Brian DePalma's The Fury was one of my favorite horror flicks as a kid. It was up there with Carrie. At the time of its release, it was treated as a real good B movie horror/action film but definitely not in the same league as its more campy predecessor. For one thing it lacked Piper Laurie's outrageous, scene stealing maniac mama.
From what I can recall, I watched this film because I was a fan of Andrew Stevens. He was the reason why I knew about the film and he was given star billing because of his teenie bopper fanbase. However he was certainly not the star (this was really Kirk Douglas' film) nor was he considered the up and comer (Amy Irving was in the larger role). However the scenes he did have were very creepy and he did rather well with the melodrama.
Now for the meat, I thought the film was rather amusing as a child. Mainly because most of the subliminal, subconscious themes went right over my head. But now, watching it recently as an adult the film has a distinct creepy, sleazy, degenerate layer to it that is a part of De Palma's more mature and established work.
From the get go, De Palma highlights how inappropriate the adult characters behave toward Stevens and Irving's innocent Hansel and Gretel characters. The opening prologue shows Stevens' character Robin as a young, carefree boy at the beach who is coddled by his father, played by Kirk Douglas. But all of this is observed by a leering Cassavetes (still coasting on his creepy charm that worked well in Rosemary's Baby). Irving's character, Gillian, is also introduced the same way at a local beach but also objectified by middle aged men and stalked by a broken down psychic who looks like a classic man in a raincoat type. The film continually creates mirror images of Robin and Gillian throughout the film. Robin is a child who lost his mother, Gillian is a girl without a father. The visions Gillian has of Robin start out in third person but progressively become more intimate until she is experiencing him in first person...real time.
The film is mostly from the view point of Kirk's Peter and Irving's Gillian. Robin is rather a cypher, or is he? Is Robin THAT different from Gillian? The sexual element comes in again between these two, in that Gillian moves heaven and earth to find Robin. She MUST have him, she must be near him. It is Robin who rebels against the girl who is coming for him. As she draws closer, Robin becomes more lustful, more erratic, more violent and more frightened. Until he makes an ultimate decision that almost allows him to escape her. The over the top visuals of the ending of the film are shocking in that they are an indication of a climax between the two young characters, a coming together, a mating. This ends with the two becoming the alchemical hermaphrodite, the conjoined King & Queen. Keep this in mind and it makes the shocking finale make more sense.
There are other elements in the film that I cannot write about fully since I'm not into conspiracy theories. But if you are into themes about black ops spy rings, false flag shenanigans, MK Ultra and genetic super soldiers...it is all here in this film.
So I would advise everyone to look into it again with new eyes. De Palma is at his best here, just before he fell into his Grand Guignol craziness.
Labels: commentary, culture, horror, movies, psychology, reviews