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He has a gift for disaster was the tagline for this movie.It should have readHe has a gift for disaster-yes,this movie.The suckiest peace of crap of all time.

393px-Earths core film

The Medusa Touch is a British film released or escaped from a movie vault in 1978. It starred Richard Burton (John Morlar), Lee Remick (Zonfeld), Lino Ventura (Brunel), Harry Andrews (Assistant Commissioner), Michael Hordern (psychic), Derek Jacobi (Morlar's publisher), Gordon Jackson (surgeon) and Jeremy Brett (Parrish). The screenplay was by John Briley, based on the novel The Medusa Touch by Peter Van Greenaway, and the film was directed by Jack Gold.

Plot summaryEdit

A French detective, Brunel (Ventura), is on an exchange scheme in London. He is assigned to investigate the murder of novelist John Morlar (Burton). As they examine the crime scene, the policemen find that the victim is actually still alive in spite of his heavy injuries and have him rushed to hospital.John Morlar is watching the British television broadcast when an anchorman states that American astronauts are trapped in orbit around the moon. Suddenly someone in Morlar's room picks up a figurine and strikes him on the head repeatedly. His blood splatters the television screen. A French police inspector, Brunel, arrives at Morlar's apartment to begin an investigation. At first he thinks Morlar is dead, but soon he hears him breathe. At the hospital, Morlar is hooked up to life support systems, one machine in particular monitors the activity of his battered brain.

With the help of Morlar's journals and Dr Zonfeld (Remick), a psychiatrist whom the author had started visiting, Brunel reconstructs Morlar's past life, which (seen in flashback) is full of inexplicable catastrophes, including the tragic deaths of people he disliked or who offended him.Brunel discovers that Morlar has been in psychological analysis because of his history of being witness to many disasters, other people's disasters. Dr. Zonfeld, Morlar's analyst, explains that Morlar's delusions had begun when he was a child. He believed that he had caused a hated nanny's death. Morlar's childhood delusions were reinforced at a resort when he overheard his parents discussing him with disapproval. When his parents strolled on top of a cliff, Morlar watched as the family car suddenly pushed them off the cliff to their deaths. One evening, Brunel pores over the mysteries of Morlar's diary and through his scrapbook of disastrous events. Gradually, Brunel begins to develop an opinion of what Morlar was like and begins to wonder if he is chasing a murderer or a victim.

Chaos and destruction are all around as crews continue the clean up from an airliner crash city center last night. Tonight, we find ourselves in writer John Morlar's (Richard Burton) apartment, as he intently watches TV coverage of a NASA space mission going awry. As his intense eyes stare at the impending doom for the astronauts, his chair is suddenly spun around and his head is repeatedly and brutally beaten by an attacker from behind camera. Just prior to the beating, Morlar's eyes look right into the attacker's and he calmly says "a response at last".

An investigation into the beating death has the detectives shocked to find that Morlar has survived barely, and they rush him to the hospital. He has his head totally bandaged (except for eyes and nose) and is plugged into multiple machines and monitors, hoses, tubes, etc. Obviously he is in the ICU, and here he stays for the rest of the movie.

We follow the detectives' investigation into the beating at Morlar's apartment; how he lives, gets along with neighbors, his traits; his artwork, furnishings, his writings, etc. His writings are cryptic, obscure, dark and ominous, dealing with many past catastrophies and disasters. The detectives find that Morlar had been seeing a psychologist.

They find the psychologist, Dr. Zonfeld (Lee Remmick) and try to discover what's up with Morlar. They find that he felt like he had some kind of power to create catastrophe. Zonfeld doesn't give much to the detectives other than to state he was delusional, so they go back to the apartment and hospital to dig up some more info.

Morlar's hand trembles and he's given a pencil...he writes a warning about the old cathedral wall, which had been cracking lately, causing much worry about a collapse. Detectives think there is more to learn from Zonfeld.

From this next visit to Zonfeld, the story is told through flashbacks from Zonfeld's and Morlar's points of view while she was interviewing, analyzing Morlar. She reveals that he felt he had caused the deaths of many people that had wronged him in the past. His nanny, his parents, his school professor, his estranged wife and her boyfriend. He felt that he learned that he could cause almost any type of catastrophe. She still claimed to the detectives that she felt it was all in his head, a delusion. She seems disinterested in his case and makes the police feel that there was no worry from her about the validity of his claims.

Morlar's almost flatline brain activity ocasiionally gets a blip or two when his hand wants to warn of the collapse of the wall, so the detectives really watch him close. A bit more pressure on Zonfeld, and she accompanies the police to the hospital. Seing Morlar causes her to confess that Morlar's claims had begun to seem possible, and he had actually gotten her to come to his apartment. She witnessed him stare at the airliner as it took off, and watched it fly straight into the city center as he stared it to it's death.

The detective believes now that Zonfeld has more to do with this, and goes back to her place the next day, to find her dead, from a self-induced injection. She left a taped confession that she had tried to kill him, to prevent the space disaster, but had failed. She has now convinced the detective that Morlar could cause these disasters.

As police watch morlar in the hospital, the cathedral wall begins to crumble just as the Queen is arriving for a visit. Police rush all around trying to prevent death and destruction, but only our detective knows what is the cause. He rushes back to the hospital to remove the life support from Morlar. As Morlar's little jiggles and wiggles on the brain monitor fade, the falling cathedral catastrophe wanes and we sigh relief that it has all ended.

The police look at Morlar's flatlined body, and are about to leave when the EEG monitor begins to make creepy squeaky sounds, and the flatline becomes very active. Then we look at Morlar's bandaged face, as his intense eyes open wide.

And that sucky ending this piece of garbage ends.

Morlar is, in fact, a psychic with powerful telekinetic abilities. Disgusted at the world (in his 1988 book Nightmare Movies, Kim Newman described Morlar's dialogue as "incredibly misanthropic"[1]), Morlar has caused two recent disasters: an airliner crash and the loss of a manned spacecraft.

From his hospital bed he manages to bring down a cathedral on the "unworthy heads" of a VIP congregation giving thanks for the building's preservation; and he seems able to keep himself alive by sheer willpower. An enraged Brunel himself tries in vain to finish Morlar off and fails. The man has written on a pad the name of his next target - the nuclear power station at Windscale.

Film and novelEdit

The film follows the plot of Van Greenaway's novel fairly closely, but changes several details.

  • In the novel, the detective is not a Frenchman but an English character named Inspector Cherry, who appears in several other Van Greenaway books.
  • In the novel Zonfeld is male and is a Holocaust survivor whose experience of Sachsenhausen concentration camp contributes to his eventual suicide.
  • At the end of the book, Morlar's hand does not scrawl Windscale but Holy Loch, the site of an American nuclear submarine base.



  1. ==Further reading==
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    • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |

External linksEdit

cs:Dotek Medůzy (film) de:Der Schrecken der Medusa fr:La Grande Menace (film, 1978) it:Il tocco della medusa la:The Medusa Touch no:Denne mannnen er farlig - The Medusa Touch ru:Прикосновение медузы (фильм)

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