Ha ha!

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Tuesday 11 October 2011

Burl reviews Eye of the Tiger! (1986)

Hi, Burl here to review an action movie from the 80s about a Vietnam vet who’s been pushed too far! Ha ha, doesn’t really narrow it down, does it? This one’s called Eye of the Tiger, and the Ramboo in question is Buck, played by none other than Gary Busey! (No, that’s not a typo – inspired by a fellow film reviewer, Mr. Bleeding Skull, I call these sorts of characters Ramboos!)

Buck has just been released from prison, where he had apparently been sent without justification by crooked Sheriff Seymour Cassel! He wants only to live his life in peace with his wife and daughter, and to occasionally drink a beer with his pal Yaphet Kotto, but a nasty group of crack-dealing bikers led by William Smith interfere with that plan! (Ha ha, the whole movie I thought the leader of the crack bikers was Vernon Wells from The Road Warrior! But no, it was longtime biker toughguy William Smith!)

Well, before you know it, poor Buck is burying his wife, visiting his daughter in the hospital, and recuperating from his own injuries, all thanks to these nasty bikers! But Buck calls on a favor from an old prison acquaintance, and he’s soon got his hands on a supertruck and a bunch of weapons! Ha ha, it’s vengeance time! For most of the movie Yaphet Kotto stands on the sidelines, unwilling to help his pal (and frankly, I expected that he would be a turncoat before the end of the picture), but by the end he’s dressed up like a WWI flying ace and is dropping grenades on the bikers’ giant Road Warrior-esque crack-camp!

The success of this kind of movie largely depends on one factor: how hateful are the bad guys? Well, here they’re a fairly nasty bunch, so watching Gary Busey get very busy on them is pretty satisfying! And there’s no shortage of bikers to get revenge on – so many, in fact, that at the end there’s still a bunch of them left, but they just put their visors down and putter off to start a new crack-camp in some other burg!

But before that, Buck has decapitated a few of them with wires, blown some others up with grenades, and scared one to death by putting a dynamite up his bum! There’s some pretty good scenes, all right! And the evil sheriff gets his too! It’s always nice to see Seymour Cassel show up in a movie, and that’s the case here! In fact, I’d say that the cast across the board is strong!

It’s not really a memorable movie, though! Maybe that’s why you don’t hear too much about it these days! It’s got all the faults of the typically reactionary Reagan-era revenge picture, but the strong cast and inventive moments of vengeance help it to stand out a bit! And of course, as is also the case in Rolling Vengeance, a supertruck is always a welcome sight! But I have to take some points away for overusing the theme song, which was stolen from Rocky III anyway! I give Eye of the Tiger one and a half spinning helmet-heads!

1 comment:

  1. I worked on the lighting crew for this movie during the first six-day week of filming, during which Gary Busey (a cigar clenched between his teeth at all times) was wound as tight as a wet spool of thread, Yaphet Kotto remained a sullen, glowering presence, and the producers were idiots. Rather than use a professional Hollywood lab to develop and print the film, the tried to save money by using a porno lab -- and the results weren't good. So at the end of that six day week (a night shoot that sent six members of the cast and crew to the emergency room with injuries), they blamed Director of Photography, who was then fired. That meant the lighting crew also got the axe, but that was fine with me -- never have I been so glad to get fired...