Badass B-movies

Blind Fury: Retro VHS Packaging (1989)

4 Beers

Transfer: 3 Beers

Sound: 3 Beers

Special Features: 0 Beers

It’s time to unfocus your eyes!  Forgive.  Forget.  And deal a mighty ass-whooping out to all those who would seek to do you harm! Blind Fury is back, baby!

Nick Parker (Rutger Hauer) isn’t looking for trouble but trouble finds him wherever he goes.  So when this blind vietnam vet takes his sword-wielding talents back to the states and discovers that his best friend, Frank Deveraux (Terry O’Quinn), has been kidnapped by a crime syndicate to make drugs for them in Reno, Nevada, he delivers a Blind Fury to all who get in his way.

Hilarious, charming, and absolutely bat-shit insane, director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, A Clear and Present Danger, SALT, The Bone Collector, The Saint) and actor/producer Tim Matheson team up to deliver the kick-ass, matinee-minded exploits of one mortar-blinded American soldier in 1989’s Blind Fury who returns to the states after a 20-year absence to find and forgive his best friend.

The movie serves as a lightweight remake of one of the entries in the the Japanese Zatoichi film series, but coupling the familiar chop suey exploits with Daredevil-like abilities and a lot of humor works well for a character actor like Hauer and, thanks to the script from Charles Robert Carner, he’s allowed to handle both his cane and his katana with some startling new abilities - such as heightened senses thanks to the supreme samurai training he received from the villagers who saved him back in Vietnam.  

His finely-tuned abilities are the gifts that keep on giving as he returns to America and tries to locate his friend, only to discover that his friend’s son, Billy (Brandon Call) is in mortal danger from a crime syndicate lead by MacCready (Noble Willingham), who wants to use the young kid as leverage in his plight to control all of Nevada.  With Slag (Randall "Tex" Cobb) doing MacCready’s bidding, Nick arrives in time to prevent Billy’s kidnapping and two embark on a road trip to Reno in order to save Frank.

But it won’t be easy. 

Between all the shootouts and the blind swordplay, Hauer has his work cut out for him, but it all works (and continues to work) marvelously, making Blind Fury one hell of a blast from the past.  Considering the amount of severed limbs there are in this cheap action flick, it’s surprising to be reminded of just how earnest and sweet in nature Hauer keeps his character.  Nick - or Uncle Nick as it were - is all about getting revenge - especially when Frank’s wife (Meg Foster) dies in his arms.  But his promise to her is sacred and, for us, the fun comes in watching him deliver vengeance time and time again as another meathead underestimates this blind warrior.

He’s lucky he can’t see what he’s up against!  Blind Fury is now on blu-ray thanks to Mill Creek and their ongoing retro VHS slipcovered series.

Blu-ray Specifications:

Rutger Hauer plays a blinded Vietnam vet who also happens to be an expert swordsman. Twenty years after the war, Hauer finds himself waist-deep in gangsters when he tries to help the son (Brandon Call) of an old army buddy. Along the way, he reforms an ex-comrade in arms (Terry O'Quinn) who was responsible for the accident that blinded him.

Video:

With an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, Mill Creek delivers a fairly robust visual punch with this scan.  Nothing has been improved visually since the last release, but that doesn’t mean their efforts shouldn’t be ignored.  The AVC MPEG-4 1080p offering is pretty solid. Colors pop off the screen in crisp arrays from start to finish. Blacks are a constant presence and are rich and inky, and perhaps a little crush seeps in, robbing some detail but it isn’t to a detrimental level. Skin tones can’t be referred to as natural, but they are detailed, holding their own in HD.

Audio:

There is a lossless Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack included with this release and it makes the ass-whooping a fun, two-channel affair.

Commentary:

None.

Special Features:

None.

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