The Fury

Bomb Rating: 

It stars Amy Irving, Andrew Stevens and Kirk Douglas. If ever there were a case for jailing a casting director for crimes against humanity, this is it.

Watching this 1978 film, I had no idea why it was called "The Fury." Iwatched for ten minutes. No clue. Half hour. Still didn't know. Then 45 minutes into it, still unable to figure out what director Brian De Palma was thinking, I had enough. I ripped my VCR out of the entertainment unit, sparks flying as the cord disengaged from the wall, and threw it right through my front window, off the balcony and onto the cement two stories below. I had just destroyed a $300 VCR. I now knew why the film was called "The Fury."

It stars Amy Irving, Andrew Stevens and Kirk Douglas. If ever there were a case for jailing a casting director for crimes against humanity, this is it. They're like the Three Musketeers of bad acting. Apparently, Kirk Douglas hadn't yet realized that he'd far exceeded the age at which it's palatable for an actor to take off his shirt. He goes swimming with his son (Stevens) early in the movie, and all these Arabs come out of nowhere and start shooting at him. We quickly learn that John Cassavettes is behind this and that his son is "special" and that he's taken him somewhere.

Next thing we know, we're following Amy Irving around and watching her make toy trains derail and give people nosebleeds. All this happens because she has yet to harness her psychic abilities. It's rather suspicious how easily this inability to control ESP could be mistaken for a simple inability to act. There's also a score by John Williams that makes you long for the days of hyperactive children and toy pianos.

As directors go, De Palma gets picked on more than others, and I had always wondered what exactly caused this, aside from the inevitable homage de Hitchcock. This film answers that question. His camera twirls around people at the most inopportune and banal times. Of note is a scene where Amy Irving and Carrie Snodgrass share bowls of ice cream, which is so painful that I will never eat another dairy product as long as I live.

Incidentally, this is the big screen debut of Daryl Hannah, who lives in a teepee.

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