The Power (1968)    1 Stars

“YOU feel it until you can’t feel anything at all!”

The Power (1968)
The Power (1968)


Director: Byron Haskin

Cast: George Hamilton, Suzanne Pleshette, Richard Carlson

Synopsis: One by one members of a special project team are being killed by telekinesis – the ability to move things with the power of the mind alone. The race is to determine which of the remaining team members is the murderer and to stop them.






WARNING! This review contains SPOILERS!

The Power is a sci-fi mystery thriller that begins brightly, but quickly gets bogged down in a rather lengthy (and ordinary) man-on-the-run segment that seems to serve very little purpose other than to pad out the movie’s running time.

George Hamilton (A Thunder of Drums, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing) is a little too pretty to be completely believable as the head of a high-powered scientific unit investigating pain thresholds and human endurance in space, but tries hard and certainly doesn’t embarrass himself. One colleague in the unit (Arthur O’Connell – There Was a Crooked Man, The Poseidon Adventure – overacting wildly) discloses at a meeting that one of their number has an IQ that goes way off the scale, thereby possessing powers that make he or she capable of controlling people’s minds. Then, the members of the unit begin to be killed off…

At times the movie seems to be a precursor of David Cronenberg’s Scanners (1981), even featuring a similar ‘duel of minds’ at one point. Some of its plot twists and ideas also reminiscent of something Stephen King might write (something like Firestarter, perhaps). In fact, Aldo Ray, in a small part, could have stepped right out of the pages of a King novel.

The plot does confuse at times, and there are some inconsistencies that niggle; for example, where did George Hamilton get the gun he used on Aldo Ray, and why didn’t he pull it on him when he was being driven out to the desert to die? Other than that, The Power is a reasonable enough time-passer that will leave very little impression within a week after viewing.

(Reviewed 3rd May 2002)

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