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The Power (1984)

R  |   |  Horror  |  20 January 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 172 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 12 critic

A man comes into possession of an ancient Aztec doll. However, the doll is possessed by an evil spirit, which takes over his body.


(screenplay), (story), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Power (1984)

The Power (1984) on IMDb 4.7/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Lincoln ...
Lisa Erickson ...
Chad Christian ...
Ben Gilbert ...
Chris Morrill ...
Ron Prince
Rod Mays ...
Lee McKennah
J. Dinan Myrtetus ...
Francis Lott
Jay Fisher ...
Costy Basile ...
Juan del Valle ...
Jeep Driver
Alice Champlin ...
Gabe Cohen ...
Milton Robinson ...
Steve Nagle ...


A man comes into possession of an ancient Aztec doll. However, the doll is possessed by an evil spirit, which takes over his body.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It is destiny and destruction. It is ancient fear and a perilous promise. It is THE POWER. When will mankind learn ... it can not be destroyed? See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Intruder  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Aztec Horror: An obscure sub-genre
6 September 2010 | by (the Doomed Megalopolis of Blasphemous Technoids) – See all my reviews

I saw this film once somewhere around the year 2002, during a period in which I wasn't really in touch with the horror genre anymore -- Now hey, don't give me that look, a man's entitled to have other interests in life and explore a wider range of cinematic wonders, right? I'll admit I was much more into art-films/author-films and 'critically acclaimed masterpieces' at the time, so when I stumbled upon a copy of "The Power", I was amazed at how utterly bad this film was. Annoyed by all the ineptness is perhaps a better description of my initial reaction. But during the last five years, I've had myself regularly wallowing in horror obscurity again and have seen my fair share of irredeemable low budget rubbish. So I guess it was kind of inevitable that I would give "The Power" another watch at some point, to try and re-evaluate things. A friend of mine (also an avid obscure movie hunter in his free time) had not seen it yet. Reason enough for both of us to sit ourselves down and watch it over the weekend.

For an early/mid 80's horror film, "The Power" has a mildly intriguing and not too unoriginal setup: Destacatl is believed to be an ancient Aztec demon able to control the dark sides of the human soul. According to pagan believes, his powers are locked in an Aztec idol, a little statue that looks like "a Mexican salt shaker" (a student at a lecture 'wittily' remarks). The best parts of this film, are actually the beginning and the ending. The first 15 minutes contain the awesome death scene of a professor who has been meddling with the evil powers of Destacatl, some native mumbo-jumbo in the desert and another cool killing of a graveyard caretaker. The whole middle hour has the statue coming into the hands of some students and nothing significant happens during that hour, aside from a lot of talking, attempts at investigating the history of the statue, things flying around in a student's dorm room and one guy concluding he'll be able to handle the powers contained within the idol. Of course he will be proved wrong, because this is a horror film. But all these goings-on are snooze material, really. Then, during the last 15 minutes of the film, the guy who thinks he can handle it inherits the Evil Power -- I never really figured out if it's the power that transforms you or if it's actually the demon Destacatl that possesses you -- and we're treated to a short but amusing stalk & slash routine in some house, featuring our two leading ladies vs. evil powered-up deformed guy. Plus, an amusing & typical horror-twist at the end.

So you get the idea here, I'm sure. Cut out the middle section, and you end up with an amusing 30-minutes low budget short horror deformity. The low rent special make-up effects are bound to amuse any die-hard fan of the genre. But in the end, I don't even have to re-visit my initial conclusion from 8 years ago. It's still a bit of a task to sit through this B-movie, with the painfully uneventful mid-section, the inferior acting, the clumsy & rather pointless plot, etc. So I guess I still retain my sanity after 5 years of shooting up 'quality' B-horror drivel on a regular basis, since I'm not going to yell "Awesome movie!" and rate it like your average Stanley Kubrik film. The suffering may have gotten a bit painful at moments, but there were actually some benefits to this experience. For one thing, I learned about this interesting duo of genre filmmakers from the 80's, called Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow. From the looks of it, these guys are really spirited genre lovers that started their careers by making films together. And their efforts got consistently better. Just watch their third film as a directing-duo, "The Kindred" (1987), and then compare it to this, "The Power", and you'll see what I mean.

In the years following "The Kindred", Obrow & Carpenter both expanded their horizons individually, though still occasionally working together on genre outings. They collaborated on the pretty decent Dean R. Koontz adaptation "Servants of Twilight" (1991), with Carpenter scripting & Obrow directing. Jeffrey Obrow wrote and directed "They Are Among Us" (2004), which is a pretty cool little 'alien invasion' film. Reminiscent of the classics from the 50's & done in the spirit of the 80's (with regards to most of the special effects). "They Are Among Us" is actually a better film than most people seem willing to admit. Or maybe the wrong people have been renting it so far (or since it was made for TV, maybe it has been caught by too many people who normally don't watch this kind of stuff). Either way, worth a watch if you're into this particular sci-fi/horror blend. As a director, Stephen Carpenter re-visited the horror genre in 2001 with "Soul Survivors". Again a film not too many people seem to like, but regardless it had an interesting concept (recycled from the right movies, I might add) and was a modest hit on rental VHS/DVD at the time and it features an interesting cast of young talents too, such as Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck & Eliza Dushku. I wonder what Obrow & Carpenter might be up to these days... If they'd ever re-visit the horror genre in a collaborative effort again, I for one would sure be very interested to see what they would come up with.

And then there's the whole notion of Aztec myths and their use in horror movies. It's basically another obscure sub-genre, but when you look into it, you'll be surprised how many films you can find revolving around such topics. Mostly sinister hard-to-find titles, so this opens up another path leading to yet another nether-region of horror history. A path I'll be most willing to try out some day.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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