The Fury (1978) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)


I wrote a few days ago that Eastwood's film, The Gauntlet, looks the result of having a grade-z film script produced by competent individuals. You might say the same thing about The Fury. As Maltin pointed out, great form, poor content.

Brian De Palma made this as his follow-up to Carrie, and it's probably too damned similar to that other film. It is also about troubled teens with unimaginable telekinetic and other extrasensory powers. It also ends with a telekinetic teen going into a rage. It also paired Amy Irving with some respectable performers like Kirk Douglas, Carrie Snodgress,  and John Cassavetes. 


It isn't a great movie. It tells two stories of two special teens whose stories eventually intersect. Some of the effects are high cheese, some of the performances are over the top, and there is no subtlety in the characterizations. It is simply a grade-b script filmed by a very good director with a solid cast.  An incredibly evil guy, probably working with the U.S. government, is planning to use kids with special powers as killers. Kirk Douglas is the father of one kid who has been kidnapped by the evil guy. While Kirk looks for his son, another subplot features Amy Irving as another special kid who is in some kind of psychic contact with Kirk's son (Andrew Stevens!)

Amy Irving took it all very seriously. The book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" said it eloquently:

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • there is a stills gallery, but it is not impressive

"(Amy Irving) was humorless and driven. A few years later, De Palma cast her in the lead of The Fury, a Stephen King rip-off about a girl with telekinetic powers. Several members of the cast, including John Cassavetes, thought the picture was garbage, and made fun of Irving for treating it like Shakespeare, like it was a big career move. She worked on her character with a great earnestness. "You'd think she was playing Joan of Arc," Cassavetes joked to another actor."

I said at the outset that there would be a spoiler, and this is it. If you start to watch this thing, you have to see the end of it, even if you can't make it through the whole thing. Fast forward to the last minute. Amy Irving uses her psychic powers to blow up Cassavetes, and the director shows this scene over and over again from thirteen different angles! The End. That is one amazing sequence. I don't know if it's good or not, but it's certainly attention-grabbing. 

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.9 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C.

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