List Film

Medusa Touch, The (3 stars)

The Medusa Touch


(PG) 105min (Network DVD retail)


This 1978 British-French made telekinesis chiller was released the same year as the Australian mind-over-matter thriller, Patrick and Brian De Palma’s psychic shocker The Fury. Jack Gold, who directed The Naked Civil Servant for television three years earlier, makes a decent if not particularly cinematic job of the intriguing script by John Briley (who subsequently wrote Gandhi and Cry Freedom for Dickie Attenborough, winning an Oscar for the former), here adapting a novel by Peter Van Greenaway (no, not that one).

Unfortunately, Richard Burton overacts like a man in his cups as a misanthropic writer with a malignant mind capable of committing mass murder by thinking about it, while Lee Remick is utterly vacant as the psychiatrist who refuses to believe in the supernatural. So it’s left to Harry Andrews, Derek Jacobi and a host of British actors (Police 5’s Shaw Taylor even pops up) to flesh out the supporting roles and bolster the weak leads. Extras include a commentary by the director.


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