Written by: George Pacheco on February 11th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, January 20th, 1984
Director: Jeffrey Obrow, Stephen Carpenter
Writer: Stephen Carpenter
Cast: Susan Stokey, Warren Lincoln, Chad Christian
DVD Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Approximate Running Times: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Encoding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $16.95
The Power is your quintessential, “low budget horror film that could” from the early eighties; a humble picture which manages to succeed in entertaining, despite its obvious financial limitations.
The plot itself is rather simple, detailing the curse of an ancient Aztec doll Destacatl which infects and possesses all who hold and attempt to harness its malevolent power. The doll falls into the hands of a young man named Jerry-after destroying its previous owner, Professor Max Wilson-and quickly gets down to its dirty work, causing nightmares and mayhem amongst all those who are close to him, including his ex-girlfriend Julie, who is inching ever closer to the real roots behind the evil of the Aztec god Destacatl…
It’s these set pieces which serve as the highlight of the film, showcasing the fine makeup work of future CSI contributor Matthew Mungle as each sequences ups the ante in terms of fantastic, mood-setting visuals. This is a good thing, because The Power falters when it comes to pacing and coherence, which isn’t boosted by the cast’s workmanlike handling of the script from co-director Stephen Carpenter.
Carpenter’s direction with Jeffrey Obrow is on par with the pair’s previous film, Pranks, in that it gets the job done, yet never lifts The Power to true contender status. Yet, Mungle’s marvelous makeup and composer Christopher Young’s moody score makes this early video store obscurity a fun treat nonetheless, particularly for those who grew up on the cheesy horror movies which defined the 1980s.
Scorpion presents The Power in an anamorphic widescreen presentation which preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Mild grain and damage is present in the negative, but nothing which ever detracts from enjoyment of the experience, and the image never appears cramped. Sound is also good here, allowing Young’s score to do its job perfectly. Extras are limited only to the film’s original trailer and trailers for other Scorpion films, making The Power a solid buy for middle of the road horror fans, but only a curiosity for those who demand a higher level of genre quality.