Talons of the Eagle (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots

Another video store classic makes it's way to blu-ray from the fine folks over at Vinegar Syndrome. 

Studio: Vinegar Syndrome
Release Date: November 6th, 1992 (video premiere) / March 29th, 2022 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 
Region Code: FREE
1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Slipcover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Jalal Merhi, Billy Blanks, James Hong, Priscilla Barnes, and Mattias Hues
Written by 
J. Stephen Maunder
Directed by Michael Kennedy
Rating: R (martial arts violence, nudity, and language)




What's It About?

DEA agent and martial arts expert Tyler Wilson (Billy Blanks) is sent on assignment to Toronto where he is tasked with trying to stop an influx of narcotics into the states. Once in Toronto, Wilson is partnered with Detective Michael Reed (Jalal Merhi) and the two undergo rigorous martial arts training in the hopes of entering a local fighting tournament and getting closer to a well-known drug dealer named Mr. Li (James Hong). After saving Li's life, Wilson and Reed go undercover in Li's gang in order to find the evidence they need to put Li away. However, their martial arts training will be put to the test when Wilson and Reed try to take down Li's syndicate and the two are forced to fight for their lives.

Film Review

TALONS OF THE EAGLE is a decent 90’s direct to video martial arts flick. Billy Blanks makes the film more than watchable and the film’s villain is pretty cool. I will always pay attention to any film that features Matthias Hues and this film is no different. The fight scenes are basic but well done and the film moves at a pretty good pace. The film isn’t as good as TC 2000, but few films are. This is a perfect Saturday, rainy day film. 


Featuring a brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, and presented in the film’s original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, TALONS OF THE EAGLE looks amazing. Never would I have thought that a film like this would look as good as it does here. Film grain is thin but natural and the colors pop. This looks like a film transfer through and through. The included 2.0 track sounds great with no problems and the dialogue comes through loud and clear.


Audio Commentary by Jalal Merhi

Blood, Blades, and Blanks: Sculpting Talons of the Eagle (27m 13s, HD, 1.78:1)

Trailer (2m 13s, HD, 1.78:1)

On the special features side, the commentary by Jalal Merhi is kind of a bust, but kind of worth sitting through. There are a lot of dead here with minutes going by without much being said. While some of the stories are worth the time, I can’t really recommend this track as it is. However, if someone were to edit out all of the dead air, we might have something.

The making-of fares far better than the commentary track. This is due to the fact that there are more participants which leads to much better stories being told. One fact that I did not know was that Taebo was originally called “Koroebics”. Everyone involved with this making-of looks back on the film fondly and we feed off this energy.

The film’s trailer rounds out the extras.

TALONS OF THE EAGLE is part of Vinegar Syndrome’s VSA line, which brings us the best films from THE VIDEO STORE DAYS. The slipcover is a thicker stock than is usually used. The slip is double-sided with the film’s original poster art on one side and the newly commissioned artwork on the other side. The top is closed off, but the bottom isn’t, so the blu-ray case slides in the bottom. The slipcover is hand numbered at the top. The clear blu-ray case features the exact same artwork as the slip. The disc features the newly commissioned artwork. There is also a folded-up poster featuring the same art as the cover.



TALONS OF THE EAGLE is a film that some will love while others will “what’s the point?” The film has some good fight scenes and it moves really well. The blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome is really nice with amazing picture and sound and a really worthwhile making-of. Skip the commentary track. 






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