HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Certain Fury Tough EnoughBuy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Stars: Tatum O'Neal, Irene Cara, Nicholas Campbell, George Murdock, Moses Gunn, Peter Fonda, Rodney Gage, Jonathon Pallone, David Longworth, Dawnlea Tait, Alana Shields, Sharon Schaffer, Gene Hartline, Peter Anderson, Catherine Mead
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Another day at the courthouse and the female prisoners are being taken in to have their cases heard before the judge. One of them is prostitute Scarlet McGinnis (Tatum O'Neal), who claims to her lawyer that she can practically get out of a prison sentence on her own, so sure is she the charges are trumped up. Another is Tracy Freeman (Irene Cara), a middle-class girl who has gone off the rails recently thanks to personal issues; her surgeon father (Moses Gunn) is on his way to try and rescue her for attacking a police officer. However, when the first woman goes up to have her say, she starts singing and will not stop; the judge orders her silenced, so one of the guards goes up to her only to suddenly have his throat slashed by her concealed knife - then all Hell breaks loose.

Certain Fury was one of those items from New World post-Roger Corman, when their orange globe logo was a familiar sight to video renters across the nineteen-eighties if the video store was out of blockbusters and they were reduced to a cheaper alternative. This was undoubtedly a good example of that, a loose remake of The Defiant Ones that had brought racial issues to the silver screen in the fifties, though whether Tatum was a decent substitute for Tony Curtis and Irene was for Sidney Poitier was debatable. What was, er, certain, turned out to be the studio's propensity for cashing in on the artistic achievements of their leading ladies here: both had won Oscars, O'Neal for her debut in Paper Moon and Cara for writing the hit theme to Flashdance.

It may have been more significant that for one thing, Tatum's Oscar was for a performance delivered when she was a child, and her star had somewhat fallen since, becoming better known as "Tantrum" and for her stormy relationship with tennis legend John McEnroe in the tabloids than her acting roles, and Cara's award was not for her acting. They missed a trick by not getting her to trill on the soundtrack for this, which did not even have a proper theme song, so naturally most audiences were going to set their expectations rather low. They would have been wise to do so, and indeed this turned into a minor joke among those who had seen it (it dropped out of sight for decades before its revival on home entertainment).

On the other hand, just because you were watching a pair of celebrities in somewhat reduced circumstances, albeit reduced in the context of the movie, did not mean there was no amusement to be gained from watching them run around and swear their heads off. The bad language became the prompt for many titters at the time, as if the actresses were trying too hard to be tough in a gritty thriller, but just about every character they met was turning the air blue to a ridiculous degree - fair enough, it was clever to swear, but when Tatum gets called the C word by her junkie boyfriend (Nicholas Campbell) you did wonder if this was an attempt to shock that was having the opposite effect. Still, her Scarlet character had it easy compared to the determination the drama had to drag Tracy into the gutter.

Poor Irene was nearly drowned in a sewer, covered in rats, had a shower scene that was interrupted by the scuzzy boyfriend trying to rape her which led to a naked punch up in the bathroom, was injected with heroin against her will... the list of indignities went on, and you had to admire her for putting up with it and emerging as a sympathetic persona. Not that Tatum had it all that easier, as she got into a (non-naked) brawl as well that lasted for ages, and when guest star Peter Fonda, as a gang boss on his personal yacht, showed up he contrived to slash her face with his nail file: a woman's trials and tribulations are so much worse than men's, the message appeared to be. Naturally, stuffing this with so much incident meant it never dragged, not even when the two runaways from the courtroom shoot out (a way over the top sequence designed to grab the viewer from the first five minutes) had their heads to head and worked out their class and racial differences in lesson making scenes. It probably plays better with the passing of time than it did back in '85, as the female buddy movie remains a rarity even now.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 295 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: