Director Brian De Palma’s follow up to Carrie starts well enough. Kirk Douglas plays a former spy battling a shadowy government agency who’ve kidnapped his teen-aged psychic son, Robin. But after a terrific sequence where Douglas flees a flop house from government agents, Douglas drives his getaway car into a river. No explanation. The inanity had me laughing.
With Douglas off-screen, the story shifts to Amy Irving, another psychic teen. She can “see” Robin, and soon she’s leading Douglas on a rescue mission. Meanwhile, Robin has spent the last several months becoming the titular Fury, a petulant, misogynistic, Arab-hating brat. The finale devolves into a Carrie knock-off and the final shot of Irving had me cackling.
David Cronenberg’s Scanners apes the premise and entire images with memorable success. So what went wrong here?
John Farris’s script—based on his own novel—overflows with expository dialog but lacks action. Character’s motivations—perhaps explained with inner monologues in the novel—remain opaque on screen.
And where was De Palma? Was this another case of studio interference? Did he take a post-Carrie paycheck and check out? Perhaps the extras on the Arrow disc will shed some light.