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The Fury
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  • One of the best underseen horror movies of the 70's!
    After the success of Carrie director Brian DePalma received a bigger budget to tackle a similar subject,this time the girl with mysterious mental abilities is played by Amy Irving(who played Carrie's well meaning classmate).When Kirk Douglas's son is kidnapped by a secret organization and he discovers that Irving who is trapped in a special "school" is having dreams of his son he tries to rescue his son with her help.As this is a Brian DePalma movie nothing goes as planned.It didn't make a splash during it's initial release because it has too many things going on and doesn't have the strong performances of Carrie.However it's filled with gruesome stylish moments.In every DePalma film there's always a big intricate suspense sequence and in this one there's a great slow motion escape attempt that ends in tragedy.John Williams who created his Jaws score around this time created one of his best most sinister scores for this film(the menacing opening credit music is still chilling today).The Fury is a meanspirited film with a great dramatic final scene and it's also one of the most well crafted horror movies of the 70's.It may not be as emotional as Carrie but is still a very good cruel movie....more info
  • brian de palma shows he does have some talent
    after "carrie" brian de palma chose this esp thriller and in back to back movies showed that he was really talented after all.
    the fury starts out as spy kirk douglas and son andrew stevens are getting ready to leave the middle east for america. john cassavetes is a family friend and douglas's boss who shows up to eat with them when terrorist attack the resteruant they are eatting at and appear to kill douglas. really it is the plan of cassavetes to take stevens,because he has very high powers of esp,and train him to be a weapon for the goverment.
    as they leave we learn douglas is alive and now he starts a search for his son and a run from cassavetes men at the same time.(even here he pulls out his hitchcock double chase card,but uses it very well here). enter amy irving as a girl with the same powers and a link of sorts to stevens and now douglas has to teens to save. filled with de palma's little touches(slow motion action scene,blood from everywhere,great camera angles,and every trick he has to let you know that this is a` "de palma" movie. and the end puts a whole new meaning to the phrase "go to hell". check it out !!!...more info
  • The Fury has gotten better with age
    Seen by many as, at best, a triumph of style over substance, The Fury holds up amazingly well some 23 years after its initial release. If anything, it seems better.

    Ahead of its time, The Fury follows what we would now call the classic "X-Files" formula: a government-conspiracy thriller grafted onto a supernatural Grande Guignol melodrama. Peter Sanza (Kirk Douglas) used to work for a super-secret government agency that cultivates talent for psychic warfare. Unluckily for him, his teen-aged son Robin (Andrew Stevens) is one of the most gifted telekinetics that has ever come their way. Co-worker and uber-villian Frank Childress (the late John Cassavettes) coldly decides to kill the father and take the son off to Psychic Boot Camp to become a warrior. Peter escapes and spends the rest of the film trying to re-acquire his any means necessary.

    The screenplay is not as dumb as most critics thought when The Fury was first released. There is an uneasy Freudian sub-text about father/son rivalry at the onset of puberty, and while no one would accuse The Fury of anything like profundity, the allegory about the difficulty of adolescence and coming to grips with newfound powers and responsibilities is reasonably well developed. Add to that Brian DePalma's always-cool direction, and for ten bucks, you can't beat it. Especially if you're an X-Files fan....more info

    Exuberant and glossy, this DePalma follow-up to CARRIE is a telekinetic feast. Incredulous and mind-blowing, this is a great pop movie with some fabulous DePalma sequences -- Amy Irving's flashback on the stairs is a dizzying and imaginative plot-mover; the opening assault will take you by complete surprise. In addition, there are some affecting performances mixed in among the hambone, but effective, performances of Kirk Douglas and especially John Cassavettes, who plays this role as if he is Rosemary's husband all grown up and evil. Carrie Snodgress is truly moving in a way too small role, and Amy Irving glows in those richly textured close-ups DePalma does so well. The story is compelling, if a bit convoluted, what with its undertone of doom and a special-effects romance that never plays itself out. If you love engrossing suspense/horror films, you can't miss with this one. John Williams' dense and lyrical score adds a mesmerizing dimension to the increasingly gory proceedings...And the finale is supremely satisfying....more info
  • very good movie
    i really love this movie it's very unique from all those other 70's horror movies i've seen very good ending well i guess you can call it more of a suspense then horror but what ever it is it's a real good movie !...more info
  • B-movie plot redeemed by A+ visuals
    If you've seen _Scanners_ or _Firestarter_, you can probably guess what happens when shadowy government agencies and telekinetic wunderkinds mix. At times, the story and the dialogue are laughably stupid, but director Brian DePalma's considerable talents bring the quality up a notch. Also, John Cassavetes turns in one wicked performance as an evil government operative. Rivers of gore and DePalma's bold camera moves make this one more disturbing than you'd expect....more info
  • An Unofficial Sequel To "Carrie"
    "The Fury" is another masterpiece of modern horror directed by Brian DePalma who also directed such blockbusters as "Body Double," "Dressed To Kill," and one of my personal favorites, "Carrie." Both "Carrie" and "The Fury" deal with teenagers with telekinetic powers. No one suspected Carrie White had telekinesis until it was too late. On prom night, she killed most all of her classmates and teachers and is eventually murdered by her mom. In "The Fury," our government discovers that two teenagers, Robin and Gillian, have telekinesis and want to use them as weapons. This same plot was visited again a few years later by Stephen King in "Fire Starter."

    Movie legend, Kirk Douglas, is Peter Sanza, who is desperately searching for his son, Robin, who was stolen from him. His shootouts and car chases with the Federal agents is the action/thriller part of the movie. The horror part is what Robin and Gillian can do to their victims: literally tear them apart with their thoughts.

    "The Fury" depicts what might have happened to Carrie White if she had survived her prom night. A government agency would have captured and imprisoned her. Then they would've ran a series of tests in order to control and exploit her powers.

    "The Fury" has wonderful direction from Brian DePalma; scenes that alternate from the Mid East to Chicago, and an all star cast that includes Amy Irving ("Carrie"), John Casavetes ("Rosemary's Baby"), Charles Durning ("When A Stranger Calls"), Andrew Stevens ("The Seduction"), and Carrie Snodgrass ("Murphy's Law"). It is highly recommended for those who collect paranormal science fiction horror or, if you are like me, enjoy horror classics from the seventies.
    ...more info
  • When DePalma Even Knew How To Make "Great Bad Movies"
    Brian DePalma hasn't made a fully satisfying film since "Dressed To Kill" in 1980. During the same year, I saw an edited version of DePalma's "The Fury" on CBS-Network television. I recently saw an uncut version of this film. "The Fury" takes viewers back to a time when DePalma even knew how to make "Great Bad Movies."

    A government agent(John Cassavetes) kidnaps the telepathic son(Andrew Stevens) of an old colleague(Kirk Douglas). Douglas sets out to rescue Stevens with the help of an old girlfriend(Carrie Snodgress) and another telepath(Amy Irving).

    "The Fury" is a true guilty pleasure from DePalma. DePalma's efforts to combine the horror and spy movie genres is hokey. Some of the dialogue between the characters is absolutely ridiculous. Nevertheless, "The Fury" is still a very good film. Unlike such recent DePalma failures as "Mission To Mars" and "Raising Cain," "The Fury" is a flawed movie that still manages to be highly memorable and entertaining. The film is much more entertaining than DePalma's plastic Hollywood blockbuster "Mission: Impossible." As a telekinesis-oriented horror film, DePalma's film falls short of David Cronenberg's "Scanners" but is vastly superior to the Drew Barrymore film "Firestarter." With his dark and menacing features, John Cassavetes makes a great bad guy. If he had chosen to focus on acting rather than independent filmmaking, Cassavetes would have become one of the great villains of the big screen. Amy Irving is one of cinema's more underrated beauties. "The Fury" never has a dull moment. The ending also features one of the greatest death scenes for a villain in movie history.

    "The Fury" is for all Brian DePalma fans and anyone who loves horror films....more info

  • Do Not Mess With Amy Irving!!
    "The Fury" is another Brian DePalma flick dealing with telekinetic abilties. This time it's Amy Irving (from Carrie) as the girl with the amazing mental powers. She's awesome! Her struggle to understand and deal with her state is portrayed brilliantly. Meanwhile, Kirk Douglas is a government agent, betrayed by his own partner (John Cassavetes) who tries to assassinate Douglas. He escapes death and goes underground. His son (who also has telekinetic abilities) is taken by the government to be used as a weapon. Douglas goes on a hunt for his son (Andrew Stevens), stopping at nothing to get him back from Cassavetes and the dark agency he represents. Eventually, Kirk Douglas' character meets up with Amy Irving; and gets her to help him. Lots of great DePalma touches throughout! Of course, everyone knows about the fantastic "explosion" finale. "The Fury" would be a cool part of a triple feature with "Carrie" and "Scanners"! Watch for Dennis Franz in a funny role as a cop. John Williams does the music, so how can you lose? ......more info
    Long maligned as an Alfred Hitchcock rip-off, Brian de Palma can rest on his laurels, having given us such visually stunning examples of horrific ballet. In "The Fury" there are so many scenes of intense but beautiful violence that you wonder where the imagery originated. While DePalma has often said he was influenced by the masterful Hithcock, he doesn't rip him off; he accentuates the master with his visually stunning style.
    The slomo and quiet scene in which Carrie Snodgress meets an untimely fate is mesmerizing, even knowing what the ultimate outcome is; likewise the scenes where Amy Irving "sees" events that have or will happen. DePalma's camera swerves and sizzles. The lovely Fiona Lewis' demise is horrifically fascinating in its cruelty. (No, I'm not sadistic). The cast: isn't it fun to see scruffy Dennis Franz in one of his first roles as the gum-chewing, love my car cop? And Kirk Douglas, no longer a youngster, still looked amazingly fit and masculine in a role he would never get to play in today's youthful standards. Amy Irving is gorgeous and quite a good young actress; Andrew Stevens is handsome and effectively icy; Charles Durning and Carol Rossen appropriately vile; John Cassavettes is a devilish villain; and the almost forgotten Carrie Snodgress is a delight. Writer John Farris wrote the book which he adapted for the screen, and did a fine job. Too bad he waited so long for sequels---they probably won't get filmed, but they should. THE FURY is one of DePalma's best....more info
  • The Supernatural made to order.
    This is a very well done movie for the time that it was filmed. We didn't have the superlative special effects of ILM to enhance this movie so we have to depend on the acting ability of the cast. Kirk Douglas, a young Amy Irving, Charles Durning, Carrie Snodgress, John Casssavetes and of course Andrew Stevens. The cast alone should entice you to see this one. Without going into too much of the plot, yes a horror/thriller movie can have a plot. Kirk Douglas has been searching for his son played by Andrew Stevens, in order to get him back from a nasty bunch of folks at a government run facility for especially gifted children with extraordinary mental abilities. Lots of action, suspense filled, a joy to watch Andrew and Amy when they both must have been just out of their teens. Portions of this movie, especially at the end are not for children or preteens, if you don't want them up all night. But for the true horror/suspense fanatic this movie is right up your alley. Buy it and you will not be sorry you did!!!...more info
  • This was great in '78, & still holds up today
    I remember this film well & have nothing but good things to say about it. Kirk Douglas, & Amy Irving were very good in thier portrayals, as was sexy Andrew Stevens. I love when his eyes turn that bright blue color, & watching him get angry in the film makes him even sexier. I'd like to add that John Cassavettes was perfectly cast as the bad guy here & the plot was fun to watch.

    My only regret about the DVD release is the fact that the original poster ad wasn't used on the jacket. The one of the man & woman that reads... "an experience in terror & suspense". Obviously the two were supposed to have been Amy & Andrew, though the woman in the ad bore little resemblance (if any) to Amy & the man looked nothing at all like Andrew Stevens.

    Another thing is I loved the scene towards the end when Andrew Stevens is spinning around that woman, it was very intense & alot of fun to watch. I will always consider this among the greatest horror films ever made & a Brian DePalma masterpiece. Check this one out....more info

    Having not viewed THE FURY for nearly 20 years, I very recently purchased a copy of it from Amazon to see if it had improved with age. Let's put it this way: Fine wine it ain't!

    This is fairly typical of much of the simple-minded bovine excrement that Hollywood began churning out in the 1970s and masqueraded as "entertainment." It's a psychological thriller/horror mutt that will "entertain" 14-year-olds who are fascinated by the sight of people blowing up or bleeding from various bodily orifices. Otherwise, it hasn't got much going for it. The story revolves around a man (Kirk Douglas) whose psychic son (Andrew Stevens) is kidnapped by a rogue U.S. Government agency for the purpose of conducting mind-control experiments. Douglas enlists the help of another psychic teenager (Amy Irving) in order to locate his son.
    Yeah, it's just that simplistic and it's B-O-R-I-N-G!

    The only semi-legitimate excuse for spending 2 hours watching THE FURY (as so many of my fellow reviewers have observed) is to get an early glimpse of a few performers who later went on to become household names, including Dennis Franz, Daryl Hannah, James Belushi (?) and Stephen T. McCarthy. (Well, I'm a household name around MY house!) Yeah, that's my 18-year-old, mop-haired profile as I sit back-to-back with Amy Irving and we wordlessly play a 30 second game of flash card mental telepathy. I remember that day vividly; the girl kept coming-on to me. It was so annoying that I couldn't even get into character. Finally Ol' Brian had to tell her to leave me alone. I understand that she eventually SETTLED for a different Steve (Spielberg) after I had rebuffed her every advance. (Aw c'mon! Let a guy feed his ego why don'tcha?!)

    If it's a psychological thriller you want, I suggest JACOB'S LADDER; THE SIXTH SENSE; HUSH, HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE; Hitchcock's, PSYCHO and John Carpenter's, THE THING. Or, if you want your time to be REALLY well-spent, I recommend that you read any of the titles included in my Listmania Book List. But why would you waste your valuable time on THE FURY - a hybrid dog that "EVEN STEPHEN" (T. McCarthy) at the height of his creative powers couldn't save?! (Yeah, I meant that strictly as a joke, alright?)...more info
  • Very Little Suspense, Very Many Unintentional Laughs
    When I was a young child in 1978-79 watching this on HBO I thought this movie was cool because people blew up in it and a fairground ride went spinning out of control.

    25 years later, I watch it again and hardly anything is cool about it. The dialogue is laughable, Kirk Douglas is ridiculous as a geriatric James Bond who leaps out 4 story bedroom windows in his underpants, comandeers a shiny new Cadillac just to drive it off the end of a pier, and seranades his girlfriend with an obscene phone call.

    John Cassavetes looks like he's trying to parody some Dr. Strangelove-type villian by walking around in a sling with a black glove on his useless hand, glaring at everyone and spouting the worst sort of "bad guy" cliches.

    What else? Well, when Carrie Snodgrass goes flying through the windshield of a car, the windshield shatters like some plate glass saloon window from a low-budget Western. And there's plenty of blood in this movie, but not a drop of it looks real.

    Andrew Stevens goes from lovable son to patricidal maniac without so much as a shred of explanation. Amy Irving escapes from a supposedly fortress-like prison by simply shoving a bunch of packages at someone and running out the backdoor. Oh, yeah, you know when Andrew Stevens is really, REALLY mad when the veins on his forehead pop out. Sometimes his eyes even glow blue. There's more, but what's the use recounting it?

    I'll give it two stars because it's not the worst movie ever. But at times it really comes close. Isn't DePalma supposed to be a genius or something?...more info

    Exuberant and glossy, this DePalma follow-up to CARRIE is a telekinetic feast. Incredulous and mind-blowing, this is a great pop movie with some fabulous DePalma sequences -- Amy Irving's flashback on the stairs is a dizzying and imaginative plot-mover; the opening assault will take you by complete surprise. In addition, there are some affecting performances mixed in among the hambone, but effective, performances of Kirk Douglas and especially John Cassavettes, who plays this role as if he is Rosemary's husband all grown up and evil. Carrie Snodgress is truly moving in a way too small role, and Amy Irving glows in those richly textured close-ups DePalma does so well. The story is compelling, if a bit convoluted, what with its undertone of doom and a special-effects romance that never plays itself out. If you love engrossing suspense/horror films, you can't miss with this one. John Williams' dense and lyrical score adds a mesmerizing dimension to the increasingly gory proceedings...And the finale is supremely satisfying....more info
  • A De Palma Delight
    Here's an overlooked gem by the always controversial (at least back then) Brian De Palma, fresh from the success of another telekinetic thriller, Carrie. The story concerns two teen siblings who possess exceptional mental powers, and the people around them who know of their gifts, some of whom try to protect them, and others with more exploitative motives. Though the pace slows in spots, the whole conspiracy element (a favorite theme in many BDP films) keeps the overall story compelling as the young protagonists move towards their ill-fated reunion.

    A dynamic and sympathetic performance by Amy Irving drives this dark, somewhat pessimistic tale ..... the solid cast of veteran and character actors flesh out the mostly offbeat roles and compliment the unpredictable twists of the story's relentlessly rambling pace. The pre-Spielberg John Williams score wonderfully conveys the mounting sense of dread, one of the most haunting soundtracks he's composed. You can almost hear director De Palma fiendishly cackling as the efforts of virtually every protagonist are proven to no avail, and ultimately (spoiler ahead) the evil forces come out triumphant .... until a most satisfyingly incendiary finale. Whoa, Amy!

    What made De Palma's earlier work most distinctive (love it or hate it) was, along with the obvious Hitchcockian references, avoiding the usual "Hollywood Happy Ending" ..... he wanted us to remember that the bad guys were still out there, that everything didn't wrap up and even out and work in everyone's favor. This edge has dissipated in the course of his more mainstream work (though there is a taste of it in "Mission Impossible"), but the message in these more "outlaw" films still carries an impact, gives us much to consider on the matter of Powers That Be. A minimally-flawed, dizzyingly filmed and very haunting movie with an attitude....more info

  • Romper Stomper of a psychic movie
    I'm going to contradict myself now. If anyone has read my review on Scanners (good film, buy that if you buy this), you'll know that I downmarked it because it has aged. As should of this movie.

    Call me fickle, but I don't feel it so much with this. I don't know why - I really don't. I suppose it's because there is less to ground you onto the year.

    Anyhow, moving on, the film is an alternate Carrie. Alternate because the girl who is psychic isn't anything but normal. She is confused and upset about what is happening to her, but soon realises that she has to take control to avoid manipulation.

    I think the entire film, beautifully shot and executed, is just a build up for the final scene. I have never seen such a powerful minute of cinematography in many a moon. Top marks to all involved for the effect on this one. I say no more.

    Suffice to say, this film isn't interested in blowing up towns, in mass death and destruction. Indeed, the few deaths that occur are uncommonly tragic, especially the suicide of one of the main characters. Death is treated as it is, painful and uncomfortable.

    Okay. Now the final line. It's good. If you enjoyed Carrie, Scanners, Kirk Douglas, any of the Cronenberg type films, you will like this....more info

  • The worst of Brian De Palma.
    The first 10 minutes of The Fury are classic Brian De Palma. It begins on a beach with a father (Kirk Douglas) and son bonding, then De Palma shocks the audience with a shootout that blazes from out of nowhere, resulting in many deaths. This is an exciting sequence, directed in a manner that only De Palma could have accomplished. Unfortunately, after that the entire film grows increasingly obvious, with suspenseless scene after suspenseless scene, all the way to the highly-touted finale, which is indeed an impressive array of pyrotechnics, but hardly anything else. For good Brian De Palma films, stick with Mission to Mars, Mission: Impossible, The Untouchables, or Body Double....more info
  • Amazingly Dull, Simplistic Supernatural "Thriller"
    There are spoilers throughout this review. The movie's 30 years old; I think the moratorium on spoilers has expired.

    Brian DePalma has a reputation as a "style over substance" kind of director as well as an imitator of Alfred Hitchcock. This reputation is not wholly deserved; he sometimes transcends this image ("Carrie", "The Untouchables"). However, when he reverts back to full-blown Hitchcock on Acid mode, look out! That's exactly what DePalma does in "The Fury."

    The story, called "convoluted" by many, is nothing of the kind! Here's the story, in its entirety: An ex-government agent (Douglas) has a teenage son (Stevens) who possesses extraordinary psychic powers. The government agency kidnaps the son and attempts (but fails) to kill the father. This all happens in the first 10 minutes, and the father spends the rest of the movie (two tedious hours) trying to find his son with the aid of a teenage girl (Irving) with psychic powers and a telepathic link to his son. In the last 10 minutes, they find his son, then both father and son die, then the girl kills the Bad Guy (Cassavetes) responsible for the kidnapping. The end.

    Probably the reason so many viewers think this ridiculously simplistic story is "convoluted" is because of all the superfluous scenes we are treated to in the intervening two hours. Like:

    Kirk Douglas breaking into the apartment of a bickering middle-aged couple and the little old lady who lives with them, the cutely-named "Mother Knuckles," painting his hair with white shoe polish, putting a pillow in his pants, flirting with Mother Knuckles, tying up the couple on their couch in front of the television (ham-fisted social commentary, anyone?), and then leaving, only to be immediately spotted by the Bad Guys in spite of his disguise. So why the heck was so much time spent on this ridiculous narrative detour?

    Amy Irving at her new School For Teenage Psychics, twirling around her white wicker-and-flowered wallpaper bedroom, taking long walks in the park with Charles Durning, playing Frisbee with a dog (in slow motion, naturally), and making big gooey sundaes with the Mad Housewife herself, Carrie Snodgress (pay careful attention to this scene to take delight in Irving's nauseating habit of constantly digging into a bowl of toppings with her fingers, sprinkling the stuff on her sundae, licking her fingers, then digging the newly-moist fingers back into another bowl of toppings; she does this half a dozen times and makes it virtually impossible to pay any attention to the conversation, which doesn't contain any imperative dialogue, anyway). Again, what is the purpose of this long sequence, other than letting us know that for a brief while, Irving's character gets to be happy? Admittedly, you need SOME "down time" in a thriller, but two freakin' hours of it? Come on.

    The superfluous scenes would be bad enough, but what makes them even worse is the fact that absolutely ESSENTIAL scenes are missing. For instance, after Stevens's character is kidnapped and taken to the compound, he apparently undergoes brainwashing techniques that turn him into a homicidal psychopath. But we aren't SHOWN his conversion; instead, to make up for this MAJOR deficiency, some obviously dubbed-in-at-a-later-date expository dialogue is played over scenes of him pole-vaulting. (???) Amazingly, even though they are specifically trying to fill story gaps, they don't say anything that actually accomplishes that purpose! We're given some gobbledygook about how he gets really upset whenever his physical prowess doesn't match his psychic powers. This is supposed to explain why he later makes a carnival ride go berserk, flinging riders 50 feet in the air, and why he turns his girlfriend into a whirling dervish!

    Even when the scenes actually could serve a narrative purpose, DePalma drags them on WAY too long, then doesn't give us any pay-off. An example: We already know Irving's character is psychic when some folks from the Psychic School come to her high school to demonstrate that people's Alpha waves can actually run an electric train. Yes, I know you're all remembering the many, many times you witnessed such demonstrations at your high school. Right. Anyway, at this point anyone with an IQ over 80 who has actually ever seen a movie - any movie - knows where this scene is going. Amy Irving will get the electrodes strapped to her forehead and make the damn thing jump the tracks with the force of her Alpha-ness. What you might not be able to predict is just how excruciatingly l-o-n-g DePalma drags out the wholly inevitable denouement. It feels like HOURS as the train goes faster and faster, with a dubbed-in whining sound getting higher and higher (in case we didn't get it) and reaction shots of every single person in the room with the patented "WTF?!?" look on their faces before finally the train de-rails. Now, this scene, protracted as it was, might have actually served SOME purpose if an action had flowed directly from it, ie: the doctor from the school signing up Irving then and there. Incredibly, nothing of the sort happens! We have to wait a few scenes for Irving to tell her mother that she wants to go to a "special school" and it is only after she arrives that we know this is in fact the same school that did the train demonstration. HELLO, this is BAD storytelling, folks.

    And then there's John Cassavetes. Holy cow. For those who aren't familiar with Cassavetes, he was essentially the first independent filmmaker, making his own movies on ultra-low budgets that didn't toe the studio line. The films were critically lauded but not seen by many people. Supposedly he only acted in studio pictures in order to make money to finance his own ventures, and while that may be nominally true, he DID at least seem to invest something in many of his roles, ie: his early television one-shots and "The Dirty Dozen." In "The Fury," however, the man sleep-walks through his role; at one point during a "suspenseful" chase scene in which he's in the backseat of a car, his head is clearly just lolling backwards as if it's Nap Time. You can hardly blame the guy - it's a Snidely Whiplash role with absolutely no nuance or shading, and fer crying out loud, he's blown up at the end - but the fact is that Cassavetes's zombified performance adds even more badness to the movie.

    Wow, there is so much more to dislike about this movie. In the interest of wrapping things up, I'll go to bullet points:

    *Every time a character outlives his or her usefulness (to the scenarist, to propel the plot along), he or she dies violently. Every. Time. Once again, bad writing.

    *Right before psychics die, their eyes glow an unearthly blue and they transfer all their powers to the psychic who is cradling their head in their lap. Thank you, Brian DePalma, for this newfound knowledge.

    *Cars do not, in fact, use safety glass (that spiderwebs), but rather plate glass (that shatters). This is because the latter looks so much cooler when photographed.

    *You'd think it would be heaven to be married to Mr. Carlson, but no.

    *When it's important to the plot that anybody who touches Amy Irving starts to bleed, they bleed. When it's important to the plot that people be allowed to touch her, they don't.

    *All of the "comic relief" scenes are uniformly dire.

    *Could we at least be given some hint of why the government thinks that having a teenage psychic is so important? "The Chinese don't have one, the Soviets don't have one..." maybe because they see limited military applications for making electric trains run off Alpha waves and accurately assessing that the guy behind them is looking at "three wavy lines."

    Two stars instead of one, because on a technical level, the movie is competent (ie: there's some good photography, and Williams's score, while imitating Bernard Herrmann too slavishly, is not bad, if also not great). The bottom line: Not good enough to be fun, but not bad enough to be fun either. Don't waste your time....more info
  • Guilty? About what?
    Pleasure yes, but hardly a guilty one. This is De Palma's most staggering display of moxie -- his attempt to out-Hitchcock Hitchcock at every turn. Oh sure, the story's kind of a "Carrie" retread, and the plot doesn't make perfect sense, but who cares? This movie is an exercise in sheer technique, nowhere on display more than the classic ending -- a spewing, multi-angle Grande Guignol spectacle that gives nothing but satisfaction. My favorite actor, John Cassavetes -- maybe the only villain in film history who keeps his broken arm in a black sling -- plays it for all it's worth. This is a gloriously bloody movie....more info
  • Grade "C" DePalma
    When DePalma has a great cinematographer and editor on board, he can turn out some very good movies. Unfortunately, he had neither for this mess. It runs two hours and five minutes - and that is 35 minutes too long. Many of the shots appear to be filmed on cheap film stock. The story gets schlocky at times. Some of the acting is high camp (the two off-duty police officers act like bad actors parodying urban cops). Still, there are moments of good movie-making here - but they are too few and far between. Think a movie with Kirk Douglas, John Cassavettes, and Amy Irving couldn't possible bomb? Think again....more info
  • Beautiful, bloody, and intense
    This sci-fi horror espionage thriller has a weak script and clumsy plot but some beautiful horror set pieces. As with Brian De Palma's previous film, CARRIE, the focus here is a sweet young girl (Amy Irving) with awesome telekinetic powers. She's searching for her "psychic twin" captured by a secret government agency for use as a military weapon; Kirk Douglas plays the boy's superspy father who's also looking for him. As with CARRIE, you fall in love with the girl just as the most awful things start happening to her--and, this being De Palma, those awful things involve lots and lots of blood. The movie builds its tension slowly, leisurely, and then, wham, you're hit with some of the most intense horror sequences ever put on film. De Palma's a very smart director who's not all that interested in script or plot--he's just interested in orchestrating the terror sequences for maximum effect. If you give in to the film's sometimes quirky rhythms and oddball attempts at humor, it's quite a ride....more info