DirectorBrian De Palma
Release Date(s)1978 (March 12, 2013)
Studio(s)20th Century Fox (Twilight Time)
- Film/Program Grade: C+
- Video Grade: B-
- Audio Grade: B
- Extras Grade: C-
After the blockbuster success of Carrie in 1976, it was inevitable that someone would make a movie out of John Farris’ novel The Fury. If a movie about one teenage girl with telekinetic powers was a hit, one about two kids with telekinetic powers had to be an even bigger hit, right?
It’s a little surprising that that someone turned out to be Brian De Palma, following up his Stephen King success with a slight variation on the same theme. Kirk Douglas stars as former spy Peter Sandza, presumed dead after his treacherous ex-partner (John Cassavetes) fakes a terrorist attack in order to abduct Kirk’s psychically endowed son, Robin (Andrew Stevens). Kirk’s search for the boy leads him to an academy in Chicago and Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving), a girl whose psychic powers may be as great as Robin’s. But Robin hasn’t been dealing well with his developing powers. The stronger he gets, the more unhinged he becomes.
Needless to say, The Fury has not become a fondly remembered classic like Carrie. The horror/sci-fi elements don’t entirely mix with the action/spy story layered on top of them. With the possible exception of Amy Irving, who no doubt saw this as a promotion from her supporting role in Carrie, nobody seems all that invested in the proceedings. John Cassavetes is particularly guilty in that regard, conveying that he’s permanently lost the use of his arm by simply wearing a black silk sling and calling it a day. The movie has a few entertaining sequences of mayhem but by De Palma’s standards, they’re fairly restrained. The director reins in many of his usual stylistic flourishes this time out. Maybe he didn’t want to repeat himself entirely after Carrie but De Palma’s never seemed to be too worried about that before or since.
Twilight Time brings The Fury to Blu-ray as part of their Limited Edition series and, as of this writing, you can still get your hands on one at www.screenarchives.com. It’s a fairly nice release, although Twilight Time’s graphic designers may have been a bit too clever for their own good with their new logo for the title. When my wife saw it, she thought it said The Firm. The picture quality is fairly solid if somewhat inconsistent. Scenes that take place in broad daylight fare better than the darker, more atmospheric ones. Audio is presented in your choice of a rather weak 2.0 mix or a slightly more robust 4.0 option. Extras are limited to a nice booklet, the trailer and an isolated score track highlighting John Williams’ excellent music.
The Fury is never quite able to reconcile its opposing genres and remains a minor footnote in Brian De Palma's filmography. The movie's kind of fun but hardly essential. The Blu-ray is recommended for De Palma completists only.
- Dr. Adam Jahnke