Film (1977; US 1978). ITC Entertainment UK/Warner Brothers Pictures US. Produced by Anne V Coates and Jack Gold. Directed by Gold. Written by John Briley based on the novel The Medusa Touch (1973) by Peter Van Greenaway. Special effects supervisor: Brian Johnson. Cast includes Harry Andrews, Richard Burton, Gordon Jackson, Lee Remick and Lino Ventura. 105 minutes. Colour.
Novelist John Morlar (Burton) is almost murdered as the film begins, but is found barely alive by French Inspector Touch Brunel (Ventura), currently visiting Scotland Yard. As Morlar lies in a coma, cared for by Dr Johnson (Jackson), Brunel investigates a long series of deaths and Disasters with which Morlar seems bizarrely connected. Discussing the novelist with psychiatrist Dr Zonfeld (Remick), Brunel learns that Morlar has long believed that he has vast powers of Telekinesis, and has often used them for destructive purposes. Initially sceptical, Brunel discovers that Morlar's power is all too real, and has brought about (amid much else) a plane crash on London and the destruction of a manned Spaceship. Brunel himself finally attempts to finish Morlar – whose mind is still functioning even though he seems near death – but not before he brings down Westminster Abbey on a congregation that includes the Royal Family.
Essentially a Horror in SF film, The Medusa Touch works well despite some minor differences from Van Greenaway's novel. It originally had a limited US release, but has since seen a number of home video editions. [GFi]
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