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The Dark Power

USA 1985
produced by
Phil Smoot, George B. Walker, Lash La Rue (executive) for New Vision Productions, Triad Motion Pictures
directed by Phil Smoot
starring Lash La Rue, Anna Lane Tatum, Cynthia Bailey, Mary Dalton, Paul Holman, Cynthia Farbman, Marc Matney, Tony Shaw, Robert Bushihead, Suzie Martin, Dean Jones, Steve Templeton, Page Elizabeth Ray, Eric Mikesall, Tony Elwood, Don Dahler, Jeff Johnson, Peter Deane, Ralph Shaw, Janet Harllee, Dave Plyter, Howard Martin, Steve Idol, Sammy Fulp, Cary Wolfe, Barbara Hill, Ray Speight, John G. Wolfe III, Jerry Whittington, Lars Lundgren, Robin Doby, David Hill, Neal Stockton, Stuart Watson, Mighty Joe Coltrane, Jerry Montgomery, Sherwood Jones
written by Phil Smoot, music by Christopher Deane, Matt Kendrick, prosthetic effects by Tony Elwood, Dean Jones

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Since the dorm was full this year, a bunch of girls moved to the House on Totem Hill, a cheap and well-equipped house a little bit outside of town that once belonged to a benign Indian mystic (Robert Bushihead). Thing is, one day, four Toltec warriors (= predecessors of the Aztecs), who have buried themselves on the premises one thousand years abo, come back to life, and start killing people - but since Lynn's (Cynthia Farbman) brother Craig (Marc Matney) is presently partying in the living room with a bunch of friends, it takes the others awfully long to even notice that something is wrong, so the revived Toltecs have no problems killing all the house's tenants but Beth (Anna Lane Tatum) and Tammy (Cynthia Bailey) ... who suddenly find themselves on the run and don't know what to do.

Enter local ranger Girard (Lash La Rue),  who keeps the Toltecs at bay with his mighty bullwhip - until he is knocked out by one of them. Then Tammy finds four mystical blades somewhere in the house, and starts killing the Toltecs ... and it actually works - until the last of the blades is broken. But by that time, Girard has regained consciousness, and he uses his bullwhip to shred the last Toltec to pieces.


Sure, for the most part, The Dark Power is your typical piece of 1980's teenie horror of the slasher variety, with lots of bad hairdos, worse dialogue and a few gory deaths. But there are a few moments that are actually quite charming, like the clumsy Toltecs hurting each other about as often as they hurt the teens, like 1940's and 50's B-Western star Lash La Rue in a role tailormade for him, and like the final bullwhip duel (yes, the Toltec has a bullwhip as well), in which La Rue uses his trademark bullwhip to cut an adversary to pieces - literally ... he never did this in his old films now, did he?


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD