• Eye Of The Tiger (Kino Lorber/Scorpion Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: May 25h, 2021.
    Director: Richard C. Sarafian

    Gary Busey, Yaphet Kotto, Seymour Cassel, Bert Remsen, Denise Galik
    Year: 1986
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    Eye Of The Tiger – Movie Review:

    Richard C. Sarafian gives gets behind the camera and calls the shots for 1986's Eye Of The Tiger. Surely the man who directed Vanishing Points could do great things with Gary Busey headlining a movie about an ex-con taking on a gang of bikers, right? Right!

    When the film begins, Buck Matthews (Busey) has just been let out of the big-house. He's walking down a lone and dusty road on his way back home when one of his fellow former inmates, a Scarface wannabe in a fancy car, insists on driving him home. Buck finally accepts and is stoked to be back with his wife Christie (Denise Galik) and young daughter Jennifer (Judith Barsi). Buck chills for a bit, sucks back a cold Coors or two, and hopes to start a new life, putting the horrors of prison and war (he's a Vietnam vet) behind him to build a better future for he and his family. This seems all well and good until Buck is out wandering around and finds a bunch of bikers raping a nurse (Kimberlin Ann Brown) - Buck's not going to stand for that so he fights them and then they have the gall to not only kill his wife but show up on their bikes and trash her funeral!

    Buck is understandably pretty pissed about all of this and wants to take matters into his own hands but the town's sheriff (Seymour Cassel) has no qualms whatsoever about sending him back to the clink if he gets out of line. Things go from bad to worse for Buck when the bikers kidnap Jennifer, at which point another cop named Deveraux (Yaphet Kotto) decides to help him out. Buck figures out that the gang is lead by a man called Blade (William Smith) and sets about trying to find him, but before he'll be able to pay him back in kind he'll have to set up a trap to chop off some bikers' heads and he'll have to shove a stick of dynamite up a man's ass. All of this while Deveraux flies around in a red biplane and shoots stuff. Oh, and for the final showdown he'll also have to trick out his truck, A-Team style, with a bunch of weapons that will definitely come in handy when it comes time to whip the remaining bad guys off of the face of the Earth.

    Admit it, once you read that Gary Busey shoves a stick of dynamite up a guy's ass you were sold, right? Eye Of The Tiger, which was not only named after the Survivor song but which also manages to play it ad naseum during the movie, takes about forty minutes or so to get going. The first half of the film is Buck just sort of wandering around getting used to having his freedom back and it's not until the half way point that this becomes much of an action movie at all. Once it hits, however, the kid gloves come off and Busey brings his holy vengeance down upon any bikers stupid enough to mess with he and his kin. The bikers drag Christie's coffin out of her grave and leave it on Buck's lawn. Yaphet Kotto goes all Snoopy And The Red Baron on the fiends. Busey drives his truck through a pile of cocaine and William Smith scowls at everyone and swears a lot while looking not at all unlike Rob Halford from Judas Preist. This one might be a Death Wish rip off named after a popular song (the Scotti Brothers, who produced this movie, happened to be responsible for signing Survivor - go figure!) but Busey and the rest of the cast completely sell it and while it starts off slowly, the last half of the movie more than makes up for any sins the first half may commit. Eye Of The Tiger is truly an underappreciated gem of low grade action movie insanity.

    Eye Of The Tiger – Blu-ray Review:

    Eye Of The Tiger is presented by Kino and Scorpion Releasing in AVC encoded 1080p high definition and properly framed at 1.85.1 taken from a new 2k scan of the interpositive. The picture quality here is decent, but never mind blowing, with the film taking up 23.4GBs of space on the 25GB disc. Details is very strong in some scenes but not so strong in others. There are no issues with any noticeable issues with major compression artifacts (though you’ll maybe spot some during scenes where there is a lot of smoke) or noise reduction. There are a few white specks here and there but there isn’t any print damage outside of that. The movie looks considerably better here than it did on DVD, but it is a few stops short of perfection.

    The film gets a 24-bit English language DTS-HD 2.0 audio track. Audio quality is fine, in fact, it sounds quite good. Dialogue generally comes across nice and clean and both the score and the sound effects have nice range and presence to them. Optional English subtitles are provided.

    The only extra on the disc is a trailer for the feature and a few bonus trailers for Trackdown, Barbarosa, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, The Barbarians, King Of The Mountain and a super quick promo for Fritz The Cat.

    Eye Of The Tiger - The Final Word:

    Eye Of The Tiger is a great B-action film with some awesome performances, strong action and just enough exploitative nonsense to make it really shine. The Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber/Scorpion is light on extras but the presentation of the movie itself is decent and the movie is a blast. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized Eye Of The Tiger Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      I didn't even realize this was out yet. Cheers!
    1. Darcy Parker's Avatar
      Darcy Parker -
      You know, I NEVER would have thought Gary Busey and a huge. pile of cocaine would be anywhere near each other.