Monday, 3 May 2010

Movie Psychic Monday

Andrew ‘Andy’ McGee (David Keith)
Firestarter (1984)

Andrew McGee and the soon to be Mrs. McGee, Victoria (Heather Locklear, sporting the kind of eighties hair one usually only witnesses in dreams), saw fit to participate in a secret government experiment whilst in college where they consented to be shot up with unknown quantities of an unknown drug referred to as merely ‘Lot Six’. Now, frankly, this sounds like a bloody stupid thing to do, but those crazy sixties kids didn’t seem to think so and consequently the elder McGees scored themselves nice little powers, most notably Andy McGees acquired brand of mind control, a kind of telepathic hypnosis that he refers to as the ‘push’ an ability which seems to allow him implant strong suggestions into people’s mind thereby allowing him to bend them to his will. While you might think that this would be a super awesome power to have and your naughty minds might run away with the untold possibilities it could offer you, it turns out that it’s actually pretty rubbish as the side effects of utilising this gift include crippling headaches and brain hemorrhages, so, all in all not so great.

Following the ill-fated experiment Andy and Vicky have married and increased their number by one little blonde girl, Charlie (more on her later), but their family life is blighted by two significant factors, 1) Charlie has powers of her own and 2) the top secret government agency responsible for the original experiment known cryptically as ‘The Shop’ (amongst their number a certain Martin Sheen who’s hellbent on inciting apocalyptic warfare. AGAIN) continue to monitor them.

As Charlie grows up and her abilities escalate The Shop’s interest intensifies leading them to unnecessarily murder Vicky McGee in an attempt to seize Charlie. Despite being devastated by the loss of his wife, Andy is able to use his powers to prevent them from taking his daughter, but this then leads to the pair living as fugitives surviving only on their combined wits and Andy’s limited power.

Andy McGee is an essentially good man trying hard in an impossible situation. He clearly adores his daughter, but not only is he a suddenly single dad, he’s on the run and he’s having to acknowledge just how potentially dangerous his little girl could, in fact, be. While most fathers are teaching their daughters to read or to swim or to eat their greens, Andy is trying to teach his daughter how to control her powers something she clearly has difficulty with practically, but also emotionally in dealing with the ramifications of her uncontrolled bursts. Da McGee uses his power to protect his daughter but ultimately ends up relying on her superior abilities to defend them, something he knows will emotionally hurt her and possibly make her more of a danger in future. He’s a desperate man forced to extreme actions, he wants her to be able to protect herself, but equally fears the consequences that could create. Rock, hard place, meet Andrew McGee, you’re going to be the best of friends.

Really, on the psychic scale Andy is a bit rubbish, granted he totally makes a sucker out of Huggy Bear but he doesn’t rack up the kills, blow anything up and rather than fighting evil he mostly runs away from it, but I suppose this is because Andy’s powers are predominately destructive, or self-destructive, they physically hurt him with use so he, rather wisely, avoids using them, but he still scores some psychic points for over coming that pain and damage and using them to save his little one from the clutches of the evil Shop. If there was a big red rosette for ‘Psychic Dad Trying Hard in the Face of Adversity’ Andy McGee would win it, although really it was largely his own damn fault that he and his daughter were in this fine mess, but he still sort of deserves a prize, a little one though nothing flashy mind.

So all in all, what we’ve learned from this escapade is when you’re asked if you want a couple of quid (or bucks) in exchange for participating in super secret governmental drug trials the answer is NO.


  1. David Keith has one of the best crazy hairdos ever in this flick. Which is awesome.

  2. Oh, the era of the mullet. It just gave crazy that little bit extra. Got to love 80s hair.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...