Certain Fury (1985) Poster


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50% prime exploitation
Wizard-85 March 2017
As noted by other IMDb users here, "Certain Fury" is essentially an updating of the Sidney Poitier / Tony Curtis movie "The Defiant Ones", though changing the sex of the central characters as well as adding gratuitous exploitation material. Nothing really wrong with that idea, at least if you are as big a fan of exploitation movies as I am, but the end results are only partially successful.

The movie gets off to a great start, being swift and packing in much exploitation and other good stuff. Though after the first thirty or so minutes, the movie becomes greatly uneven. There is some good stuff to follow, but they are bright moments lost in a suddenly slowing storyline. The movie almost gets boring at times because of this. Also, the ending is kind of weak, written and directed in a way that seems to come out of a much more serious movie than this.

Is the movie worth seeing? Well, if you are a patient fan of B movie exploitation, and you can see the movie cheaply or for free, then you'll probably get a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of it. If not, you'll probably be in the title state long before the movie reaches the ending.
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Or, what happens when excesses of the 1970s bottom out in the 1980s...
moonspinner555 December 2006
Oscar-winners Tatum O'Neal and Irene Cara in an exploitation B-flick? Well, yes and no. "Certain Fury" was obviously made to appeal to the midnight-movie crowds, but there is strength in some of O'Neal's scenes with Cara (playing two girls on the lam after a courtroom shootout leaves blood and bodies everywhere). I liked it when Tatum suddenly turns maternal towards Irene and nurses her back to health (after rescuing her from a drug den). With Cara slung over one shoulder burbling about her mom, Tatum quietly says "I know, I know." This is a good scene; in fact, the picture has several good moments, but every bit with Cara's father (played by Moses Gunn on the verge of tears) is a bummer and Peter Fonda's cameo appearance is awful (you can't tell if he's slumming without effort or if he's just a lousy actor). There's an elaborately staged fight scene between O'Neal and her boy-toy which is unintentionally funny, and the dialogue is so perpetually profane it becomes a running joke.
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"The Defiant Ones" done 80's urban exploitation style
Woodyanders4 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Tough streetwise hooker Scarlet McGinnis (a winningly scrappy performance by Tatum O'Neal) and clean-cut first time offender Tracy Freeman (an appealingly earnest portrayal by singer Irene Cara) find themselves in court together. The radically contrasting distaff duo wind up on the run from cops and criminals alike after they survive a courtroom massacre.

Director Stephen Gyllenhaal keeps the entertainingly trashy story hurtling along at a snappy pace, maintains a harsh sleazy tone throughout, stages the lively and exciting action set pieces with flair, makes neat use of various grungy locations, and delivers oodles of excessive bloody violence along with a smidgen of gratuitous nudity (yep, Irene Cara takes a shower and almost gets raped). The eventful kitchen-sink script by Michael Jacobs throws a fun array of obstacles at our desperate protagonists that includes everything from rats to exploding sewer gas to drug dealers. O'Neal and Cara display a pleasing sparky chemistry in the leads; they receive solid support from Nicholas Campbell as wormy low-life slimeball Sniffer, George Murdock as the crusty Lt. Speier, Moses Gunn as Tracy's ineffectual surgeon dad, and Peter Fonda as nasty underworld bigwig Rodney. Kees Van Oostrum's slick cinematography provides a nice polished look. The bouncy synthesizer score by Russ Kinkel, George Massenburg, and Bill Payne hits the rousing spot. A real grindhouse blast.
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Better than you would expect!
Hoohawnaynay28 April 2006
Tatum O'Neal and Irene Cara end up in court together. When a shootout in the courtroom cause everyone to flee, Irene and Tatum inadvertently end up running from the bullets and the cops. Pretty fast paced action keeps this B-Movie humming along pretty good. Tatum and Irene believe it or not have good chemistry together. Tatum plays a hardened toughy pretty well and in my opinion makes this movie entertaining. A little far fetched (what Hollywood flick isn't?) but still enjoyable. See it uncut as a TV version will be heavily edited. Peter Fonda makes a cameo as a sleazebag. One thing I learned from this movie is that sewer gas is highly flammable? Who knew?
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Strong start, weak pay-off... and so-so inbetween.
lost-in-limbo29 December 2018
You can just imagine how they tried to sell this one. Two Oscar winners Tatum O'Neal and Irene Cara team up together in this very trashy, b-grade urban action-thriller exploitation; a modernized mould of "THE DEFIANT ONES".

After a full-on, adrenaline-fueled first half-hour of courthouse slaughter, bullets spray the screen, panic erupts and bloody exchanges occur. Escaping that frenzy the girls end up in the city's sewers fighting the underground elements, running from the authorities who want their blood and getting on each other's nerves, as sparks fly between two prisoners that couldn't be any more different in all walks of life. On the run they go, trying to survive, being wrongly fingered as accomplices to what went down. One costly mishap after another puts both in dangerous predicaments on the dirty side of town.

I thought this was going to be great; formulaic, yeah, but what an excessive opening with strong stunt-work. Instead by the time it hit the halfway mark, it had already peaked. There it becomes uneven, the tension from then onwards (other than the crackhouse fight) had little impact as scenes go on longer than they should and eventually it meandered to the (lousy) finish line. Sometimes it wanted to have its cake and eat it too, dipping into both half-baked exploitation and serious drama. The latter does get manipulatively cheesy by trying to strike up an emotional chord; like the (unnecessary) scenes with one of the girl's father (Cara). Even the low-brow dialogues make it hard to take seriously. Although I did like the combination between O'Neal and Cara, even though the character details are predictably wear-worn, yet their interactions engage, from the callous remarks/or actions to their growing bond. Both stars weren't afraid to get down and dirty, but while not particularly likeable O'Neal did standout in her hardened, street smart hooker turn. Someone who didn't is a paycheck collecting Peter Fonda who appears in one of the most ridiculously unconvincing staged moments in the film involving a nail-filer.
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Oh Tatum...
JZvezda16 February 2003
It's like this:

Tatum as po' white trash. The Tuff Girrl. She smokes! She swears! She needs a new agent and quality time at a tanning salon!

Enter Irene "Fame" Cara. The Good Girrl. She's from Westchester! She wears GAP clothes! She once again shows us her negative-boobage in an unintentionally hysterical near-rape scene!

This turkey trots along like a how-to tutorial in camp & cliche, and the kitchen sink has been thrown in for good measure. We have a foot chase in the sewer-tunnels, a towering inferno in a crackwhore flophouse, the classic Peter Fonda boat scene, and a finale that had me spraying cherry Capri Sun from my nostrils. Hint: It's supposed to be sad but it's really a knee-slapper.

Not quite campy enough to be cult, "Certain Fury" can surely be found in a Blockbuster close-out bin... sandwiched somewhere between "Tuff Turf" and an Olsen Twin flick.
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Only Tatum O'Neal is worth the effort.
gridoon25 February 2002
"Certain Fury" is grade-Z stuff in most departments (the low production values and the often very bad dialogue stand out), but Tatum O'Neal is engagingly tough and she makes the film worth watching all by herself. Irene Cara is awful, and the slashing scene is hilariously fake, but Tatum won me over, enough to give this film a ** rating.
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Awful Good
Poochie24 May 2000
Badly acted, written, and directed, Certain Fury provides a fair amount of unintentional laughs. Tatum is the 'bad' girl, Irene the 'good' girl gone bad. One of the funniest scenes had Tatum spitting in Peter Fonda's face. He responds by slashing her face (in unconvincing close-up) with his nail file. When she falls to the ground screaming, he blurts out to his hench-men, "Get this bleeding bitch off my boat!" If you like 'good bad films' then this one is for you. If you prefer quality...well then you've been warned.
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Moves fast, but goes nowhere
coex237 March 2018
Thankfully this moves along at a quick pace! Otherwise you might be forced to notice that the plot stinks, dialog is just terrible, and there's basically no point to making, let alone watching this film!

Things start out fine with a bombastic courtroom shootout, with a stack of bodies and gallons of blood. However, during the chaos, two other lesser criminals (O'Neal and Cara) somehow end up on the lam through the underside of the city.That's pretty much the plot. Throw in the twist (no spoiler): Cara is the suburbanite daughter of a doctor, and O'Neal is the tough street kid from the ghetto. (That's hardly noticeable these days, but probably raised one or two eyebrows back then!)

The film moves along from one absolutely stupid or unrealistic scene to the next. Side characters are thin and just ridiculous. Hard to tell who wins the acting award here... I noticed at least one other review here ripping on Cara and praising O'Neal; well, I beg to differ! Either O'Neal just can't deliver bad lines with a crappy director, or she's a terrible actor. Cara, meanwhile, seemed to be perfectly fine throughout (despite some terrible lines).

Go figure.

Watch it if you have a gut full of really bad beer and are bored out of your skull. Or not, and save what few brain cells you have left for something more engaging.
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Maybe we can work something out
sol121827 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
**SPOILERS** "Certain Fury" comes across like an updated version of the 1958 Tony Curtis/Sidney Poitier Classic "The Defiant Ones". The film has a bi-racial couple of petty criminals as white hooker and junkie Scarlet, Tatum O'Neal, and accused black car thief Tracy,Irene Cara, team up with each other in order to survive the cold and unfriendly streets of Vancouver Canada.

The two top stars, O'Neal & Cara, first meet at the city's criminal court where a shootout breaks out. The murder and mayhem from the courtroom spills out into the streets ending up with at least a score of police and civilians gunned down before all the shooting was over. Both Scarlet & Tracy who had nothing to do with the shooting take off into the city's sewer system where above ground there's a city-wide manhunt out to get them.

While hiding out in the sewers who's rat and sewage infested waters is cleaner then that of the pristine and sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea around Bimini and Barbados the two girls are confronted by scuba diving police officer Buck,Frank Serio. Officer Buck after cornering the two triumphantly lights up a cigarette in order to toast his fine police work. By striking a match Officer Buck then ignites the sewer gases/fumes which not only toast but blows himself up to kingdom come.

Now not only wanted for leaving the scene of a crime, the deadly courthouse shooting, Scarlet & Tracy are wanted for killing a cop, Officer Buck, and there's no chance at all for them to come clean and give themselves up to the police now. Even though innocent of Buck's death the police don't take kindly to cop killers, whom Scarlet & Tracy are now accused of being. The Vancouver Police, like everywhere else, have an unwritten policy of not taking cop killers in alive.

The film has the hard tough and illiterate Scarlet bond with the well educated and socially refined Tracy who learn that the only way to survive is to work with each other instead of being at each others throats. Hiding out at Scarlet's drug pushing boyfriend's Sniffer, Nicholas Campbell, pad turns out to be a disaster for Scarlet's now new found friend Tracy. While Scarlet is out looking to get help from Sniffer's boss Vancouver drug kingpin Rodney, Peter Fonda, the hot in the pants Sniffer, seeing her nude in the shower, attempted to rape Tracy. This has Sniffer get into a fierce fight where he ends up getting his brains beat out by an outraged Tracy who easily, being that the guy was stoned out on drugs, overpowered him.

Scarlet wasn't as lucky as Tracy was in her meeting with Rodney on his yacht. Rodney wanting to do with her not only slashed Scarlet's face with a switchblade but, the gall of her, berated Scarlet for spilling her blood all over his clean carpet after he cut her! It's later when the two girls hide out at Rodney's combination drug and whore house in the crime-ridden section of Vancouver that their confronted by Sniffer, now fully recovered from the beating he took from Tracy, and his gang of drug pushers.

In a do or die struggle with her now former boyfriend Scarlet puts the match to Sniffer, who earlier tried to shoot up a sleeping Tracy with an overdose of heroin, lighting him up like a Christmas Tree. Sniffers fiery ending also has the entire joint, drug-den & whorehouse, burn down together with the junkies pushers hookers and their johns who were doing business there.

It eventually took Tracy's hurt and distraught father Dr. Freeman ,Moses Gunn, who was still severely depressed over the recent and tragic death of his wife, and Tracy's mom, to convince the police that both his daughter Scarlet and her friend Tracy were innocent of the crimes attributed to them. It's with the help kindness and understanding of of police Lieutenant Sepier, George Murdock, who himself has two girls like Scarlet & Tracy back home that the shoot to kill order on the two fugitives was rescinded. But, and this is a big "But", the problem now is how will that message get to Scarlet and Tracy before they them self, just by running from the law, end up doing themselves in!
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Old throw back good movie
cynthiaellis8421 July 2020
I saw this movie when I was 10 and never forgot it. I've been looking for the name and finally found it. Excellent movie filled with action and suspense and drama.
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Enjoyable Trash
blurnieghey5 June 2022
While perhaps not top grade, this is upper-grade exploitation trash that never fails to amuse me and should work for any fan of low-grade, B-movie trash. While the plot is predictable, the action and pacing are fairly consistent (although better at the beginning) and you happily enjoy the massive plot holes and shear unrealism that allows the whole story to roll out in the first place. Pretty much pure Hollywood hogwash from top to bottom that will either make you laugh or annoy the hell out of you. This one makes me laugh and I rather enjoyed Irene's happy handfuls, as well as the opportunity to get a look at what has to be the most well-lit, spacious and cleanest sewer in the world. Pretty much runs out of gas at the end but, by that time, I was pretty well satisfied with the crapfest. If you like crappy 80's action flicks, the likes of which Corman would have slapped his name on, this movie will work for you. If you're expecting serious action and a story with maybe a shred of realism in it, maybe not.
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DIMPLES2003687 November 2004
I Love the movie certain fury. I have been searching for this movie for years and years.I love both actresses, Irene Cara and Tatum Oneal, These are both talented women I would have liked for them to make a part2 of this movie. They both did a great job. I would like to see these women make another movie together soon. Both actresses have there own unique style therefore you can not judge them.

Come on Stephen and Micheal what do you say, They say twice is always nice. Or have another another action and drama with them together with Kristy Mcnikol. I think with these three women will be a blast. with actors Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawk.

Thank you for taking the time out to read my comments.
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