The Fury (1978)

the fury movie poster 1978
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

De Palma brings his interesting look, explosion

Story is kind of all over the place and weak

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Fury

Studio:  Frank Yablans Presentations

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 10, 1978

MPAA Rating:  R

the fury blue eyes dune

The Spice must flow!!! Oops, wrong movie

Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) is raising his son Robin (Andrew Steven) who has unique abilities.  When Peter’s former friend Ben Childress (John Cassavetes) stages a kidnapping of Robin, Peter will stop at nothing to get him back.  The key to finding Robin could be Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving) who possesses similar psychic powers and a strange connection to Robin.  As Peter tries to find a way to get Gillian from the Paragon Institute, Gillian begins to realize that time is running out to rescue Robin.

Directed by Brian De Palma, The Fury is a psychic horror film.  The book is based on John Farris’s 1976 novel (Farris also wrote the screenplay).  The movie received positive reviews and was a modest box office success.

Regardless of the subject, Brian De Palma always has a style and The Fury is no exception.  The stylish movie (with a great score by John Williams) may not be the most shocking or horrific film, but it does have moments.

the fury kirk douglas flying

Robin, what have I told you about flying in the house?!?!

The plot is kind of like Stephen King’s Firestarter but told more from the perspective of the parent (and in Farris’s defense he did write his novel first).  It switches between Irving and Douglas as the leads and has a weird, unbalanced feel.  The movie also is one of those films that really just ends and is kind of a bummer.  A lot has to be assumed by the viewer on what happens in the last few minutes, but it also doesn’t feel very satisfying (except in a special effects type of way).

The cast is pretty strong.  Kirk Douglas does his best Kirk Douglas as the strong willed, physically fit father.  John Cassavetes is perfectly sleazy as the traitor.  Amy Irving comes off her Carrie appearance as the one with psychic powers this time and is charming, but Andrew Stevens is a bit over-the-top as the unbalanced Robin.  The movie also features Carrie Snodgress, Fiona Lewis, and Charles Durning and also has cameos by Daryl Hannah in an early role, ER’s Laura Innes, Jim Belushi in-a-blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-cameo, and the screen premiere of Dennis Franz.

the fury exploding body john cassavetes

Ouch…bad gas

A lot of The Fury’s entertainment comes from De Palma’s directing and style.  The movie looks more interesting than it really is and has some interesting special effects.  The movie culminates with an explosion that rivals Cronenberg’s famous head explosion in Scanners…and it does it three years before Cronenberg.

The Fury is a real mixed bag type of movie.  It has good, it has bad, and it is horribly uneven.  If you are a fan of De Palma, it is worth checking out and if you’ve watched Carrie one too many times and you just need something different, The Fury might meet your needs.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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