The Power (1984) Possessed ancient statuette terrorizes poorly-lit town

Theme Song: Horror vet Christopher Young (Hellraiser, Hider in the House) does an orchestral score. Nothing spectacular, but creates a nice atmosphere for the movie that I did not bother to record. The soundtrack was released in 1984 on Cerberus Records.

Interesting Dated References: Talking to your parents from your room via wall intercom

Best Line: None

Social Context: I’m assuming the writer/director team of Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow were inspired by The Brady Bunch’s possessed-tiki “Hawaii Bound” trilogy and wanted to expand on the idea.

Summary: So there’s this ancient, super-rare, Aztec idol statue, which hosts the spirit of Destacatyl. The idol possesses whomever has it, and can make shit blow around in a room. But apparently it’s not that rare, as we see no less than three of them within the span of the movie, all in possession of people who happen to reside in the same town.

After a history teacher is overcome by The Power™ of his statue and becomes impaled, his old traveling companion, Francis, heads to South America and immediately finds another statue, which he kills for and is then badly deformed by. At least I assume that’s what is happening. This Betamax is so dark most of this is implied.

Back in the States, Tommy realizes the souvenir his parents brought back from their trip is also a super-rare idol, possessing mystical powers. He and classmates Julie and Matt proceed to try some Ouija shit, which gets a janitor killed.

That storyline eventually merges with skeptical news reporter Sandy and her man-friend Jerry, who are obsessed with finding out more about the idol. Eventually Jerry gets the idol and is immediately possessed by The Power™, which leads to a climactic showdown.

Or at least it’s sort of climactic, as it’s not very thrilling to watch a 160-pound man with facial prosthetics spend 25 minutes chasing after two women in a dimly-lit house before he explodes and oozes goo.

Worth Mentioning:
– Special effects by industry veteran Matthew Mungle who does a good job with the burn/deformed effects.

– There’s a postscript segment in which Francis finds Julie three years later and when he tries to ask her about what happened that night, she turns into a demon that bites off his already-deformed face.

– Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow previously teamed-up on The Dorm That Dripped Blood.

– Produced by Dick Clark.

1984 Fangoria article.

Poster and Box Art: The poster for The Power is effective, although I’m not sure why. At the time (early 80s), it had a unique look (colorful, nobody holding a knife), which must have stood out on video store shelves. Released by Vestron in the US.

Availability: A super-terrible print is available on Amazon Prime, but it is jumpy as shit and appears to be mastered from a VHS tape. There’s also a DVD put out by Scorpion Releasing that is remastered, apparently.

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