Eyes of Fire 1983 movie artwork

Eyes of Fire – A Haunting Tale To Reflect On 40 Years Later

During the early ‘80s there were masked killers galore stalking Horror cinema, but there were also some filmmakers that dared to try something different. In fact, a few even explored historical context in different forms of terror, and one of the select titles include 1983’s Eyes of Fire. Originally titled Cry Blue SkyEyes of Fire is a tale of evil folklore that is still haunting those who view it 4 decades later.

The work of Avery Crounse (who recently passed away in March of 2023), while his name may not be too well known to many movie fans, it is still worth discussing. Crounse, the owner of his own production company Elysian Pictures (which was also behind Eyes of Fire), has 3 feature films to his credit – Eyes of Fire, 1988’s The Invisible Kid, and 1996’s Sister Island (starring the late Karen Black). A limited filmography, what Crounse put together in Eyes of Fire was unique to anything else being put out in the Horror world in 1983. As mentioned, opposite trends, it took a historical approach; set in the year 1750 on the American Frontier. A time before the United States declared independence, the film follows the story of a young woman and a child confessing their story to a French Soldier. Flashing back, you experience the terrifying tale of a set of individuals seeking a new home on the American frontier. Instead, what they find instead is terror and evil.

Eyes of Fire 1983 movie photo
Eyes of Fire / Vestron Video (1983) 

Much more a folk tale than anything else that came out that was dubbed Horror in the ’80s, Eyes of Fire is enchanting, unsettling, and full of romantic, gothic vibes. A bit of a slow burn, the cast featuring Dennis Lipscomb (WarGames 1983, Retribution 1987), Guy Boyd (Ghost Story 1981, Body Double 1984) and Kerry Sherman (Satan’s Cheerleaders 1977, 48 Hrs. 1982) is strong. Adding to everything, the soundtrack by Brad Fiedel (famously known for his composition work on 1984’s Terminator and 1985’s Fright Night) is fitting. Match these attributes with a solid story, bringing it all together is an exceptionally eerie mood set in the darkest of the forest. 

Finding more life years after the theatrical run, in 1987 Vestron Video put out Eyes of Fire on VHS complete with a thoughtfully painted gothic styled art of a girl standing among a dead forest. Different from the theatrical poster, those who hunted the Horror section of their local video store back in the day are bound to immediately recall the VHS cover if shown again. 

Eyes of Fire 1983 movie still
Eyes of Fire / Vestron Video (1983)

Unfortunately, after the decline of video stores, Eyes of Fire largely went into obscurity. In fact, it is one of those films from the ‘80s that never made the jump to DVD. Thankfully Severin Films (a company known for restoring and releasing forgotten films) released Eyes of Fire to Blu-ray in 2021. Perhaps your best option to view it, this release features a new 4K restoration from the original film, but also an alternative cut of the film under the title Crying Blue Sky. And if you are not in the market for the physical copy, but still want to check out Eyes of Fire, several providers have it available for streaming, including Shudder.

In all, Eyes of Fire is a film that is vastly overlooked, but has something to offer fans of period piece Horror. Filled with atmosphere and mysticism, it is a film that still stands up 40 years since the initial release.

Eyes of Fire 1983 movie poster
Eyes of Fire / Vestron Video (1983)

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