The Fury (1978)
Review by Jude Felton
Hidden among director Brian DePalma’s better known movies, such as Carrie, Scarface and The Untouchables, lies an oft overlooked gem of a film. The Fury, which Twilight Time have dusted off and given life on limited edition Blu-ray, takes elements of movies such as Scanners and Firestarter, among others, and delivers a great little yarn about psychic powers, shady government agencies and Kirk ‘don’t I look great in these shorts’ Douglas.
The plot, at its very core, concerns two parallel stories. The first being Peter Sandza’s (Kirk Douglas) who is believed to have been killed, who tries to find his son after a government agent double-crosses him to get to his son. You see, Peter’s son has some bad-ass psychic abilities, and the powers that be want to harness them for their own nefarious deeds.
The other story concerns Gillian Bellaver (the delightful Amy Irving), who as a young student discovers that she also has these strange powers. Not only can she move things with her mind, she can also ‘see’ past events when she has physical contact with another person.
So, what we get is a moderately complex thriller that follows these two stories that will as you might expect come together at some point down the line. It’s all rather wonderful stuff, with DePalma delivering a quite riveting movie. The Fury isn’t his most flashy movie, although there are one or two quite simply superb moments, which usually involve Gillian, and a final scene that is spectacular.
What you should not expect from The Fury is an amped up Scanners. Yes, it does focus on psychic abilities, but these are only part of the story, and not the visual focus. Don’t worry though, as when they do kick in they really are worth it.
For some strange reason, probably due to The Fury being a lesser known film, Twilight Time’s release of Christine, which came out on the same day, has stolen all of the thunder and is currently going for stupid prices on eBay. This is bloody good news for you guys though, as you should snap up a copy of The Fury while it is still for sale at regular price. Remember, there are only 3000 copies of The Fury, and it is a far superior film than the already terrific Christine, and it looks bloody gorgeous on this Blu-ray.
Where the release of Christine surpasses that of The Fury’s is with the special features included on the Blu-ray. Christine has a ton of them, whereas The Fury only has a trailer and an isolated score track. Admittedly, the score is well worth your time listening to, as it is one of John Williams’ underrated gems, as is the movie.
The Fury itself is a wonderful slice of late 70s’ cinema; it has a bad-ass cast, which also includes John Cassavettes and Charles Durning, great effects, tight plot and some seriously cool set-pieces. Sure, it does get a little over-dramatic in places, with scenery chewing being at a premium, but it is such an enjoyable movie. You aren’t going to get 1000 edits per second, instead DePalma lets the story unfold at its own pace, giving the viewer time to savor what is unfolding on screen.
DePalma is quite often underrated as a director in his own right, with many drawing on his love of Hitchcock as his primary influence, yet The Fury is just another example of how good of a director he really is. If you are a fan of 70s’ cinema, great stories and great filmmaking, you really need to check out The Fury. And yes, DePalma does film a damned fine exploding body.
The Fury is released on Limited Edition Blu-ray by Screen Archives Entertainment, and can be purchased here.
(The screenshots in this review do not represent the actual quality of the Blu-ray release, and are used purely to illustrate this review.)