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First Power, The - MGM - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
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"The First Power" DVD cover art on Severed Cinema
Buy The First Power on DVD from Amazon.com - www.Severed-Cinema.com Buy The First Power on DVD from Amazon.ca - www.Severed-Cinema.com

AKA: O Primeiro Poder, Pentagram, Ilk Kuvvet, La noche del diablo, Le premier pouvoir, Pentagram - pahan syleily, Pentagram - pentacolo, Pentagramm - Die Macht des Bösen, Pentagrammorden, Possessed, Possessed by Evil, Transit

Directed by:
Robert Resnikoff
Written by:
Robert Resnikoff
Produced by:
David Madden
Cinematography by:
Theo Van De Sade
Editing:
Michael Bloecher
Music by:
Stewart Copeland
Special Effects by:
R. Christopher Biggs, Aaron Newton, Sandra Stewart
Cast:
Lou Diamond Phillips, Jeff Kober, Tracy Griffith, Mytelti Williamson, Dennis Lipscomb
Year:
1990
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1 h 38 min

Distributor: MGM

This was one of those big box VHS tapes that used to elude me back when I was a teen wandering the many video shops in my area. You know the sort that you mean to go back for but when you do it’s been rented out, time and time again.  So, you give in, or rather you quit nagging your mother since you aren’t old enough to legally rent it.

I had seen Lou Diamond Phillips in "Young Guns" (I was a teen) and wondered how he would hold up as a main character in a horror film.  Answer?  Not bad really.

"The First Power" is a well crafted thriller that takes itself seriously and believe me, acts as a blueprint for the Denzil Washington horror, "Fallen."

We start with a nun standing to attention against a Bishop and two priests.  She’s trying to warn them about the coming of Satan, but to be fair, they aren’t very impressed by her evidence.  So.... hold on a moment, is that...?  It is!  David ("Reanimator," "Bride Of Reanimator," "Guyver") Gale in a small cameo role.

We’re introduced to Logan (Lou Diamond Phillips) who is a bell-end detective who writes random notes, balls up the paper and throws it at his cat.  As introductions go -- not good.  He’s tracing crime scenes on a map and they all join-the-dots as a pentagram.  He’s tipped off about a serial killer he’s hunting called the Pentagram Killer.  So there’s a stakeout with some cops (one cop looks alarmingly like a cross between Chuck Norris and Ron Pearlman).  Logan arrives with a cig, a trench coat and grim attitude.  A girl cop is caught by the killer and tied up on the ground in a sacrificial pentagram.

Logan gets to the crime scene and a chase is on, accompanied by a decent soundtrack, until Logan is stabbed four or five times in the struggle. He does however, manage to subdue the killer.

Time passes and at his trial, Patrick Channing, the Pentagram Killer wants the death penalty and gets it.  “See you around, buddy boy.” he says to Logan.  Logan meanwhile receives a call from the same person who tipped him off that on no account should Channing get the death penalty.  Channing is gassed regardless.

Anyone who’s seen "Shocker" or "House III" ("The Horror Show") knows that an executed killer will come back and Logan finds his apartment walls splashed with blood that suddenly vanishes.  The same day a woman is found dead in a copycat style to the Pentagram Killer.  Another woman in a car-park hears growls and actually sees Channing.  Bare in mind this has all happened in the first twenty five minutes so we know we’re in for a hell of a ride!  The woman who saw him is called Tess Seaton -- she’s a psychic with 1980’s hair.  She goes to Logan and it turns out she was his tip-off.

Logan goes to psychic Tess’s house with his token ‘funny’ cop partner (“Man, you can kiss my black ass... she might have a voodoo love doll”) -- so amusing.  Her answering machine has a message from Channing saying, “Looks like Pentagram Killer - 16, LA PD - 1” and a location for Logan to follow.  No surprise, Logan is the only one to hear it, for upon rewind, it’s blank.

They head to the location. “Hey.” says token funny partner, “I don’t like this, it’s spooky.”  Moments later he’s crushed graphically by a horse and carriage.   Honestly, it makes sense when you watch it.

Logan chases the suspect briefly, glimpsing Channing's face before the suspect jumps off a tall building and hits the ground (to simply get up and run off.)

It seems that Channing’s spirit is possessing people. Weak and vulnerable folks are the easiest.  Kill one and his spirit simply jumps into the next one (like I said, "Fallen" took a lot of ideas from this.)

Logan and Tess join forces with the nun who knows about the First Power and what a person can do with it.  They head to Channing’s home and speak to his grandmother and the gaps start to fill in.  Then visions come from a music box playing in his room (the music box was actually sampled by a UK rap group called the Demon Boyz back in the early nineties on the title track of their second album.)

The build up and conclusion plays well.  Even a last minute jump cliché can’t spoil the cliff-hanger which asks just one question as the credits roll.

Lou Diamond Phillips doesn’t really radiate and convince totally as a leading man, but he acts well enough to make his part worthy.  This film is a gem with outstanding scenes that keep your interest throughout.  The bag lady, the confessional/ church scene and the awesome ceiling fan as a weapon conflict, all leap out and grip your eyeballs.

"The First Power" is a film that needs a better release than its fate on MGM DVD which has put a simple vanilla trailer with it and scene selection.  I mean, come on.  MGM are perhaps one of the worst distributors around. They even altered the score and silenced the final words at the end of the blaxploitation classic, "Black Caesar" from the VHS version.  Sickening!

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

"The First Power" DVD screenshot on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
 Region: NTSC R1
 Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 -  "The First Power" trailer

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 March 2012 )
 
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