Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 31st, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1978
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: John Farris
Cast: Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress, Charles Durning, Amy Irving, Fiona Lewis, Andrew Stevens, Carol Eve Rossen, Rutanya Alda, Joyce Easton, William Finley
BluRay released: October 28th, 2013
Approximate running times: 118 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English, DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video
Region Coding: Region B / Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: £19.99
After the huge success of Carrie, Brian De Palma would be given the chance to direct his first studio picture. To this point in his career all the film’s that he had directed where sold to the major studios after their completion. Not surprising that for The Fury his first project with a major studio that the subject matter would bear a striking resemblance to his previous feature film Carrie. Since Hollywood has an obsession with repeating themselves when something is successful.
What starts off as action themed film as a Kirk Douglas’s character narrowly escapes death from those who are holding his son captive! Quickly turns into a thriller with supernatural leanings. With the emphasis on the supernatural continuing to build to a fever pitch that culminates in a truly unforgettable ending, the can be summed up as ‘explosive’.
From a narrative stand point there are no areas that are lacking. All the characters and their motivations are clearly defined. The film is wonderfully paced so that each shocking revelation has just right amount of time to sink in. The film’s action oriented moments are rock solid and the special effects moments are well done, especially considering when this film was made.
Being that this is a Brian De Palma film is should not be surprising that the film’s visuals are first rate. Time and again he takes what would be ordinary moments and turns them into something extraordinary. One such moment in this film is a scene with Amy Irvin’s character who is surveying the room as she stand in the middle of the shot the camera is giving a literal 360 overview of her surroundings.
Key collaborators on The Fury include cinematographer Richard H. Kline (Body Heat, Howard the Duck) in his one and only collaboration with Brian De Palma, composer John Williams (Jaws, Star Wars) and Editor Paul Hirsch, The Fury marked his sixth of ten films that he collaborated with Brian De Palma. And though John Williams has more than one film score that is better known then film score the he composed for The Fury. The end result easily ranks amongst his finest work as a composer.
From a casting perspective The Fury features a remarkable cast that is anchored by rock solid performances from veteran actors like Kirk Douglas (Spartacus) and John Cassavetes (Rosemary’s Baby). There is also a wide array of recognizable faces in secondary roles like William Finley (Phantom of the Paradise), Charles Durning (The Sting, Dog Day Afternoon) and Daryl Hannah (Blade Runner) in her first screen appearance. If any area in this film that does not quit gel that would this film’s two leads, Amy Irvin (Carrie) and Andrew Stevens (The Seduction), they portray two young adults whose psychokinetic powers are being exploited. Of these two performances Amy Irving is good with moments where she verges on great, while Andrew Stevens gives wooden performance that makes his performance all the harder to take seriously.
Ultimately despite its shortcomings The Fury is a vastly underrated film that should sit firmly next to Brian De Palma’s more highly regarded films.
The Fury comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. For this release Arrow Video has commissioned a brand new transfer and the end result look superb throughout. Needless to say when compared to other how video release, this is the best this film has ever looked.
This release comes with three audio options, a DTS-HD Stereo mix in English, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English and the third audio option is the films isolated score. You really can’t go wrong with either audio option included with this release, with the main difference between the two being that DTS-HD Stereo English offering a slightly more dynamic experience range wise. A third audio option has also been included with this release, john Williams exceptional score for the film. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (3 minutes 2 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a image gallery, vintage interviews with director Brian De Palma (6 minutes 3 seconds – 4:3 full frame), producer Frank Yablans (6 minutes 52 seconds – 4:3 full frame), actresses Carrie Snodgrass (5 minutes 5 seconds 4:4 full frame) and Amy Irvin (4 minutes 45 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and three new interviews the first one titled ‘Blood on Lens’ with cinematographer Richard H. Kline (27 minutes – anamorphic widescreen), the second interview titled ‘Spinning Tales’ with actress Fiona Lewis (13 minutes 38 seconds -anamorphic widescreen) and the third interview titled ‘The Fury: a Location Journal’ with filmmaker Sam Irvin (49 minutes 49 seconds – anamorphic widescreen).
Topics discussed in the vintage interviews include special effects, telepathy, the cast, the locations and both actresses discuss how they prepared for their roles. Topics discussed in the in the interview with cinematographer Richard H. Kline includes working with Brian De Palma, rehearsing scenes before shooting them, the cast, this film’s visuals and techniques that were used in this film, the film’s score and his overall thoughts on the final product.
Topics discussed in the interview with actress Fiona Lewis include some of the dangers that she encountered while working on this film, the film’s special effects and the cast and Brian De Palma. Topics discussed in the interview with intern Sam Irvin include how he first meet Brian De Palma, how he got involved in the film The Fury, getting to meet and interview the cast while he worked on the film as a intern, the films score and his thoughts on the final product and his subsequent career as a director.
Other extras include a short film directed by Sam Irvin titled ‘Double Negative’ (17 minutes 58 seconds – 4:3 full frame). There is a minute long text based info that precedes this short film.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a collectable booklet with a new writing on the film by Chris Dumas, author of Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible, as well as a re-print of a contemporary interview with Brian De Palma, and a brand new interview with screenwriter John Farris on the writing of the film, his and De Palma’s unrealized adaptation of Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man and more, illustrated with original stills and posters. Overall The Fury gets a definitive release from Arrow Video, highly recommended.