For whatever dumb 20th century reason, TCM didn’t have the Canadian rights to the pioneering portmanteau horror anthology, Ealing’s Dead of Night (1945), which is a total gyp.
Oh, and by the way:
So there’s that.
So TCM substituted something called The Power, which I’d never heard of before.
This is one of those movies where you’re reading the opening credits out loud with a mix of incredulity and dread:
“Miss Beverly Hills?” (For that is indeed how she is billed, either at her own insistence or that of her agent. I imagine those conversations were more entertaining that much of what made it onto the screen.)
We’re then very quickly informed, as if hit with a blunt instrument, that the music in this movie is a ripoff of The Very Famous Zither Music in The Third Man, don’t you know? And lest you forget, here’s a picture of a zither. And later, another. Did we mention…?
The whole production is VERY 1968!!!!! and also really ugly looking in that “Japanese monster movie” way.
The Power is [George Pal’s] attempt to create a darker, more adult thriller with a pervasive sense of paranoia and amorality.
Best of all, Pal achieves some wonderfully bizarre visual effects in The Power such as a hallucinatory freak out in which Hamilton observes his own disembodied head floating in space prior to its mutation into a grinning skull.
As for the final sequence, a battle of wills between Hamilton and his nemesis, it obviously prefigures the dueling telepaths of David Cronenberg’s Scanners.
And it’s true:
If you’re familiar with the 1970s political thriller genre, The Power will seem oddly familiar yet unsatisfying and unintentionally comical.
Whereas it is impossible to imagine anyone chuckling through The Parallax View, which — with its relentlessly pursued, dark haired hero — The Power resembles, the way a blue print resembles a finished house.
(If by “blue print” you mean “stuff scribbled on old Bazooka chewing gum wrappers.”)