Brian De Palma’s follow-up to Carrie (1976) keeps the telekinetic kid but swaps tampons and girl power for a psy-spy caper.
CIA agent Peter (Kirk Douglas) has a mind-bending son, Robin (Andrew Stevens) who is seized by shadowy spooks from the Multiphasic Operations Research Group led by Ben Childress (a deliciously nefarious John Cassavetes), who has been a loyal assistant to Peter but betrays him on behalf of an organisation so secret that even the CIA doesn’t know of its existence.
While Peter is searching for his missing son he makes contact with Gillian (Amy Irving) – a girl who makes people bleed when she is seized by anger, fear or vision. A lot of nice people end up violently dead from trying to help with her problems.
De Palma stages superb set pieces, including a slo-mo foot chase and a man telekinetically exploding like a watermelon. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to care about the illogical plot and can’t match the low-rent grittiness of Cronenberg’s later Scanners (1981).
Dr Jim McKeever
Dr Ellen Lindstrom
Carol Eve Rossen
J. Patrick McNamara
Brian De Palma