The First Power (1990)


Written & Directed by: Robert Resnikoff


.... Russell Logan
.... Tess Seaton
.... Patrick Channing
.... Sister Marguerite
.... Detective Oliver Franklin
.... Commander Perkins

Special Appearances:

.... Grandmother
.... Mazza
.... Cardinal
Scott Lawrence .... Gang Member
Bill Moseley .... Bartender

Release Date: Theatrical: April 6, 1990



A disturbed detective Russell Logan (Lou Diamond Phillips) tries to track down a satanic killer Patrick Channing (Jeff Kober) and while he succeeds thinking his death sentence will be an end to him things grow worst as he was given the powers of resurrection, teleportation and possession.
He goes on a chase with the aid of Tess Seaton (Tracy Griffith) but things can turn deadly for the two of them in which Patrick seems to be full of evil tricks.


A nice wicked opening credits which forms an astral sign as this seems perfect for a supernatural type of horror story such as this one. Then there's discussions with Sister Marguerite talking with the other preachers on an incident in their office at a cathedral as this moment looked rather dated but again this is a retro horror flick of course.
Then the police do undercover research to try and track down this Satanic killer whom is Patrick Channing which looked convincingly witty by what they were all talking while communication with other parties of the city.
When one of them is kidnapped by this maniac the police unit goes action wild trying to save her before it's too late which offered alot of great energy by what is going on and can please fans of action crime flicks for sure.
Meanwhile a nice still and silent moment with this female officer tied up and gagged on a pentagram with candles surrounding her along with a nice camera shot looking up on Patrick speaking soothingly towards her as this offers nice timing on what is happening here and memorable to anyone who saw this flick.
Great struggling scenes between Russell Logan trying to track down Patrick as well as going crazy which makes you wonder if this detective will kill this fellow as it looked strongly done.
Great dark settings with Patrick getting ready to have his death sentence in a chair and a good focused shot on Russell watching carefully which made me think that something is bound to happen especially with Patrick staring back at him as this looked eerie to watch. Then when you think he is dead he breaks out of his chair powerfully and is about to attack Russell as I was thinking to myself that this must be a nightmare if it is I hope he wakes up before it's too late.
When Russell is awake in his bed his cat goes wild hissing at something as this leaves a true haunting impression making you wonder if this maniac's spirit is in his home especially the fact there's some bloody pentagrams in his bathroom and then when the police unit knocks on his door and he tries to shot this to them it's no longer there which is a clever situation while watching all of this making you think that old Patrick is messing with his head.
Some dark moments when Tess Seaton is in an underground parking lot and spots some blood dripping as well as meeting face to face with Patrick appearing here and there which was supposed to look bone chilling but doesn't do quite the trick. It was still done in a fair fashion regardless.
In the story there's many good discussions between Tess and Russell as the chemistry looked good between them with what they were talking about as well as some misunderstandings between the two of them as all of this drew me in and was quite memorable as well.
Russell goes to a jail cell where he questions an inmate whom is out of it and then hears the voice of Patrick talking to him as this looked well done. Although it isn't overly scary but it's mysteriously spooky to watch this all unravel.
During a street festival a police officer gets trampled by a horse and carriage operated by Patrick as we briefly see him controlling this animal plus it looks terrifying on this person which makes you wonder if he will live through this.
Terrific chase scene's with Russell going after Patrick on top of a building and then we see this maniac bouncing in the air as well as jumping on top of a roof to the ground as this psyched me out big time while watching all of this.
Russell goes to his cathedral to a booth confessing his sins and asking if the dead can come back to life in which I got an impression that something creepy will happen and it just does offering some dynamic action at that church which looked suspenseful.
Then Russell and Tess try to chase after Patrick in a cockroach apartment which added lots of terror by what he does trying to kill one of them with an axe as well as using a ceiling fan and charging towards them which I was thinking WOW!
The two of them pay a visit to Patrick's Grondmother's house to try and find some history on him mwhen they go to a cellar of his collectibles which was done in a nice, still and serious fashion as well as a brief intense moment when Tess suddenly freaks out and having her mind being controlled when opening a music box as this offers a fair suspenseful situation on being possessed.
More intense and struggling moments when they try to escape from Patrick's grasp in a run down factory of some sort especially when they are on top of a tower making you wonder if this maniac will kill one of them before it's too late along with Russell nearly falling off a ledge which kept me watching wondering if he will climb back up for safety. All of this looked powerfully driven in.
The best is yet to come when Russell arrives home and brings Tess in as they nearly have a romance and hears something which leaves a chill down your spine and a great twisted moment when a possessed bag lady rises up in the air outside their window as this made me wonder if the makers saw Evil Dead and got a similar idea along with Russell going to the window to see what had happened and this bag lady crashes through the window and attacking him in which this was supposed to make you jump but misses. However there's great dynamic suspenseful action when this moment occurs. Plus there's some nice dark humor coming from this lady when she tries to attack both of them while they try to run away from her as I found these situations the most memorable throughout the story.
Suddenly my favourite moments happens when Russell tries to bring Sister Marguerite to help rescue Tess in which they enter a storm sewage area with a nice shot on her tied up on a pentagram and we get our friend the bag lady trying to attack him again and then when you think it's safe to rescue her Margueritte herself is possessed which was a great challenging moment adding more humor to what this possessed nun is saying to him. This was a very powerful moment as well as a peer pressuring moment wondering if he has to kill her along later on during the final moments on surviving with this maniac by being clever to try and trick the police force coming in thinking he might be at fault which adds more chemistry to the story wondering if he will be gunned down.
The very ending leaves a door open for a sequel when we hear the killers voice but sadly this film didn't have a big enough following to earn one which is a shame.
Bottom line is that at first I didn't really care for the film but watching it the second time it was a bit slow but really picked up the pace later on and found it very entertaining. Not overly scary but hey some aren't. Still they can be good to watch and this is one of them. Alot of nice possessive twists that suddenly happen before you know it. Some of them were obvious but lots weren't. Worth checking out.

The acting seems not too shabby at all. Not award winning though but still passable as (Russell Logan) springs into action a great deal as a tough as nails detective in which he was convincing as someone who's on the ball with stuff. He does well acting wild whenever he needed to be that way and was a ball of energy. Also does nicely with his conversations in other spots and getting into character fairly well.
(Tess Seaton) was terrific in her role as I have to admit that this is probably her best performance to date. Does well with her energy and enthusiasm as well as doing well with her no nonsense attitude whenever she had to behave like this. Also does an okay job when she is briefly possessed freaking out as she brought her energy to the extreme. Personally I think she's just as good as her half sister.
(Patrick Channing) lived to play a satanic killer as he has the perfect deepness in his voice as well as his wicked rugged looks too which was another bonus. Does a nice job with his wicked and soothing voice when planning to do some sort of a sacrifice. Did well speaking softly with his voice whenever behaving that way. Also does well acting wicked and violent when springing into action behaving like this. Knew on how to speak coldly and darkly too. Does a great job attacking or jumping around at full speed as he was a ball of energy and adrenaline.
(Sister Marguerite) had the most effective supporting role as a sofly spoken nun acting mellow and alert on things which she drives this nicely. Seemed to act timid whenever the suspense hit her as well as coming across as believeably wise. Plus does well acting emotionally scared. Offered a terrific versatality when she is possessed acting violent and nasty. Was also quite funny with her wicked sarcasm.
(Commander Perkins) seemed fairly convincing as the head lawman and had the right rough and serious looks plus had a perfect serious motive when he is making orders or communicating with someone else. Seemed to study this role in an alright fashion.
(Grandmother) had her part nailed down wonderfully as a mysterious and disturbed type of person and offering an emotionless and serious attitude which shines off greatly. Plus knew on how to act upset in the end of her performance and getting demanding.
(Bag Lady) wasn't a known name but had to mention her as she had the most memorable part in the story as someone whom is possessed and was terrific acting wild as well as being funny. She added great timing to everything that she did and to anyone who saw this flick can remember her quite fondly.

but nothing exploitive.

Couple dead bodies are bloodied with astral signs revealed.
Certain bodies are impaled but nothing too gruesome.

Stewart Copeland was magnificent with his music in this film which is the reason it's a good story as composing for the plotlines help out a great deal! He was especially memorable with the opening credits in which we hear bonging and other types of metallic sounds as this was used in some of the plots too. Plus there's good echoey toned out piano music too in alot of the spots of the story especially the closing credits. Plenty of banging sounds and adventureous music too. It almsot sounds similar to the composing on A Nightmare On Elm Street. Way to go for this dude!

Tess Seaton: Patrick you can't keep on killing forever!
Patrick Channing: Wanna Bet!

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