Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, August 16, 2015


I first read about “Eye See You” on a long-gone website called The movie had a troubled production. There were re-shoots. It was re-titled a few times. Its original title, “D-Tox,” is the name it was released under in most of the world. Domestically, the whodunit sat on the shelves for three years before finally being released straight-to-video. I remember the VHS popping up on my local video store’s walls. It was both kind of sad and somewhat inevitable that Sylvester Stallone would wind-up headlining direct-to-video movies. This was where his career had been heading for a while. Because of its video exclusive releases, “Eye See You” is probably one of Stallone’s least seen works. Is it any good?

Jack is a FBI agent getting ready to propose to his long-time girlfriend. He is currently on the trail of a brutal serial killer. The killer executes what he sees as the dregs of humanity, mutilating the corpse’s eyes. The killer murders one of Jack’s friends before claiming his fiancée. Traumatized, he starts to drink himself to death. His boss shifts him off to an icebound rehab center for trouble cops. As a harsh blizzard rolls in, people at the facility start to turn up dead. Jack soon realizes the murderer has followed him to his new location, looking to settle the score.

“Eye See You,” or “D-Tox” or whatever you want to call it, is not as dire as its direct-to-video release suggests. It’s actually a mildly clever fusion of a cop thriller, a whodunit, and a slasher flick. The rehab center is located in an old military bunker, which makes for a cool setting. The wintery backdrop is used well, creating a good sense of isolation. The scenes of the killer stalking and attacking people in the snow, while wearing a face-concealing parka, hits this slasher fan’s sweet spot. A shot of a knife dripping blood onto the snow is pretty cool, for example. The gruesome surprises the killer leaves behind are straight out of any slasher, as well. (The director, Jim Gillespie, previously made “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” So he was clearly experienced in this territory.) As a whodunit, the movie is alright too. The story keeps you guessing who the killer is until just about the reveal. “Eye See You” is never scary and I don’t even know if it’s supposed to be. However, it’s mildly satisfying as a gory murder mystery.

Since “Eye See You” is essentially a slasher film, it has a fairly large cast. Stallone doesn’t even do much in the first third of the middle section. Instead, that time is spent developing the rest of the cast. Charles S. Dutton has some fun as Stallone’s eccentric superior. Kris Kristofferson plays the owner of the facility and brings his expected crusty charm to what winds up being a small part. Robert Patrick has one of the showier parts as Noah, a shouting asshole with a mustache. Jeffrey Wright, looking skinnier then we’re used to seeing, plays an especially unhinged addict. Wright and Patrick both go over-the-top, playing their characters rather broadly. Robert Prosky plays a kindly old Mountie while Stephen Lang shows off his crazy eyes as the film’s most blatant red herring. There’s even more cast members, most of them with even less development then this.

As a Sylvester Stallone movie, “D-Tox” is alright. The early scenes of him bonding with his wife don’t affect the audience much, since we know she’ll be dead soon. At least it allows Sly to show his humorous side for a bit. After spending the next half-hour brooding silently, he finally gets to do some stuff again. I like the scene of him snooping around a room with a book of matches, putting the pieces together. After most of the supporting cast is slashed through, “Eye See You” develops into a game of wills between Sly and the psycho. At this point, the movie begins to resemble “Cobra” or some of Sly’s other cop vs. psycho movies. The super sweaty climax was apparently the result of reshoots and that’s obvious. However, there’s still something satisfying about watching the hero so effectively dispatch the bad guy.

I’m not saying “Eye See You” is a masterpiece or anything. Lowered expectations will probably help you appreciate it more. As a snow set slasher, it’s relatively amusing. As a murder mystery, it keeps the audience’s attention. As a Stallone vehicle, it doesn’t give the thespian too much to do but will probably satisfy. The supporting cast has got some decent actors in it. I don’t blame anyone for overlooking the film but, given the right circumstances, you might have a good time with it. [7/10]

[] Frank Stallone or Frank Stallone-esque Inspirational Music
[X] Incapacitates or Kills Someone With His Body
[X] Shows Off Buffness
[X] Social Outcast [Traumatized Alcoholic]
[X] Sweaty, Veiny Yelling

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