Quest For Fire (1981) BluRay Review – Second Sight Films


Quest For Fire (1981)

Dir. Jean-Jacques Annaud

UK BluRay release – August 5th 2013

Second Sight Films

Starring – Ron Perlman, Michael Gruskoff, Rae Dawn Chong, Everett McGill, Nicholas Kadi.

Quest for Fire is set 80,000 years ago. A tribe guard their one possession – fire. They care for the flame , tend it and at all times there is someone on guard, but much as they covert the giver of warmth they have no idea of how themselves to create it. So when a neighbouring tribe attack them the flame is lost and so three male members of the tribe begin an epic quest to find fire and return with it and save their tribe. Along the way they will face many tests and severe adversity but will they manage to find another source of the element they need for the day to day struggle to survive?

It has been many years since I last saw Quest For Fire and I believe that was on an old dodgy VHS copy, so when I received a BluRay copy I must admit I was eager to see what it now looked like. And wow, it looks amazing , the scenery (and there is a lot of scenery) is just stunning and the colours are bright and vivid.

The story of Quest For Fire is a very simple one as mentioned above , but there is far far more to this film than the brief synopsis above. This is a story of love, discovery, education, evolution, fear and much more. A beautiful study into the most primeval needs a human can have , the need for warmth, food and safety.

Quest For Fire is almost unique as it has no real language as such , the sounds often used here were created by author Anthony Burgess (Clockwork Orange) and also the body movement and gestures used by all the actors were specially choreographed by world-renowned zoologist Desmond Morris who held many “Ape” workshops to get the actors ready for their roles.


There are three things that stand out for me in Quest For Fire , the story which is talked about above. The Scenery which is stunning and the acting which is superb.

Quest For Fire was filmed on location in Scotland, Canada and Kenya. The landscapes are used to perfection and it gives you a real feeling of complete isolation in a strange and threatening world.

The acting is the main triumph, it could have been so easy to have played it out with grunts and chest pounding but after about 10 minutes I found myself completely caught up in the story of the tribe and having complete empathy and caring for them and their situation.

A truly unique spectacle that should be seen on BluRay, and as usual Second Sight Films have crammed some lovely extras on too.

Directors Commentary.

Commentary with Ron Perlman, Rae Dawn Chong & Michael Gruskoff.

The Making of Quest For Fire.

Interview with director Jean-Jacques Annaud.


A wonderful story of man’s struggle for survival , that is beautifully told and over the 96 minutes I came to care about the characters, and really wanted to see how the story would unfold and what the outcome would be. A real classic!

Verdict 8.5/10

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About Andy Deen

A horror fan for as far back as I can remember . The first things that scared me were Doctor Who and the BBC ghost stories . As an early teen the video revolution came along and with it the Video Nasty campaign , and through all that I immersed myself in all things nasty. I love Slashers, Haunted House Stories and Devil Worshipping/Panic Films . I watch too much horror , listen to loud Heavy Metal and enjoy the odd tattoo \m/\m/

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