The Dark Power Blu-ray Review: A Solid Creature Feature

In The Dark Power, several young coeds who have yet to learn that, in the winter time, clothes will help to keep you warm, rent out the house of a recently deceased Native American shaman. The shaman believed the ancient Toltecs would bury themselves alive in “places of power” so they could one day arise from the dead and, and…that part isn’t too terribly clear. Take back their land, maybe? Except that the Toltecs were never in North America. 

Anyway, the women like the inexpensive rent, the sunken bathtubs, and the location near their college. What they don’t like is that four ancient Toltecs have arisen from the ground and they are angry and armed with knives, and arrows, and hatchets, and sharp teeth. They are just a bit dangerous. Luckily, some of the women have pluck and spunk while others will succumb. 

Phil Smoot’s The Dark Power is about as much of a B-movie as a B-movie can get. From the obviously low budget, barely-working gore effects, not-so-solid plot, and the first-time actors being paid to take a couple days off of school. It has it all, and it somehow works. 

The makeup is actually quite excellent if not that frightening, the editing is top notch and keeps the pace going at a strong clip, and Smoot is more than a run-of-the-mill director – he gets decent performances out of nascent performers, knows how to frame a shot, and demonstrates obvious adaptability to problem solving. Add to all of this a “star”, classic Western movie hero with a whip, Lash La Rue, and you have a B movies’ B movie. You have seen this movie a million times: The Dark Power is one of the fun ones.

Bonus Materials:

  • New 4K restoration of the film from the original 16mm camera negative
  • Audio Commentary by Director Phil Smoot
  • Audio Commentary by Cast and Crew
  • The Terror Of The Tarheel State: Featurette with Director Phil Smoot and Cast
  • Interview with Editor Sherwood Jones
  • Image Gallery
  • Trailer – Parasite
  • Trailer – Rawhead Rex
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Greg Hammond

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