Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA,. , . Screenplay by , based on his novel. Cinematography by . Produced by . Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by .
Kirk Douglas works for a secret government organization that tries to kill him in order to have unfettered access to the psychic powers that his son possesses. He follows shady top operative John Cassavetes back from Israel to Chicago, where he makes contact with his girlfriend (Carrie Snodgress) who works at the psychic research institute where his son is possibly being held. Also just admitted into the place is a young woman (Amy Irving) whose telepathic abilities come with the unfortunate habit of causing the people she touches grievous bodily harm. Director Brian De Palma’s, as usual, Hitchcock-inspired plotting drops Douglas’s revenge after the beginning in order to focus on Irving’s story before bringing Douglas back in, but the various elements of the plot, meant to enhance the mystery and increase the fun, end up being cumbersome and result in something overwrought and not very exciting, followed by an ending that fails to reward all the effort. Irving has a good time playing the scream queen and Snodgress contributes some lovely moments, the both them almost making up for the fact that Douglas is unaware that he’s taking a genre picture too seriously, and that Cassavetes refuses to have any fun playing the dastardly villain.