Film (1978). Frank Yablans Presentations/Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Brian De Palma. Written by John Farris, based on his The Fury (1976). Cast includes John Cassavetes, Kirk Douglas, Charles Durning, Amy Irving, Fiona Lewis and Andrew Stevens. 118 minutes. Colour.
After his success with Carrie (1976), it seems cynical of director De Palma to have made another film about destructive teenage Psi Powers so quickly. This one has an intricate plot with standard ingredients: the secret government agency experimenting with Weapons (in this case, human weapons), the paranoid (see Paranoia) sense that everything is manipulated by this agency, the Frankenstein theme of the Monster that turns on its creator, and (a Frankenstein subtheme) Freudian hostility between children and parents. The two teenagers who can telekinetically cause blood to spurt from every available orifice of those they attack (or can even explode them) are both corrupted by their power, one deeply, one mildly. The film is a vivid string of fireworks, with De Palma as usual manipulating audience response with bravura, but not creating anything that is more than the sum of its exploitative parts. [PN]
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