Goth Chick News: Where We Drag Another Horror from the Vault

Goth Chick News: Where We Drag Another Horror from the Vault

The Fury (20th Century Fox, Release date March 10, 1978)

As I mentioned a couple weeks back, I am in the middle of some tedious travel and am amusing myself by streaming from a list of horror films I hadn’t thought about in ages. Some of these titles came from an archeological expedition to the back reaches of my crawl space. There, I have multiple storage bins containing VHS tapes, which I am certain will someday fund my retirement when a future generation becomes nostalgic for the good old days of movie viewing.

I must admit, it was fun to dig through these titles. Each tape is like a 7”x4” bookmark for a point in time in my personal history, reminding me of an evening sitting in front of a friend’s “projection TV” following a trip to Blockbuster, or a date night where I could pretend to be scared.

When VHS began its decline, I collected many meaningful titles from “$3 or less” bins at various stores, finally snagging the motherload when the local “Family Video” store had a going-out-of-business sale. In that case, I pretty much scored one of everything from their horror section allowing me to catch up on a lot of titles I was too young to see in the theater due to the R-ratings.

Which brings me to how I spent last evening; streaming The Fury.

Old Chicago

Any long-time Chicagoan knows about this movie in the same way we can all quote you lines from The Blues Brothers or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. After all, The Fury was partially filmed at an iconic Chicago location called Old Chicago.

If you’ve never heard of it, I wouldn’t be surprised. Old Chicago was a short-lived indoor amusement park intended to draw visitors all year round, rain or shine; and if you’ve ever visited Chicago in the winter, you’d know why this was a fine idea. It opened in 1975 and boasted three roller coasters and a Ferris wheel, among other smaller rides and a turn-of-the-century-style shopping mall. However, Old Chicago never really caught on and closed a mere five years later. But not before being immortalized in The Fury.

As a kid, I loved Old Chicago. Having had more than one birthday party or other special event spoiled by the weather here, you knew a trip to Old Chicago was pretty much a sure thing. When The Fury hit theaters in 1978, I remember hearing about it on the local news and begging my parents to let me see it, but alas, no joy. There would be no R-rated movies for me. So it was many years later when I finally saw The Fury on VHS, and many more until I pulled it out of my crawl space to add to my streaming list.

And I admit, it’s held up pretty well.

Directed by Brian De Palma and starring Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Amy Irving, Carrie Snodgress, Charles Durning, and Andrew Stevens, the screenplay by John Farris was based on his 1976 novel of the same name.

When a devious plot separates CIA agent Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) from his Ison, Robin (Andrew Stevens), the distraught father manages to see through the ruse. Taken because of his psychic abilities, Robin is being held by Ben Childress (John Cassavetes), who is studying people with supernatural powers in hopes of developing their talents as weapons. Soon Peter pairs up with Gillian (Amy Irving), a teen who has telekinesis, to find and rescue Robin.

Without giving any spoilers, I will tell you that the terrifying climatic scenes were filmed at Old Chicago. For all I know, this might have contributed to its demise as you might have thought twice about the whole “indoor amusement park rides” after seeing The Fury.

The film was a box office success, meeting the Hollywood definition by giving a 3x return of $24M on a $7.5M budget. There’s even a Blues Brothers tie-in, with John Belushi’s brother Jim having his first (uncredited) part as an extra in The Fury.

Check out the trailer:

You can see The Fury for yourself on Amazon, Hulu and Max among other streaming services.

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Thomas Parker

Quentin Tarantino is dismissive of Cronenberg’s Scanners because (he says) exploding heads were done first in The Fury.

If it’s worth doing once, isn’t it worth doing twice?

Thomas Parker

Didn’t the Bee Gees make your head want to explode?

Thomas Parker

After making that quip I must confess to a shamefaced love for the Bee Gees; I have their greatest hits CD in my car at this moment. My favorite song is “Fanny, Be Tender with My Love”, or as a DJ called it one night in 1974 when I was listening to the radio, “Love, Be Tender with My Fanny.” I’ve forgotten almost everything I ever learned at school, but that juvenile joke has stayed with me for fifty years.

Steve A Oerkfitz

Not a bad movie. The only major fault would be Andrew Stevens who is a prett lousy actor.

Joe H.

This is another one that I remember being aware of (at least, seeing the poster for), but also would’ve been way too young to see in the theater.

The description of the story gives me distinct Stephen King vibes; and it was directed by the guy who did Carrie.


(Although the King book it most closely resembles is probably Firestarter, which didn’t come out until a few years after the film. Coincidence?)

Last edited 1 month ago by Joe H.
Joe H.

I do see a Stephen King pull quote on The Fury, but it’s a later printing (1980s?) and it’s just a generic “what a great novelist” line, so no idea if/when King actually read the book itself (or saw the movie).

The good old days when a novel and its film adaptation could come out in the same year, more or less.

Dale Nelson

“Family” Video!

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