The Fury (1978) Review

The Fury

A tale of murder, abduction, espionage and psychic powers Brain De Palma’s The Fury is a brilliant blend of spy thriller and supernatural horror which delivers action and fear in equal measures in telling the story of two teenagers whose lives are doomed to entwine.

Opening in the Middle East where Peter Sandza (the legendary Kirk Douglas) has retired from his job in the US Special Forces with his son Robin (Andrew Stevens) and lives an idyllic life of peace and quiet.

All this is shattered however when a gang of terrorists attack Peter leaving him for dead while Robin is abducted by Peter’s former friend an intelligence operative named Ben Childress (Rosemary’s Baby’s John Cassavetes).

The Fury

Meanwhile in Chicago teenager Gillian (Amy Irving from Carrie) is starting to realise she is not the normal girl she thought she was, a fact emphasised when a doctor from the Paragon Clinic which studies psychic powers stumbles upon her latent talents of telekinesis at her school.The Fury

Scared by her own abilities Gillian submits herself to the care of the Paragon Clinic where they begin to explore her powers, little does she know that the government and Childress have taken an interest in her and her fate is inextricably linked not only to Robin but to Peter who survived the attack and will now stop at nothing to save his son and get revenge.

Adapted by author John Farris from his novel of the same name The Fury has an excellent and engaging story that, like so many other De Palma plot lines, moves along at a fast pace with plenty of cleaver twists and turns along the way.

De Palma’s direction is as ever faultless and super stylish from the amazing Slo-Mo escape scene to the crazy psychic dream sequences he handles tension and terror with fitting finesse and action and excitement with aggressive aplomb.

There are some amazing set pieces all accompanied by a wonderful John Williams score the most memorable being a fair ground trip gone haywire and the epic ending which tips the balance of the film firmly into the horror genre with some bloody and brilliant effects.

The Fury

Crashing together themes from many of De Palma’s other movies including paranoia and conspiracies as well as the supernatural the film is truly individual and shot beautifully, looking all the better for the Blu-ray restoration courtesy or Arrow which comes packed with great extras.

As the super powered teenagers Irving and Stevens are excellent following very different paths but perpetually linked by their abilities. Cassavetes oozes creepiness as the puppet master pulling everyone’s strings and there are some solid cameo’s from Dennis Franz and Daryl Hannah.

The Fury

The Fury

Best of all is Douglas who even though over 60 at the time brawls and blasts his way from scene to scene though car chases, gun fights and fist fights with more endurance than Bourne and more muscle and menace than Bond.

De Palma is a true auteur and his many stylised signatures and thematic flourishes are prominently on display in The Fury however he is also a visionary that puts entertainment and enjoyment at the forefront and for that you will not be disappointed by this twisted and terrific movie.

Movie Rating: ★

★ ★ ★ ☆ 



Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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