25 May 2009

An Eye For An Eye

I know this is the DVD art, but it's the same as my VHS box.

United States – 1981
Director – Steve Carver
MGM Home Entertainment, 1998, VHS
Run time - 1 hour, 46 minutes

In his second Steve Carver helmed movie (the other being Lone Wolf McQuade), The Norris plays another bull-headed, single-minded good-cop with little tolerance for any way but the "my-way". Everybody else gets round-housed down the "hi-way". All the better, supporting actors just drain attention away from The Norris. If you've ever wanted to see The Norris kick serious drug-peddler ass in a bright-red Members Only jacket or a puffy lumberjack-chic vest you get to see it here. Isn't that dandy. I also think this might be only the second movie in which I've seen The Norris crack a smile. It can be a little bit frightening, but don't let that deter you, it doesn't last for long. Even if it's completely formulaic, An Eye For An Eye doesn't pull any punches, just do not take it on an empty stomach.

On a big time undercover investigation, The Norris, here named Sean, and his over-the-hill partner, who's so unimportant I forgot his name, are set up, and partner is burned to death while pinned by a car. Sean resigns, throwing a hissy fit to Police Capitan Richard Roundtree. Partner's 26-year-old wife, Linda, a local news anchor, fake-cries on The Norris' shoulder and immediately does a long boring TV expose on the drug problem in San Francisco. As if this is something that is going to ruin their enterprise, "The Drug Business" sends some thugs after her. Just before they mercifully stifle her forced and wooden shrieking, she calls Sean, and tells him she found "something".

Later, Right before Roundtree kicks him out of Linda's apartment Sean encounters the deceased's neighbor/best-friend/coworker Heather. CAUTION: Weepy plain-looking ear and eye irritant. Sean goes to Linda's dad's house, a diminutive asian fellow (Mako) named…James. Duuuhhhhh. Okay then. Grrr, James want's revenge for his daughter's death so he ordered home delivery thugs, and he and Sean team up Double Dragon style.

Sean takes Heather to his wharf-side display home to add to his collection of emotionally dependent accumulate. There, she dramatically increases the stomach turning "Queasy Factor" of Sean's ratty dog as they frolic gaily about in his gilded cage. At his sizzling sweaty sexiest after waking up from a "flashback-to-the-first-scene" nightmare, Heather runs her fingers through Sean's dewy moist chest carpet and gradually sinks below the surface into Stockholm Syndrome. Retch.

The uncomfortableness of this quaint warm moment is quickly replaced by reaffirming masculine brutality when Sean and James team up again, first at the TV station where they discover the not very surprising heavy-handed truth about the powers behind the San Francisco drug trade. And finally with a tender moment on a grassy hillside outside the kingpin's decadent mansion. Disappointed with Sean's performance, sensei James quips, "I do not think this is going very well!" in his best wise Chinese guy sidekick voice.
The subsequent massacre of nearly every moving thing in the mansion has no effect on their chipper moods, Heather included, and they stroll gaily away from the bloodbath arm in arm, smiling and laughing in socially acceptable racist comic relief, apparently unconcerned that they just took something like 80 eyes for an eye.

Where's the dog? I need some playful yapping. Do not crush or chew, swallow whole. In case of ingestion, induce whiskey.


Some classic Embassy clamshell VHS box art.


Nice poster art I found at Atomic Pulp

1 comment:

Scandy Tangerine Man said...

Haha, "The Norris." My VHS has the same art as that UK tape.