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Eye of the Tiger (1986)

5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,201 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 20 critic

Returning home from prison, a Vietnam War veteran sets out to clean up his hometown which has come under the control of a violent motorcycle gang.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Buck Matthews
...
J.B. Deveraux
...
Sheriff
...
Father Healey
...
Christie Matthews
...
Blade
...
Dawn
...
Jennifer Matthews
Eric Boles ...
Doctor (as Eric Bolles)
Joe Brooks ...
Jake
Douglas Dirkson ...
Jimmy
Kathryn Fuller ...
Bingo Lady
Jorge Gil ...
Jamie
Amelia Haas ...
Melody / Mini-Cam Reporter
Ray Habercorn ...
Police Officer
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'Nam was hell... Prison unbearable... But coming home meant murder. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A prova di vendetta  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

In the scene with the dead paramedics, the bottom paramedic clearly blinks right before the camera passes by him. See more »

Quotes

Blade: You made a big mistake, Matthews. Never scratch dry shit!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zeg 'ns Aaa: Opwindend (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Eye of the Tiger
Written by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan
Performed by Survivor
Courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records and Tapes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent 80s action.
15 April 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Overall, "Eye of the Tiger" basically gets by thanks to its cast. It's a pretty routine revenge saga of one good man (here played by Gary Busey) going up against forces of evil who institute a reign of terror in his peaceable small town. The antagonists in question are a lethal biker gang who of course aren't happy when Buck Matthews (Busey) intervenes when they attempt to rape a nurse (Kimberlin Brown). So they retaliate by invading Bucks' house and murdering his wife (Denise Galik), traumatizing Bucks' young daughter Jennifer (Judith Barsi) in the process. Fed up with an ineffectual jerk sheriff (Seymour Cassel) who's out to get *him*, Buck takes the fight to the bikers, but at least he won't be completely alone: his good friend J.B. Deveraux (Yaphet Kotto) joins him, albeit reluctantly.

Taking its name from the famous Survivor song popularized by its use in "Rocky III", it's very nicely shot (by Peter Lyons Collister), who creates some great visuals using the headlights on the bikers' motorcycles. Its small town atmosphere is enjoyable; it was filmed on location in Valencia, California. The stunts are good, Buck is equipped with a badass truck, and there's plenty of explosions to ensure the audience remains interested. There's also a real mean streak here that gives the movie some much needed edge. For one thing, the bikers dig up the wife's coffin and parade it in front of Bucks' home. For another, Buck displays some ingenious ruthlessness, sticking a lit stick of dynamite up a bikers' ass to get him to spill information.

The acting and directing talent involved guarantees some curiosity value. Richard Sarafian of "Vanishing Point" fame guides a cast including the spirited Busey and such consistently solid performers as Kotto, Cassel, and Bert Remsen. It's also hard to resist any movie with the almighty William Smith in a bad guy role, and he's perfectly cast as Blade, the leader of the gang. The final fight between him and Busey is worth waiting for.

Despite its predictable nature, this is a watchable B movie. For some viewers, it may not matter that it's not inspired stuff. Sometimes formulaic action fare is all you want, and that's what "Eye of the Tiger" delivers. Fortunately, at the very least it's never boring.

Seven out of 10.


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