Taglines: Will she have the power… to survive?
Andrew and Vicky McGee met while earning money as guinea pigs for an experiment at college. The experiment was shrouded in suspicion and mystery, and seemed to be related to psychic abilities. The two were married and had a daughter Charile, who has the ability to start fires by merely thinking about it. Naturally, the government takes a great interest in Charlie, and operatives from the secret department known as “The Shop” want to quarrantine and study her.
Firestarter is a 1984 American science fiction horror thriller film based on Stephen King’s 1980 novel Firestarter. The plot concerns a young girl who develops pyrokinesis and the secret government agency known as The Shop which seeks to control her. The film was directed by Mark L. Lester, and stars David Keith, Drew Barrymore, Martin Sheen and George C. Scott. The film was shot in and around Wilmington, Chimney Rock, and Lake Lure, North Carolina.
About the Story
Andy McGee (David Keith) met his future wife, Vicky Tomlinson (Heather Locklear), in college while they were earning money by participating in an experiment in which they were given a dose of a low-grade hallucinogen called LOT-6. The experiment grants them telepathic abilities; Vicky has the ability to read minds, and Andy can take over minds and make others do and believe what he wants, but the effort gives him nosebleeds (the novel revealing them to be “pinprick” hemorrhages). Andy and Vicky went on to get married, and they now have a nine-year-old daughter named Charlene “Charlie” McGee (Drew Barrymore), who has pyrokinetic abilities (can start fires with the mind). Charlie can also see the near future.
Andy comes home from work one day to find that Vicky has been murdered and Charlie abducted; the family had already suspected that the government agency that sponsored the experiment, the Department of Scientific Intelligence (aka “the Shop”), was checking on them. The government wants Charlie to harness her powerful ability as a weapon. Andy rescues Charlie from abduction by agents of the Shop by making the agents blind and for the next year, they are on the run.
To protect themselves, Andy writes letters to major newspapers, but mailing them reveals their location. They need to rest and end up taken in by a farmer and his wife. Andy tells the farmer the truth so when the Shop arrives, he is ready to stand with them. However, he soon sees that there is no need since Charlie makes quick work of the agents who have invaded the quiet refuge they have found. They again are on the run, but Andy is weak from the use of his gift. They go to their secluded cabin to rest and prepare to finally go public with their story.
Unfortunately, the head of the Shop, Captain Hollister (Martin Sheen), sends Agent John Rainbird (George C. Scott) to capture them and stop the release of information. After capture, father and daughter are kept separated. Andy is medicated and subjected to tests, which show his powers have decreased. Meanwhile, Rainbird takes on the role of “John the friendly orderly” to befriend Charlie and gain her trust to encourage her to submit to the tests.
Directed by: Mark L. Lester
Starring: Drew Barrymore, David Keith, Freddie Jones, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen, George C. Scott, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher
Screenplay by: Stanley Mann
Production Design by: Giorgio Postiglione
Cinematography by: Giuseppe Ruzzolini
Film Editing by: David Rawlins, Ronald Sanders
Set Decoration by: Lynn Wolverton-Parker
Music by: Tangerine Dream
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: May 11, 1984