He may be blind, but he don't need no dog!Blind Fury
is a 1989 action film written by Charles Robert Carner (of Gymkata
fame) and directed by Phillip Noyce. It is a loosely based, modernized version of Zatoichi Challenged
, the 17th film in the Japanese Zatoichi
film series. The film stars Rutger Hauer
as Nick Parker, a blind, sword-wielding Vietnam War veteran, who returns to the United States and befriends Billy, the son of an old friend. Parker decides to help the boy find his father, who has been kidnapped by a major crime syndicate.
Tropes included are:
- And the Adventure Continues: Nick simply walks away in the end. During the credit roll, he practically mimics his walk from the opening.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade : Nick manages to both cut through things that would in reality survive the stroke, but also make precision cuts far to delicate to be possible - such as removing someone's eyebrows without doing any damage to the skin underneath.
- Artistic License - Chemistry: Sure, why not use harmless and eye-catching blue crystals of cupric sulfate as a prop for drugs! But this could be simply a case of Rule of Cool.
- Badass and Child Duo: Nick and Billy.
- Big Bad: Thanks to MacCready's drugs scheme, Frank is abducted, Mrs. Devereaux is killed and Nick not only has to escort Billy from Miami to Reno, but also protect him from numerous kidnapp attempts. Not to mention casino he owns cheats on players.
- Blind Driving : Initially excused by an emergency situation, but it continues even after they would reasonably had time to switch to a driver with sight.
- Blind Weaponmaster: Naturally.
- Blind Without 'Em: Annie. When she gets her glasses crashed, she can't even see her outstretched hands. In an emergency, Nick is forced to drive.
Annie: My glasses!
Nick: (stepping on them) Oops... I think I just found them.
- Bloodless Carnage: For a film featuring a Master Swordsman as a main character, there's very little blood on screen.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Billy. He gets better later on.
- Bullet Proof Vest: After getting slashed across the chest and left for dead, the recurring villain wakes up from his stupor and opens up his shirt to show to the audience that he was wearing one.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The Pike brothers' dialogues are usually full of profanity.
- Co-Dragons: Slag is the muscle, being close to a Bond-like henchman or some kind of Elite Mook, while Cobb is the brain, running the casino and other joints for MacCready.
- Diagonal Cut: Slag is killed this way, then falls out of a window high in mountains.
- Dirty Cop: When Slag comes for Mrs. Devereaux and Billy, two crooked cops assist him, so the kidnapp can be staged as if Billy was eye-witness of some unspecified crime. When Mrs. Devereaux is shot by Slag, one of cops mentions that it wasn't part of their deal.
- Disability Immunity: When lights are off, Nick use this against the Mooks. Sure, both he and they are blind, but he was blind for past 20 years, developing other senses, while they just stumble around in the darkness.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Rutger Hauer spent month with Lynn Manning, blind judo champion, to be more convincing as Nick.
- '80s Hair: Mullets. Mullets everywhere!
- Handicapped Badass: If anything, Nick Parker Took a Level in Badass after he had lost his sight.
- I Have Your Wife and Son: The villain attempts to do this to Nick's friend, but Nick just happened to show up at their house a few minutes before them.
- Elevator Buttons Mash: Four not too bright Mooks are chasing Nick. When they enter the elevator, each of them press different button, giving Nick plenty of time to not only escape, but also trap them inside of the elevator.
- Honorary Uncle: Billy eventually starts calling Nick "Uncle Nick".
- Heroic Bystander: Nick fights four street thugs after they took a purse from passing woman.
- Insult Backfire: During the chase scene, Nick is the one behind the wheel. One of the drivers shout at him, leading to this exchange:
Driver: What's your problem, are you blind?
Nick: Yeah, what's your excuse?
- Let's Get Dangerous
- Lost in the Maize: When Billy learns that his mom was killed, he runs away from Nick into the corn field. The Mooks, who were following them, take this as opportunity to kidnapp the boy.
- Master Swordsman: Nick, obviously, and the Ninja played by Sho Kosugi, a Japanese martial arts expert.
- No Name Given: Many characters are never named in-story. All their names come from credits.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Nick. Usually he acts as if he was either a naive guy or not fully aware of the situation and dangers around. Most of the fun in the film comes from his acting like a harmless wimp.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Nick is able to pass two guards just by wearing the white jacket of a waiter. By the time the guards realise something is off, it's too late.
- Police Are Useless: A man is driving a van, causing lots of accidents. Two guys are chasing him, in a stolen car, shooting at the van. The police? Nowhere to be seen.
- Rule of Cool: Blind swordmaster in a modern setting? Check. Mafia chasing him all over the States? Check. Driving blind while being chased? Check. Climatic sword duel with a hired ninja? Check.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Nick kills most of the Mooks this way.
- Shout-Out: The whole film is one big shout out toward old Zatoichi films, of whom producer Tim Matheson is big fan. Many details are practically ripped - Sword Cane, facade of being harmless or using sharpened hearing to win in casino (or find out when the house is cheating)
- Stillborn Franchise: The sequel was planned, but never actually became anything more than just a plan.
- Super Senses: While Nick's hearing is as sharp as expected from a blind person, he also developed a pretty good nose.
- Sword Cane: Nick, being blind, uses his sword-cane to feel his way around in normal circumstances.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Literal example. Frank is showed testing his new drug on lab rats. What happend to them, when he torches the lab?
- Last time we see MacCready, he is struggling with Frank over the shotgun and next scene is at a bus station. We don't know how the struggle ended or if MacCready was sent to the authorities.
- The customer in the drug deal, who walked away seconds before Nick storms into the room where the deal was held.
- Wretched Hive: Reno is portrayed as city of crooked casinos, drug lords, gun-totting citizens and full of floozies. Police are nowhere to be seen.