The Dark Power (1985)

September 4, 2010 - 6:11pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: 80's, Anna Lane Tatum, cheesy, comedic, Cynthia Bailey, Cynthia Farbman, Lash LaRue, low budget, Marc Matney, Mary Dalton, Paul Holman, Phil Smoot, The Dark Power, Tony Shaw

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Phil Smoot
Lash LaRue, Anna Lane Tatum, Cynthia Bailey, Mary Dalton, Paul Holman, Cynthia Farbman, Marc Matney, Tony Shaw

"Long before the white man came to America, even before the Aztecs, there existed the Toltecs. It was claimed that many were sorcerers who buried themselves in the ground -- alive! They practiced this demonic ritual on high ground -- 'Power Spots.' And, they fed on the living to sustain their evil!!!" This is the hilarious text we're shown before the film starts up, and I knew from the get-go that I was going to be in for one hell of a ride! Just look at all those exclamation points after "evil!!!!" If you look up "cheesy 80's horror film" in the dictionary, you'll probably find The Dark Power written in there somewhere, because this movie is the epitome of 80's cheese.

Similar to MTV's Real World, we've got a group of young people living in a new house, but instead of dealing with a lot of sexual tension and drunken rages, these people have to face off against four Toltec zombies! Apparently the previous owner of the home used to practice rituals that were later revealed to be the key to keeping these pesky zombies underground. Once the man died, these Toltec sorcerers decided to rise on the start of the "Eagle Days", which was about 50-minutes into the running time. Before that, we've got some build up of what's to come, and enough character development to distinguish which person will likely die first. I put my money on the stuck-up racist girl and her idiot and equally racist brother.

So, who do you call when you've got a few undead Toltec zombies knocking at your door? Ranger Girard of course! The man who sports a bullwhip and makes short work of the zombies, and even has his own heroic trumpet theme song to boot! All while spewing out some of the funniest lines since good ol' Ash from the Evil Dead series. Like for instance, "I understand you're indestructible. I'm gonna cut you up into little pieces, you dirty bastard!" and "I wonder how you'd look without a nose." Booyah! Don't F with Ranger Girard! The veteran actor that plays him is Lash LaRue, a man who starred in numerous low-budget westerns, and whose films stood out among many others at the time, thanks to his trademark bullwhip that he'd use to disarm bandits.

Each zombie brought their own little characteristic -- there was the strong leader; a weird skinny white-haired one that twirled a couple hand-axes; a jester-lookin' fat zombie that had a bow-and-arrow; and a boring zombie that used a knife (loser!). There's even a scene were a zombie puts his feet up on a table while drinking a couple beers! On another note, most of the deaths were decent, mainly executed by arrows or knives, but one death really stood out since the dude gets his hand ripped off, then the his mouth ripped open and then his skin pulled over his head, and finally when you think the zombie's finished with him, jams his hand into the guy's nose, crushing it into his skull. Talk about overkill! "All right you demonic bastard, let's take this outside" is the line delivered by Ranger Girard after the lead zombie finds himself a whip, and an epic duel ensues at the climax of the film.

This was probably one of the cheesiest and most ridiculous horror films I've seen in a while, but that's not entirely a bad thing. In fact, I had a lot of fun watching this once the action picked up. How can you go wrong when you've got an old guy using a bullwhip on zombies while yelling "Feel my whip you son of a bitch!" If you love cheese, give this a check, otherwise, stay clear.

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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