Friday, September 9, 2011

Eye of the Tiger (1986)

Director: Richard C. Sarafian

Starring: Gary Busey, Yaphet Kotto, Seymour Cassel, Bert Remsen, Denise Galik, William Smith

More info: IMDb

Tagline: 'Nam was hell... Prison unbearable... But coming home meant murder.

Plot: Gary Busey plays Buck, a former Vietnam veteran/ex-con recently released from the state prison. He returns to the small Midwest town where he grew up only to discover the place overrun by a large motorcycle gang bent on causing trouble. When the bikers murder his wife and traumatize his young daughter, Busey, with the help from a fellow Vietnam vet, as well as his former cell-mate, a drug kingpin living in Miami, Buck arms himself to the teeth and wages a war against the motorcyclists to destroy them once and for all.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

BULLETPROOF (1988) was so amazing in its dumbness and outrageousness, is it too much to ask that maybe lighting would strike again for Gary Busey? Maybe. There are a few things to dig in EotT. The cast. Busey, Kotto, Cassel, & Smith. Fun stuff. The bad guys, after killing Busey's wife, dig her casket up and drag it behind their motorcycles to drop it off at Busey's house. Badass.

This scene is only partially badass because a true badass would've skipped the K-Y altogether. Charles Bronson would't have greased it up before shoving it up the dude's poop shute.

Some other noticeable things...I saw Bert Remsen's name in the credits and it sounded awfully familiar like I had just seen him in something else recently...that's it, THIEVES LIKE US (1974).

Badass bad guy, William Smith, takes the award for the worst haircut in cinematic history.

Kids, this is what vaginas looked like before 1982.

I don't know why but in nearly every scene he's in, Badass Yaphet Kotto wears jogging attire.

There sure is an awful lot of dick grabbing in this picture!

Eye of the tiger? How about the toe of the camel?

My big issue with the picture is that it takes forever before Busey starts kicking ass and once he does, it's pretty uneventful. There's some explosions and shit, Kotto flies a WWI red biplane, and a big mano a mano fight between Busey and Smith but it's not that exciting and with only fairly standard action scenes. I know I shouldn't compare films to one another unless there's a valid reason but BULLETPROOF was such terrific fun that it's hard not to expect a little more from this one than what we got. It beats me why this one is rated 'R', too. There's no nudity and very little gore to speak of. Maybe there were one too many "fucks". If you're going to be rated 'R', then go for it. Don't wuss out like this. Give us the goods.

Busey does an OK job but he doesn't seem to be hungry for the role. He phones it in. The same goes for Smith. He's a major badass actor but this has got to be one of the least inspiring bad guy roles he's ever done. Maybe the director was a dick or something. I don't know. Oh, and the score by Don Preston is one of the worst synth scores I've ever heard. It's one of those that's so bad that it gives you the inspiration that you can write one just as bad. I've always wanted to be a film composer and let that dream go a number of years ago but this score is so bad it gave me hope that it's never too late to start.

The only real thing this picture has going for it is the great title song by Survivor. You know, the SAME song that was used so prominently in ROCKY III (1982) FOUR YEARS EARLIER! It was released by the Scotti Bros. record label whose founders also produced this film which is the reason for its inclusion and the title of the picture. And, as you would expect, they use the song quite a bit along with a James Brown tune, Gravity, that sounds an awful lot like his song, Living In America, used in ROCKY IV (1985). It felt like they started with the title/song and made up some shit to fill 90 minutes.

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