Psychological Thriller - Starring Richard Burton, Lee Remick, Lino Ventura. Written by Peter Van Greenaway (novel), John Briley (screenplay). Directed by Jack Gold (1978)
In 1978 when Grease was making us “wella wella ommph” and a young Michael Myers was wondering which mask to wear, a film directed by Jack Gold, The Medusa Touch was released staring the late but awesome Richard Burton, Lino Ventura and Lee Remick who went on to star in the Omen.
(What’s it about or the bit on the Back of the DVD case)
Richard Burton stars as successful novelist John Morlar who believes he has a “gift for disaster” the power to cause death and destruction through the unconscious telekinesis. When Molar is viciously assaulted and left for dead, the night of the moon mission disaster and jet crash, police investigating the attack quickly turn to Molar’s mysterious therapist Zonfeld (Lee Remick) in the belief that there is a link between the assault Molars disturbing Complex.
This film is quite tame for this age of blood lust, gore and dumb teenagers flirting with serial killers on the phone and some would even state this film more of a chiller than a horror but that said I believe that the character of John Molar is far scarier than most of the TV serial killers of today, what this film lacks in special effects and big breasts (although we do get a 9-11 moment some 23 years before the World Trade Centre in 2001) it makes up in suspense and the fear of the unknown as you see Molar’s “gift” or “evileye” in action throughout various moments of his life one them being his neighbours arguing about a fish.
Lino Ventura plays a convincing role as Brunel he captures the sceptic becoming believer effortlessly and I found as he investigates the assault and Molar’s character you find yourself in his disbelief/belief.
Lee Remick’s character Dr Zonfeld however I found was quite predictable and although well played I found no sympathy with her and her end, to me her character was just a “sandwich filler” and more could have been done to flesh her character out.
I won’t spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it but it’s an excellent twist for a film of that era this film also boasts some of the best British actors to grace our screens eg Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Brett, Michael Hordern and Gordon Jackson.
Rating 4 out of 5
By David 'Tin Man' Clark
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE