending up on 80's pay channels late at night.
  • Abandoned (?) nickname for the Producer: Fun Ben
  • Jack Thompson performance review: Cliegg Lars
  • Griffin's Verhoeven impression level: Austin Powers' Goldmember


  1. Blank Check Podcast. Flesh+Blood. Audioboom. Retrieved on May 21, 2022.