THE FURY (1978)
Directed by Brian De Palma
Directed by one of my favourite directors, Brian De Palma, THE FURY still retains the subtle humour which De Palma seems to inject in many of his films, as well as the dramatic set pieces. However, the story is not as strong as in his other movies, with a slow build-up to a less-than-thrilling climax.
The film starts off with a terrific scene in the Middle East, where Peter and his son Robin are holidaying and discussing the prospect of attending the Paragon Institute in Chicago, with Peter’s colleague Ben. What Peter doesn’t realise is that Ben has plans for Robin’s power and sets up a trap to kill Peter, leaving him able to take Robin for his own experiments. What Ben doesn’t bank on though is Peter surviving, and knowing he’s alive, Ben sends his men out to assassinate Peter, leaving Peter constantly on the run.
The first half an hour of the film is quite strong, with impressive chase scenes, both on foot and in car, as well as the introduction of Gillian, who’s discovering her psychic abilities day-by-day. Both scenes with Peter and Gillian make an impression on the viewer, giving the characters an identity and likability. Focussing on Gillian lets the viewer imagine what Robin must be going though, with both assuming to have similar abilities. More interestingly though, it gives us an idea on what the kids can potentially do with their powers.
Kirk Douglas plays the role of Peter with his usual intensity and rugged charm, whilst Amy Irving is the sweet school girl who wants to gain control of her abilities. John Cassavetes oozes with evil as bad guy Ben Childress, who’ll stop at nothing to make Robin and possibly Gillian, into the greatest weapon man has ever seen.
Whilst not entirely bloodthirsty, THE FURY does include some scenes that will impress the horror fans out there, name the set pieces of the film. One particular scene features Robin visiting the fairground, a scene which slowly develops, with the viewer itching to see just what he’ll do when he spots a group of Arabs. After the ‘death’ of his father by men of the same nationality, will he be able to contain himself? You’ll just have to watch! Gillian herself has her fair share of blood on her hands, herself plagued by causing bleeding to anyone who touches her. Not exactly the power a young girl would be looking for. Her presence at the Paragon Institute is in hope of treating or at least controlling her power, but maybe it could be her greatest defence?
For the first time ever in the UK, THE FURY is available on Blu-ray, courtesy of Arrow Video who’ve gone to lengths to restore The Fury and bring it back into the public eye after its poor treatment on home video. Whilst the clarity of the visuals may not be as crisp as some of the other releases, the restoration is a decent effort and the 4.0 audio is a treat (you’ll need surround sound!). The Blu-ray also comes jam-packed with extras including a host of featurettes and interviews, an image gallery and booklet, featuring writing on the film, interviews with De Palma and writer John Farris, original stills and posters.
Whilst the film doesn’t exactly work as a whole, there’s individual scenes with particular merit. Certainly not the best of De Palma, but definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re a fan of the psychic horror thrillers such as Carrie.