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The Dark Power (1985)

4.5
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 227 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 12 critic

The spirits of dead Indians are haunting a couple's house, and they call in an exorcist, whose trademark is a black whip, to get rid of them.

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Title: The Dark Power (1985)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lash La Rue ...
Ranger Girard (as Lash LaRue)
Anna Lane Tatum ...
Beth
...
Tammie
Mary Dalton ...
Mary
Paul Holman ...
Uncle Earl Coleman
Cynthia Farbman ...
Lynn Evans
Marc Matney ...
Craig Evans
Tony Shaw ...
David Cody
Robert Bushyhead ...
John "Four Eagles" Cody
Suzie Martin ...
Suzan
...
Alan
Steve Templeton ...
Dallas
Page Elizabeth Ray ...
Page
Eric Mikesall ...
Cletus
Tony Elwood ...
Courthouse Student
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Storyline

After an Indian medicine man dies, his house, which was built over the graves of four Indian sorcerers becomes a sorority home for a group of girls. Once the four Indians are awakened and terror ensues, a park ranger learns of the Indian's evil and plans to stop them. Written by Ryan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

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Details

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Release Date:

26 February 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Dark power  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mary: Of course, some girls might be a little crazier about whips than others.
Ranger Girard: You know about my whip?
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Connections

References The Blues Brothers (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Offbeat and Compelling 80's Indie Horror
11 August 2006 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

I must say that I am an *INSTANT* fan of DARK POWER, an EVIL DEAD inspired bit of regionally produced horror hokum masquerading as a teen schlock craptacular. But as usual with medium to low budget movies that have not been messed around with by a studio looking to reap a profit there is more to this than may first meet the eye. The film's plot concerns itself with a group of genuinely unlikeable morons who move into a house formerly owned by a descendant of "Toltec and Aztec" shamans that is on the site of a former burial ground, or repository of ancient Native American artifacts. Offense is given to the tribal gods when one of the losers turns out to be a scab who leaves the seat up when taking a leak, invites his pathetic friends over for a beer party, and his snot rag sister starts giving the black chick in the movie racist trash. Either that or those gods are just being nasty for the hell of it.

It moves quickly: There is a local sheriff with some sort of mystical whip played by B-movie Western Whip King Lash La Rue, maniacal doggies (more like poochies: they are cute for killer wild dogs) who attack local fat kids wandering through the woods, a fat handyman dressed up like Meatloaf who's kid manages to blow up his truck, the losers run out of beer, and then out of nowhere come four re-incarnated Aztec warriors dressed up in castoff K-Mart hockey gear who butcher everyone in the house to pay them back for not having any Cheez-Whiz. In other words this is one of those movies made for people with really short attention spans that does not rely on plot to get it's message across, which is that Injun ghost warriors are nasty, mean, and kill people in surprisingly creative manners. My favorite was the chick who gets an arrow right between the eyes, but there are varieties of carnage that will likely please any hacker fan -- though be advised that DARK POWER's budget amounted to about one good semester at graduate school and the effects may not please fans of the animated computer cartoon horror hits of today, which genuinely suck compared to imaginative, well-meaning and bankrupt projects such as this. A sub-plot involving a foxy local reporter's inappropriate flirtations with the local teen book nerd doesn't go anywhere, but there's plenty of offbeat carnage, some enjoyable T&A, plenty of beer for everyone, and some appropriately tasteless humor that is funny for all the wrong reasons. This movie is an applied study in poor taste, but somehow it works.

The film also throws a few curve balls at viewers with some unexpected social commentary, such as the scene where one of the Injun Zombies decides to sample some of the snack food, condiments and booze stacked up in the kitchen. Then there is the scene where one of the losers from the beer party is being massacred and the snot-rag sister comes out of the bathroom clad in only a towel screaming at the morons to KEEP IT DOWN! I also liked the racial dynamic with the black girl, who sort of becomes one of the heroes and who's tolerance of the white trash (one of them even has a Confederate flag hung prominently in his room: cute) crackers is nothing short of admirable. The film is also strangely comfortable with it's Regional Horror look & nature, and we may have coined a new term here.

REGIONAL HORROR: Low budget, semi or outright independent thrillers from the 1970s - 1980s filmed in places like Miami, Omaha, Richmond, and St. Louis that eschewed gloss for a kind of droll wallowing in everyday suburbia, featuring everyday plain Jane actors who are cast for their ordinariness rather than traits attributable to a manufactured freak like Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie that has no identity outside of their industry. These are everyday people, non-actors with maybe some community theater experience, called up by a director who needed a cast for a movie, offered a couple hundred dollars for a few day's shootings and usually got more than they're money's worth when compared to the baloney performances of someone like Mr. Cruise. Regional Horror features existing locations as sets like people's homes, their backyards, maybe a stretch of woods on public land, and is usually comprised of images & scenes that blue collar slobs like ourselves would otherwise see every day of our lives.

The ultimate example would probably be CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (or NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, for that matter) but see also HOUSE OF THE DEAD/THE ALIEN ZONE, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS, FIEND, DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE, DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT, DON'T GO IN THE WOODS ALONE and other movies with the word DON'T in their title, and I would rank DARK POWER right up there with any of those as a movie that amounted to more than the sum of it's parts, and turned out far, far better than it probably had to.

8/10, and I mean it.


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