Thursday, September 17, 2020

EYE SEE YOU (2002) Blu-ray Review

Eye See You (aka D-Tox) (2002) d. Jim Gillespie (USA) (96 min)

After a serial cop-killer racks up nine victims with no leads in sight, the Feds assign Jake Malloy (Sylvester Stallone) to the case, not knowing the agent is the real target for torment. Seems our intrepid lawman fouled up the psycho’s intricate masterpiece of murder involving prostitutes a few years back and vengeance is now on the menu, first in the form of Red (James Kidnie), his best buddy in blue and then Mary (Dina Meyer), his lovely fiancee. Distraught and suicidally alcoholic, Malloy is encouraged by his superior (Charles S. Dutton) to visit a specialized detox center in remote and snowy Wyoming, where he joins an array of similarly addicted keepers of the peace of every stripe… who immediately start getting bumped off by our supposedly dead killer.

From its jagged opening titles and driving industrial music, one can’t help but assume that the good folks behind Sly’s lone flirtation with the genre (despite its presence in 1984’s clip film Terror in the Aisles, Nighthawks is NOT a horror movie) were hoping to ride the Se7en wave just a little bit longer. They might have even gotten away with it if Gillespie’s original cut hadn’t so offended studio officials that they ended up shelving the damn thing for three years until DEJ Productions finally decided to eke it out on a few screens in a radically re-edited, more linear and cohesive form. (Columbia/Tri-Star later handled the inauspicious home video release.)

Despite stalling Gillespie’s (I Know What You Did Last Summer) once-promising career, Eye See You is not a complete disaster. It is, however, an uninspired retread of a dozen superior films in which a group of individuals are trapped by a snowstorm with no means of contacting or reaching the outside world, one that commits the mortal sin of underutilizing an extremely capable cast by merely having them snort testosterone at one another and then falling under the killer’s blade one by one.

Honestly, folks, you don’t hire Courtney B. Vance, Jeffrey Wright, Robert Patrick, Robert Prosky, Tom Berenger, Stephen Lang, Sean Patrick Flannery, and Kris Kristofferson and then just use them as cannon fodder. I’ve not read Howard Swindle’s source novel, Jitter Joint, but Ron Brinkerhoff’s debut screenwriting effort offers no one the chance to flesh out a three-dimensional character. Instead, it’s a collection of eccentricities and tics assuming human shapes that might as well have numbers printed on their backs depicting their order of demise.

Except Stallone, that is. While I often find myself defending the star’s thesping abilities (given the right projects and directors), he’s completely at sea here, rendering clunky scenes of trauma and tamping down his natural alpha-dog tendencies until the final reel. Sly’s vulnerability is one of his great appeals as an action star, but here he just mopes around trying to look emotionally broken when he’s clearly not.

For a horror film, there’s not a lot of overt gore on display; like Se7en, its most obvious influence, the grisliest images are presented after the fact (the most dramatic example being a police baton found shoved down a strung-up victim’s throat). There are a few enjoyably creative kills (power drills through peepholes, slashed jugulars), but for the most part it’s by-the-numbers “who’s the killer” material with suspects aplenty, identity-obscuring camera angles, and red herrings galore.

There’s likely a drinking game to be had in listing other fright flicks Eye See You reminds you of and that you’d rather be watching. In the final analysis, it’s an inoffensive popcorn burner with a big-budget supporting cast, of interest to Stallone completists (guilty as charged) and not many others.


Unreleased Director's Cut (94 min, Standard Definition)

Deleted Scenes (13 min)

Cast/Crew Interviews (19 min)

Photo Gallery

Theatrical Trailer

Eye See You is available now on Blu-ray and DVD from MVD Entertainment Group and can be found on a variety of platforms.



  1. I recall liking this one when I first saw it under its European (?) rental release title D-TOX, for the mere surprise of it actually feeling like a horror film handling some sort of slasher formula. I mean, with Stallone starring in it, here I was expecting yet another hard-boiled crime thriller. Seeing those familiar kills, done with a 'guess the killer' approach, in a Sly flick no less, somehow made it all the more entertaining. You have me wanting to revisit it now. Hah.

    Am I to understand that this Blu-ray release is Gillespie's restored original cut, the one that offended studio officials?

    Here in the Benelux, the 2002 DVD version was released by Universal Studios (under its D-TOX title). It runs 92 minutes. I take it that would be the radically re-edited, more linear cut? Or might this actually be Gillespie's director's cut, that they somehow released (at the time) for the European home video market only?

    (the extra's like 'deleted scenes' and 'Cast/Crew Interviews' look the same on that 2002 DVD release and this Blu-ray release, hence me wondering about it)

  2. Yes, the Blu-ray release has Gillespie's original cut included as an extra. According to the reviews I've read (I've not watched it myself yet), it's one of those occasions where the studios may have, in fact, been right. Apparently the storyline jumps around a lot, such that we don't even know why Sly's character is in the facility, i.e. we don't know that there is a serial killer that has targeted him and those around him, until nearly halfway through the movie.

    As I mentioned, it's not terrible, but it's also not great and with that cast, it probably could/should have been better than average.

  3. what's the timestamp of the footage of the girl getting her eye drilled? it's eluded to in the trailer, and lots of pictures of just prior but I can't find it in the actual film. scene has bugged me since I was a kid and could never remember the movie, but now can't find the scene?

    1. Hey there! I don't believe we *actually* get to see the eye drilled. At 13:22, we see the drill bit coming through the peephole at her, but we never see it actually penetrate her eye.