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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Power (1968)

A group of scientists in a space laboratory discover that there is among them, someone with psychic powers and a superior intelligence. When one by one, they are mysteriously killed off, one of them (George Hamilton) becomes the chief suspect. As he evades the police, he attempts to uncover the identity of the true psychic killer. Produced by fantasy/sci-fi specialist George Pal (TIME MACHINE, WAR OF THE WORLDS) and directed by Byron Haskin, the intriguing premise of a superhuman intelligence psychically killing those off who can unmask him is poorly handled here. The film feels padded out with scenes that don't contribute to the story though they may be of interest cinematically. For instance, there's a scene where Hamilton goes to a funhouse and hallucinates. It's a very well done scene and very interesting visually. But for Hamilton (granted he's not the first person you'd think of as a space scientist) to go to that funhouse is so arbitrary. There's no reason for it and his character doesn't seem the type. It's the film makers who want to go there because it makes for a good scene, that's why it's there! There's an intense score by Miklos Rozsa and the large cast includes Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Rennie, Aldo Ray, Yvonne De Carlo, Gary Merrill, Barbara Nichols, Nehemiah Persoff, Richard Carlson, Earl Holliman, Arthur O'Connell and Miiko Taka.

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