Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Friday Night

This Friday night I couldn't fall asleep so I watched AMC's Fear Friday. I remember the AMC of old which showed wonderful classic films without commercial interruption much like TCM today. There was even the AMC host Bob Dorian who introduced the films. Do movie hosts have to have Bob as a name to be considered? Think of TCM's main movie host Robert Osborne and then the much missed Joe Bob Briggs who used to be on TNT. Then again on AMC the other host was none other than George Clooney's father Nick Clooney--no Bob there.

I discovered this blog post about the evolution (or perhaps devolution) of AMC. I could not agree more, although it is best not to look backwards. At least the new AMC is being bold with its original shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad...that is progress. I do like the concept of Fear Friday as well, but I found myself really distracted and annoyed with the numerous commercial breaks. Every commercial increased my appreciation for TCM and made me long for the old AMC more.

Last Friday they were showing Brian De Palma's The Fury. I had seen this movie several years before, but I couldn't remember much of it other than some teenagers with incredible psychic abilities going insane. I did not remember Kirk Douglas as the secret agent (spy) father of a psychic son kidnapped and willing to do anything to get his son. The son is played by Andrew Stevens the son of Stella Stevens (I mistakenly thought Connie Stevens was his mother) who happened to be in a lot of tv movies and shows in the early 1980's and he often played someone with a disturbing intensity: a stalker or a young man who prefered wealthy older women, but had the vibe of Joseph Cotton's character in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. The young woman who is just discovering her psychic abilities is Amy Irving (has anyone seen Crossing Delancey with her in it? It is a family favorite).

I think this viewing of the movie I particularly enjoyed all of the disparate threads that make up this film. The Fury is a curious mix of cloak & dagger, action film with horror/psychic film added in for good measure. There is death from the usual car crashes and gunfire, but also from extreme loss of blood that is a hallmark of horror films. There are beaches in the Middle East under attack, covert government agencies without restraint and ruthless power, exclusive all girl high schools, luxurious scientific foundations discovering psychic abilities and a huge remote estate. If you look closely you will see a very young Daryl Hannah and Laura Innes. With a larger role is Dennis Franz as a New York cop of all things.

I won't write a summary of the film as I am terrible at them, but if you enjoy 1970's horror based upon powerful psychic ability and some over-the-top blood scenes not to mention levitation and blue glowing eyes you will have fun with this one.

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