Sometimes you discover movies in many different ways and you are surprised when you learn that some movies you watch are based on books. In 1976, author John Farris published a book titled The Fury about two young children with telekinetic/psychic powers wanted by a creepy government agency that two years later was made into a film.
The film is helmed by director Brian DePalma, has music composed by the legendary John Williams and stars Hollywood acclaimed actor Kirk Douglas. Sounds good so far doesn't it? I saw the film on the Fox Movie Channel when I lived with my mother around Halloween and curiously checked it out when I saw it starred Amy Irving, who played Sue Snell in the film version of Carrie (one of my favorite films).
What's The Plot?
Government agent Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) and his son Robin are enjoying their time in The Middle East of the late 1970s before Peter plans to retire and take his son back to The States. Robin is not like other teens his age...he has psychic powers and is afraid he won't fit in. Suddenly, terrorists attack the beach and Robin witnesses the death of his father but all is not what it seems. Peter is alive and finds out that his fellow "agent" and friend Ben Childress (John Cassavetes) set up the entire scenario to isolate Robin from him so he can use the young man's powers to train psychics as potential weapons.
A year later in Chicago, Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving) possesses the same powers as Robin with one draw back that close contact while she is using her powers causes people to bleed ... heavily. She heads to the Paragon Institute as a volunteer in their study of telepathy and befriends Hester, an employee who just so happens to be Peter Sandza's girlfriend/lover and his eyes and ears inside the Institute. Peter is trying to find Robin, who attended the Institute and supposedly died in an incident there, knowing he is alive when Hester tells him that Gillian is seeing visions of Robin and feeling a strong connection with her almost "psychic twin".
Peter may be in for a surprise when he finally finds Robin because all of Childress' experiments on Robin have changed him into an unstable psychopath and his power is growing as "The Fury" is building up inside of him. He can also feel Gillian and the suspense is finally going to come to and end...but who will survive when all is said and done.
Seeing as The Fury and Carrie share so many similarities it's a no-brainer that I adore this movie and why wouldn't I? John William's score is great as always in any film he does and Brian DePalma is a wonderful director with his suspenseful yet sometimes dreamy atmosphere and of course everyone knows that at the end of the film a man is literally torn to pieces by an explosion of psychic power which is one of my favorites in all of cinematic history! Kirk Douglas is a great actor and his portrayal of Peter Sandza is sympathetic and comical and Amy Irving is a rare gem in the acting world that her most famous role as Sue Snell is eclipsed here and makes me appreciate her even more to check out other films she has done. John Cassavetes is as always a great actor and I love him as the antagonist that I hate him as much as I did in Rosemary's Baby with his almost infectiously smarmy charm.
There is never a dull moment in this movie and The Fury as a film is much better compared to its literary counterpart. I picked up a copy of the novel at a flea market for cheap and didn't even make it through the first chapter before the novel headed to my local Goodwill which is bad for someone who has such a love of the written word that rivals her love of film, television and music. If you ever get around to finding The Fury in a book bin, you can give it a shot but you would be better to peruse your video store instead.
Next Blog: For a change of pace, I'm leaving you in the dark about the next film I talk about. Guess you will just have to wait patiently...until next we meet.