Stephen King has a long and varied history of his novels being brought to the big screen. And the small screen. There have been massive successes (The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, The Mist, Misery, The Green Mile, Carrie) and there have been those film much less well received (Maximum Overdrive, Dreamcatcher, Sleepwalkers). But even some of the cheesier ones have had great entertainment value, and everything that falls in between, while maybe not legendarily great, have been pretty damn stellar (The Stand, Christine, Cujo, Children of the Corn, Salem’s Lot). Another one of those middle ground movies is getting the special edition treatment from Scream Factory this month, Firestarter.
Andrew and Vicky McGee (David Keith and Heather Locklear) earned much needed money during college as guinea pigs for very mysterious scientific experiments. They both developed unique psychic abilities and went on to get married and have a daughter, Charlie (Drew Barrymore) who also ended up with an extraordinary ability – to start fires just by thinking about them. When the government comes after them to harness their powers they go on the run with a secret department known as ‘The Shop’ right on their heels. Now the McGee’s must find a way to escape their clutches and someone salvage a normal life out of the chaos.
Firestarter is a great little fast paced thriller with some pretty great performances by a stellar cast. Keith and Barrymore have great father/daughter chemistry with Barrymore in particular showing off why she was in such high demand in her childhood. The film also features one of the best villains of the decade in George C. Scott’s John Rainbird. He is all projected menace and evil and chews every single moment of time he has on screen. In addition there is also Martin Sheen, Louise Fletcher and Art Carney in supporting roles, which is never a bad thing. There are some laughs, some incredible practical fire effects; a fast paced interesting storyline and solid performances all around making Firestarter a bonafide 80s classic.
And in addition to killer new cover art, Scream Factory has loaded up this new edition with a brand new 2K transfer, a new commentary with director Mark L. Lester, a new documentary on the making of the film, a new doc on Tangerine Dream’s score and even a new live performance of Charlie’s Theme from the movie by Johannes Schmoelling Of Tangerine Dream. Firestarter is a great film to revisit and holds up very well, highly recommended.