Monthly Archives: March 1978


Brian DePalma followed up his 1976 smash horror hit “Carrie” with this odd, slightly uneven retread of familiar subject matter. John Farris’s screenplay, adapted from his own novel, tells a couple of parallel stories which eventually converge. As the film opens, Kirk Douglas stars as Peter, a government spook who was supposed to be assassinated in the Middle East in 1977. He has a son named Robin who is spirited away to a “special school” by Peter’s double-crossing handler (John Cassavetes). Turns out, Robin has a form of telekinesis – he can move things with his mind. Peter fakes his death and pops up in Chicago a year later, hiding from the men who betrayed him, searching for his son in the process. This leads to a female student named Gillian (Amy Irving) who shares Robin’s ability – except she can also read minds. These twin abilities cause a bleed-out from anyone she comes across. I enjoyed Cassavetes as the creepy G-man in league with the special school’s principal (Charles Durning), and especially liked Irving as the young girl – a fitting bit of karma following her role in “Carrie,” perhaps. An odd mixture of science fiction, horror and slight camp, DePalma sure nows how to put on a good special effects extravaganza – even if it pales in comparison to its predecessor.

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