31 user 26 critic

Eye of the Tiger (1986)

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.


(as Michael Montgomery)

On Disc

at Amazon





Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Healey
Jennifer Matthews
Eric Boles ...
Doctor (as Eric Bolles)
Douglas Dirkson ...
Kathryn Fuller ...
Bingo Lady
Jorge Gil ...
Amelia Haas ...
Melody / Mini-Cam Reporter
Ray Habercorn ...
Police Officer


Buck Matthews (Gary Busey) is 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, Buck finds himself all alone. The corrupt town sheriff (Seymour Cassel) is unsympathetic and unwilling to help Buck (because the sheriff is under control of the biker gang leader Blade (William Smith). So, Buck decides to take matters into his own hands, With the help from a fellow Vietnam vet, Deputy J.B. Deveraux (Yaphet Kotto), as well as Buck's former cell-mate, a drug kingpin living in Miami, Buck arms himself to the teeth and wages a one-man war against the motorcyclists to destroy them once and for all. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Just a man and his will to survive ... See more »


Action | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A prova di vendetta  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Movie was filmed in Valencia, Ca . Valencia is best known for Six Flags magic mountain. See more »


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


[last lines]
Buck Matthews: It's good to see you.
J.B. Deveraux: It's good seeing you.
See more »


Referenced in Zeg 'ns Aaa: Opgeruimd staat netjes (1987) See more »


Eye of the Tiger
Written by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan
Performed by Survivor
Courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records and Tapes
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User Reviews

Decent 80s action.
15 April 2013 | by 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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