Eyes of Fire

The secret is sleeping in the trees.

19831 h 30 min

A preacher is accused of adultery and he and his followers are chased out of town and become stranded in an isolated forest which is haunted by the spirits of long dead Native Americans.

Director Avery Crounse
Runtime 1 h 30 min
Release Date 21 October 1983

This Thanksgiving let’s delve into a movie that sums up everything the holiday was meant to represent – food, fellowship, and killer tree people… Wait, what?

Eyes of Fire is the tale of a group of settlers in 1750 that fall into each others company after the town preacher is caught having an affair with a married woman. After nearly being hung to death, the preacher flees the town along with the woman he’s been seeing, her children, an old woman, and a man I’m guessing is a friend of the family. When the woman’s husband (who I will refer to as Daniel Boone from now on) returns home after hunting, he discovers his wife has absconded with the preacher and sets off after them. Daniel Boone saves the preacher and the rest of the group from some Native Americans, after which they flee to a valley that has been deemed “cursed” by the Native Americans – who dare not enter. So naturally, the group decides to build a homestead in the cursed valley. Queue the chaos and insanity.

What the hell did I just watch?

The entire movie is narrated by a little girl and a woman – not at the same time, but alternating throughout the film. They literally narrate every detail as we watch it and it gets annoying FAST. I believe I counted thirty minutes straight in the film of just hearing that little girl describe events as I watched them, and I wanted to turn the movie off. I understand that this is supposed to represent a story as it is told, but can’t they just start off with some light narration and then just let the movie unfold on its own? Do we have to endure that squeaky, monotone voice drone on and on about crap I already know is happening? It’s like listening to a mentally challenged zombie trying to read poetry while you’re trying to just keep up with the damn movie! Oh, and if you’re going to try and convince the audience that the little girl is describing the events in her own words, then at least make it convincing. “There was nothing he could do but sit and ponder what happened.” Um, when is the last time you heard a six-year old use the word “ponder” to describe anything? You know, I’m pondering what I’m doing wasting my time with this horror-ble abomination.

The cast is mostly Irish, and the preacher is obviously English, so it took me a while to figure out exactly what country they were in considering there were Native Americans running around. At first I thought the English preacher was in Ireland, but then that would make the Native Americans, uh, Native Irish? No, that doesn’t make sense. It wasn’t until the end of the film when we discover they are actually in France. Okay, so that would make them French Indians, or Native Frenchman? You know what, I think it’s best to just let this one slide. The rest of the film makes far less sense and trying to add on to the confusion will only leave you with a headache.

In the beginning of the film we witness a mute redheaded woman with telekinetic abilities, which she displays by cutting the rope with her mind before the preacher can be hung to death. For the rest of the film, she wanders about the woods, grunting, and has visions of people dying. After the group sets up camp in the cursed valley, the redhead sees a field full of French Indians, stark naked, running around covered in white and yellow liquid. I’m assuming they are supposed to represent ghosts? I’m not sure. What I do know, is they love cow’s milk. Yes, we see a “ghost” on their knees mouth-to-utter Tom Green style drinking cow’s milk – something I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing. I wish I could tell you the weirdness stops here.

A woman known only as the “devil witch” is the one responsible for creating these “ghost” people, who are not only ghosts, but also tree people. See, the witch waves her hand and the people manifest from the trees – trees which have their faces displayed on them. That’s kind of a shaky description but honestly I don’t know how else to describe this nonsense. It’s actually quite disturbing, especially one scene in particular where a little girl is hung upside down on a cross with her face cut off. Luckily, Daniel Boone finds the tree with her face on it and cuts it down, which somehow restores the little girl back to normal. I’m guessing this is supposed to let us know that if the witch puts your face on a tree, it also keeps your soul, unless it’s cut down. What in the holy name of shit?! How…? Why…? What…?!

Finally, everything is restored back to normal and Daniel Boone and his wife live happily ever after – but not before the telekinetic redhead strips down and confronts the tree witch, whom Daniel Boone rips from a tree and chokes until she spits up a glowing yellow orb that the redhead swallows instantly – before exploding. Don’t ask. I don’t have a freaking clue. There are a lot of random explosions now that I think about it. In another scene, a small French Indian girl gets shot while running in a field and explodes, which causes a chain reaction and the rest of the tree people explode. What about the people narrating? Well, while Danie Boone and Jean Grey were fighting the witch, the rest of the group were escaping across the river – with the little girls nailed shut in a wooden crate. When the tree people attacked, the crate fell into the river and floated to the next town. Why were the children in a crate? How is that an acceptable way to transport kids? Was this some prehistoric form of a car-seat? Just throw ’em in a box, they’ll be fine.

In closing, this movie is really difficult to watch and almost impossible to enjoy. I’ve seen some random crap in movies before, but this just might take the cake. I don’t recommend watching this – actually, I take that back. This Thanksgiving, gather your family and loved ones around the TV so you may all enjoy this classic, heartfelt, uplifting tale of what it takes to bring one family closer together – infidelity, murder, ghost tree people and French Indians. Or don’t, then you’ll have one more thing to be thankful for.

This movie is…
Avoid this one.

Cheers and goodnight.