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The First Power (1990): Spraytanic Panic

The First Power (Robert Resnikoff, 1990)

[originally posted 12Apr2000]

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It’s El Diablo vs. La Bamba in a steel cage match that…would have been way better with luchador masks, really.

I’m still trying to figure out what this film is. It was made at a time when Satanism, in film, was still reserved for the heavy hitters, and it has one of those endings that are popular in horror film (think John Carpenter), but that you rarely see outside the genre. So this is either a straight thriller attempting to utilize some of the techniques of horror to get a really slick and original feel, or it’s a B-horror film attempting to get some legitimacy by passing itself off as a mystery/thriller/cop flick.

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“I often find myself shirtless at crime scenes.”

No matter how I slice it, it comes off looking like #2, but as it was Resnikoff’s second and last film– and there’s no info on the first at IMDB [ed. note 2013: At least now the first film, The Jogger, now has a partial cast list, and it stars Terry O’Quinn, so at least it has one redeeming value]– I can’t be 100% certain. One thing I DO know, however, is that it manages to combine almost every rising-eighties-star-who’s-since-faded-into-nothingness (Lou Diamond Phillips, Tracy Griffith, Dennis Lipscomb, etc.) with every established eighties star whose career was about to collapse (Elizabeth Arlen, Sue Giosa, etc.).

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“You know me from so many better movies… but you will never forget I was in this.”

In any case, the plot (thin as it is) pits Russell Logan (Phillips), a police detective, against the same serial killer he caught and executed– seems Satan has given said serial killer (Jeff Kober) the power of immortality. Thin, huh? And pointless, too. Avoid like the plague. *


Trailer. The full film is available from multiple uploaders at Youtube as well.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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