5.7/10
2,597
34 user 21 critic

The First Power (1990)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
A killer is given the gas chamber after committing several demonic murders. His spirit is released and given power by the Devil. Now the cop that caught him before must find a way to do it ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Renegades (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Buster McHenry works as an undercover agent for the local police. Currently he investigates on police corruption and is in big trouble. His task makes him break the law, he participates in ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jami Gertz
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Jeff Powers is the newest member of a very elite and very secret LAPD division. Their mission is to target important criminals and to get them to stop. Police brutality is not a known term ... See full summary »

Director: Mark L. Lester
Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, Scott Glenn, Chelsea Field
Dark Angel (1990)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren) is a Houston vice cop who's forgotten the rule book. His self-appointed mission is to stop the drugs trade and the number one supplier Victor Manning. Whilst ... See full summary »

Director: Craig R. Baxley
Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Brian Benben, Betsy Brantley
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A priest is put in a dilemma when the serial killer who has been murdering priests and nuns confesses to him.

Director: Fred Walton
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Charles Durning, Belinda Bauer
Spellbinder (1988)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young lawyer, after falling in love with a beautiful young woman, finds that she has an extremely mysterious past.

Director: Janet Greek
Stars: Tim Daly, Kelly Preston, Rick Rossovich
Mister Frost (1990)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Frost is arrested and committed for murder after he is apprehended burying his victims in the garden. However, even while under psychiatric care and tight hospital security, it becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Setbon
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Kathy Baker, Alan Bates
The Kiss (1988)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

When Felice and Hillary were children, they were separated to live with other people. Felice went off with a relative who possessed an unusual bloodline which was passed on to Felice via a ... See full summary »

Director: Pen Densham
Stars: Joanna Pacula, Meredith Salenger, Mimi Kuzyk
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A group of people try to survive when machines start to come alive and become homicidal.

Director: Stephen King
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington
Nightbreed (1990)
Action | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A troubled young man is drawn to a mythical place called Midian where a variety of monsters are hiding from humanity.

Director: Clive Barker
Stars: Craig Sheffer, David Cronenberg, Anne Bobby
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two obnoxious and dim-witted misfits attempt to save a school for needy children by attempting to sneak into the wealthy high society of Palm Beach to get the money needed for their cause.

Director: John Byrum
Stars: Michael O'Keefe, Paul Rodriguez, Denholm Elliott
Split Second (1992)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In a futuristic London, the rising sea levels mean that large areas are under feet of water. Hauer plays a cop who previously lost his partner to some strange creature. Now the creature is ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Maylam
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Sybylla Melvyn is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier and aunt Helen announces that she will never marry and plans on having a career ... See full summary »

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Russell Logan
...
Tess Seaton
...
Patrick Channing
...
Detective Oliver Franklin (as Mykel T. Williamson)
...
Sister Marguerite
...
Commander Perkins
...
Lieutenant Grimes
Julianna McCarthy ...
Grandmother
Nada Despotovich ...
Bag Lady
...
Carmen
...
Mazza
...
Father Brian
...
Cardinal
David Gale ...
Monsignor
...
Priest
Edit

Storyline

A killer is given the gas chamber after committing several demonic murders. His spirit is released and given power by the Devil. Now the cop that caught him before must find a way to do it again. Written by Glenn J. Schworak <glenn@g-world.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Satan has created the perfect killer. One who cannot be stopped. Be warned.

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pentagram  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$22,424,195 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Brian Libby, portraying the Bum Detective states "Only a psycho *bleep* killer is smart enough to stay out of the rain." The actor himself portrayed a psychotic killer in the 1982 thriller Silent Rage. See more »

Goofs

Logan's shoes as he climbs through the church window. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Patrick Channing: See you around, buddy-boy.
See more »

Connections

References The Geraldo Rivera Show (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

All Alone Again
Words and Music by Laura Perlman (as Laura J. Perlman) and Jeff Levi
Laughing Cloud Music, B.M.I.
Performed by Laura Perlman (as Laura J. Perlman)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Severely under-rated B classic.
23 July 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Lou Diamond Phillips has no less than 95 IMDb acting credits since his 1984 debut as "Punk 1" in Interface – yeah I missed that one too. Many of them are starring roles too, though since his big break in La Bamba in 87 none are bigger than his supporting role in Young Guns. Running down his list of credits shows several familiar films where you sorta think you might've seen it but can't be sure… (From a personal perspective I think I have seen around 15 of LDP's films, NONE since the 90s finished. But I quite like a few of his 90s efforts: Renegades / The Big Hit / Young Guns / Disorganised Crime).

But especially The First Power. Watching this film provides all the evidence that you might need to write it off as a disposable B movie, only it is so much better than that. Sure there are cheesy moments and a couple of botched ideas, but in between there are some frankly inspired sequences and a couple of really effective parts.

According to me this is the most underrated film in recent history. So there's that. That should make LDP sleep a little more soundly in his cardboard box by the side of the road.

LDP is a cop named Russell Logan with a reputation for nabbing the big bad guys. Early in the film Logan nabs a guy known as the Pentagram Killer, a guy named Patrick Channing (Jeff Kober) after a lengthy investigation, a knife to the guts and an anonymous tip. It garners big press because Channing is the most notorious serial killer going, a guy who kills all his victims after various satanic rituals are performed, and he has taken many, many victims.

When Channing gets the electric chair it is seen as good riddance to bad rubbish, only Logan receives a call from the anonymous tipster reminding him that the death penalty wasn't part of the deal.

Too late, barbecued Channing for all! Who wants the lips, they're considered a delicacy? The only problem is that far from dreading and resisting his fate Channing seems to relish his early exit. Gee wonder why? (Kober as Channing is one of the strengths of the film, he is legitimately creepy looking and plays his role to the hilt.) So that's that then? A 25 minute film! I knew it was low budget but geez… No wait: there's more. After the execution Logan begins having visions and hearing things, If that wasn't bad enough someone has started killing again in the same way as the Pentagram Killer, all the way down to the locations and rituals.

Curioser and curioser.

To explain matters a red-headed psychic named Tess Seaton (Tracy Griffith) shows up unannounced at the station one day asking for Logan. After a brief back and forth Seaton gives information that only the cops or the killer would know; Logan is of course very intrigued. That is until Seaton claims that none other than the Pentagram Killer himself, Patrick Channing is behind the new batch of murders… obviously a wacko.

But then people close to Logan start getting bumped off, mainly cops. He has a change of heart and revisits Tess Seaton for her thoughts along with his partner Ali (Mykel T Williamson). Tess explains that Channing's spirit has been released by his execution and is now free to roam free and possess whichever body he wants in order to perform his naughty acts.

Channing preys on the weak and vulnerable, alkies, junkies and the homeless and destitute mostly, and if his "host" dies – or if he just gets bored – his spirit simply jumps to the next blissfully ignorant person. This makes him practically immortal and almost invulnerable, a welcome side issue seems to also be that the inhabited body is granted near superhero status. At times during the film they leap cars, walk through huge fireballs and jump off buildings unharmed, not a bad trade off for having one of Satan's disciples along for the ride.

After finally coming around and realising there may be a grain of truth to Tess's story, helped along by him witnessing some of Channing's handiwork in person (so long Ali!) – and having a chat with him no less – the pursuit is on.

So for the remainder of the film Logan and Tess are at turns hunting and hunted by Channing. They follow the trail to his childhood home, and consult with a local religious expert who explains the lengths they must go to kill him. All the while Channing keeps on killing and leaving a trail of previous discarded "hosts" in his wake.

There are two spectacular stunts, a couple of quality setpieces and a few quotable lines, and thankfully the ending is also strong.

Sure The First Power isn't a world beater and there are a couple of moments that show poor judgment, but if you like the vaguely sci-fi, supernatural genre there is much to admire about this film.

Final Rating – 8 / 10. LDP might not have been kept too busy in recent years – at least in high profile gigs – but there is some cinematic gold hidden away in the 90s that too many are yet to discover. Combine this film with Renegades and you have a great DVD night at home.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Seinfeld bchelrprty
Fallen the_Iced_Earth
remake of the first power Pumpkinjack65
acid pit in the sewer?exploding acid!? pqmodean
dvd? mandrax_numbdivizion
Whe can I find this? beccagrim79
Discuss The First Power (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?