is a thriller film from the year 1978. It is based on a novel written by John Farris and was directed by Brian De Palma
The film follows Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas), whose friend Ben Childress — who works for a shady, unnamed government intelligence — arranges a fake terrorist attack to kill him and during the chaos kidnaps his son, Robin, intending to put his tremendous psychic powers to good use in the Cold War. Peter starts a desperate search for his son and tracks him to Chicago, where he enlists the aid of Gillian, a budding telepath who is being studied at the Paragon Institute — by people connected to Ben. Determined to silence Peter, Ben and his cronies are constantly hindering the process. Meanwhile, the experiments they've forced Robin to undergo have made him dangerously violent...
This film has the examples of:
- Big Bad Friend: Childress.
- Bittersweet Ending: On the one hand, Gillian's the only good guy left standing. On the other, she spectacularly gets back at Childress, who was behind all the misery in the first place.
- Chunky Salsa Rule Gillian kills Childress by making his body explode. We get to see the explosion repeated several times from several angles.
- Cold War
- Destination Defenestration: Happens to innocent bystanders, main characters and, of course, mooks.
- Disney Villain Death: For Robin Sandza. The body is seen on the ground, and he lives just long enough to pass on his powers.
- Driven to Suicide: Poor Peter, when he fails to save Robin.
- False Flag Operation: Childress fakes a terrorist attack to kill Peter and to capture his son.
- The Film of the Book
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Crazed Robin attacks his father with a bottle when he is finally found by him.
- Kiss of Death: Gillian gives one to Childress before blowing him up in the end.
- Male Gaze: Gillian is introduced to us at a beach, her backside first.
- Man In Black: Childress.
- Obviously Evil: Childress.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Gillian's unfamiliarity with her powers causes bleeding on people who touch her, especially if they're already injured in some way.
- Psychic Powers
- Red Right Hand: Childress' permanently damaged arm.
- Self-Made Orphan: Almost — Robin attempts to kill his father during his rampage.
- Sinister Shades: Childress.
- Slow Motion: Used when Gillian breaks out from the Paragon Institute. The sequence goes on for several minutes.
- Super Empowering: In the aftermath of the climax, the dying Robin passes his powers to Gillian.
- Take My Hand: In the climax, Peter tries to save Robin from a fall this way.
- Tears of Blood: Childress starts weeping these before he explodes.
- Window Pain: Gillian has a flashback where she sees Robin accidentally falling through a window.
- The Windy City: The primary setting.
- Your Head Asplode: Subverted when Gillian gives Childress what he's due — everything but the head explodes.