CAUTION: In honor the new year, I am posting my first ever movie review from a while back, and on another site(killerreviews.com). I’m doing this just to delineate my progress. Here is my review of EYES OF FIRE: shorter, less comprehensive, less funny than what I’m know for, but it shows the progress I’ve made, and how much closer I am to fulfilling all of our dreams.
If you juxtapose my posts on killerreviews.com, chronologically, alongside major news headlines across the world, as they concurrently went public, you would notice in the headlines the rise of new social phenomena. Phenomena that can only be described, collectively, as a new force of nature come into being, so powerful it is. A unifying trend that swept across the globe like a glorious storm of brotherhood, penetrated us all to our very hearts, and connected us like a ribbon of righteous goodwill that has virtually defeated cynicism, restored hope to billions, and nearly ended worldwide hunger. This is no coincidence = it was me.
Though much work is left for you to do, I shall continue to do my part…
God Bless Me,
In modern times, when religion is casual and most people’s personal beliefs are a mishmash of major religions, new age silliness, Chiropractory and Beatles lyrics, we find people who take their religion seriously a little odd. But back in the Colonial Era, when people were superstitious and most science books were called The Bible, lacking a central authority, inhabitants of communities had the autonomy to hang and burn whomever they wished. This might sound just like right-wing spectator fun to me and you, but people on the wrong end of it really got fucked.
Hence, the setting of our story.
A lazy, adulterous preacher named Will Smythe is living in sin with a trapper’s wife. The trapper, Marion Dalton: big, tough as nails, and not likely to take any guff about having a girl’s name, is conveniently absent. One day, having little else to do, Smythe’s neighbors finally get around to doing something they’ve been putting off, mainly, hanging Smythe by his neck until dead and soggy-breeched. As he is being hoisted into the air his noose suddenly snaps, thanks to a strange and dirty wild-girl named Leah who has magical powers, doesn’t speak and, for some reason, likes the guy. Smythe rubs his neck and comes to the conclusion he’s worn out his welcome.
He decides to head downriver with Marion’s way-too-attractive for the 1700’s wife Eloise, mute, magical Leah, and a handful of other people who have far too few lines to realistically expect to live to see next month, to find the ‘Promised Land’. The Promised Land, he promises, is a real and really promising, Promised Land, just filled with promise. Such is the premise of his promise.
Well, after ditching their raft to escape some very surly Indians, our hardy band of alternative lifestylers heads off into the woods and discovers a tiny abandoned community and moves right in. This, despite its appearance of having been evacuated more hastily than the bowels of a Mexico City tourist, and being, quite frankly, a shithole. Oh, and Marion catches up with them, saves them from a group of surprisingly good-natured Indians and Frenchman by dressing up like a platypus, then narrowly avoids his sworn duty, as an absentee, frontier husband, to gut Smythe like a dolphin in Japanese waters.
The promised land, however, ain’t tit. It’s got a witch who steals people’s souls and brings them back as exploding, white-washed lunatics who, for some reason, just can’t leave the good settlers alone and allow them to starve, freeze to death, or contract water-based diseases like they’d moved out here to do. WTF? Meanwhile, Suicide Girl Leah prances about the woods and communes with nature.
Anyway, despite my flippant attitude, I actually quite enjoyed Eyes Of Fire. It differs from the current generation of horror flicks in that it’s not dependent upon gore and repeated BOOs to scare the audience. There’s never the obligatory OH NO, IT’S QUIET AND YOU CAN HEAR ME BREATHING HEAVY moment that inevitably leads to a some computer effect leaping out with a screech. Also, its spare soundtrack isn’t constantly distracting you, reminding you that at some point, a bunch of classical musicians took a day off from being snotty and pretending they like Mahler, crowded into a sound studio and did take after take of jarring sequences of notes just to drown out the sounds of the forest, or of human activity, or of any naturalistic element that may add a sense of reality to a surreal situation.
The movie does what so few horror films do nowadays: it builds up tension. Rather than using the aforementioned NOW ITS QUIET/NOW ITS LOUD method of scares, which, I’m pretty certain is based on Nirvana’s SOFT VERSE/LOUD CHORUS song structure(prove me wrong asshole!) Eyes Of Fire lets the predicament of being hundreds of miles deep in the wilderness, as isolated and helpless as can possibly be, slowly work its way into you. It doesn’t take long for it to sink in that, even if you build a tall log wall around you and arm yourself, there is still nowhere to go, even if you make it through to next morning.
Anyway, I might give the movie a higher score, but the poor quality of the version I watched diluted the experience. It was a VHS transfer to .AVI that had a multitude of sound problems that made me nearly turn it off several times. I would just have enough to time to get into it before it got sloppy and mute, much like Leah, again.