As a result of her parents’ collegiate participation in a secret government agency-funded medical experiment involving a drug known as Lot Six, Charlie McGee (DREW BARRYMORE) is blessed with the power of pyrokinesis. With the flick of an off-camera fan to blow back her dirty-blonde tresses, our heroine can furrow her brow and incinerate anything in her path. Alas, Charlie is not alone in the freaky parlor tricks department, as her father Andy (DAVID KEITH) is endowed with a rather powerful power of suggestion, something he refers to as “The Push,” that enables him to convince people that they are blind, and drain payphones at the airport of change for quick cash. Naturally, the folks at the secret branch of the government behind the Lot Six experiment, aka “The Shop,” wants them captured for further study. The first half of the film is nothing more than a drawn out chase which culminates with young Charlie burning the shit out of a pack of Shop agents on the lawn of a farmhouse where she and her father have taken temporary refuge. Undaunted by the loss of countless men, the head of the Shop (MARTIN SHEEN) dispatches John Rainbird, a psychopath with a clip-on ponytail (GEORGE C. SCOTT), to capture the McGees, and the second half of the movie involves the drawn out testing of the father/daughter mutants. Eventually, the pair tries to escape, but only Charlie makes it out after she rains an assortment of fireballs down on the Shop and everyone who works there. Of the numerous Stephen King adaptations, FIRESTARTER is definitely amongst the lesser fare; however the odd, February-November dynamic between GEORGE C. SCOTT and DREW BARRYMORE definitely smolders.


  • The flashback where Charlie ignites her mother’s (HEATHER LOCKLEAR in too brief a cameo) cooking mitts
  • Charlie gives the soldier at the airport a hotfoot
  • John Rainbird gleefully describing his plan for disposing of Charlie following the experiments
  • The night Charlie burns down the Shop
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Amanda Mullins
Amanda Mullins
4 years ago

This movie is one of my own personal Kindertraumas. It used to scare the hell out of me when they showed the guy who clawed his own eyeballs out, and when Andy came home to find his wife dead on the ironing board. It also used to scare me when Andy was shot….I’m not sure why my parents let me watch this movie when I was five years old, seeing as how they wouldn’t let me watch any other horror movies…