The First Power (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

The First Power (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The First Power Photos

Movie Info

In this lively horror movie, a Satanic psychopath ritually murders his victims and is eventually brought to justice and executed. Unfortunately, the killer has made a deal with the Devil and his spirit is allowed to enter other living bodies at will. With this terrifying talent, the killer remains nearly impossible for the homicide detective to capture. Eventually it becomes apparent that the only one who can stop the murderous entity is a knife-wielding nun.

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Lou Diamond Phillips
as Russell Logan
Jeff Kober
as Patrick Channing
Tracy Griffith
as Tess Seaton
Mykelti Williamson
as Detective Oliver Franklin
Scott Lawrence
as Gang Member #2
Elizabeth Arlen
as Sister Marguerite
Dennis Lipscomb
as Commander Perkins
Carmen Argenziano
as Lieutenant Grimes
Julianna McCarthy
as Grandmother
Sue Giosa
as Carmen
Hansford Rowe
as Father Brian
Philip Abbott
as Cardinal
David Gale
as Monsignor
Lisa Specht
as Anchorwoman
Mark Bringelson
as Driver in Alley
William Fair
as Detective No. 2
Brian Libby
as Bum/Detective
Dan Tullis Jr.
as Cop at Arrest
Michael Wise
as Cop at Tenement
Grand L. Bush
as Resevoir Worker
as Street Vendor
David Katims
as Man In Parking Structure
Andrew Amador
as Reporter #1
Bill Moseley
as Bartender
Paula McClure
as Reporter #2
Tiiu Leek
as Reporter
Mitch Carter
as Uniform Cop #1
Oz Tortora
as Antonio
Jeff Mooring
as Uniform Cop
Ron J. Goodman
as Bum in Hotel
Charles Raymond
as Gang Member #1
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Critic Reviews for The First Power

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

Silly and forgettable, unless you're a fan of vintage Phillips or curious to see 1990 Los Angeles, The First Power is a chore to sit through.

November 3, 2020 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

A digestible take on screen menace, using Phillips and co-star Jeff Kober quite well in this unremarkable but effective B-movie.

September 21, 2020 | Rating: B | Full Review…

When you get right down to it, make-up and masks aren't nearly as scary as a human countenance hiding a black heart.

February 20, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Cheesy horror flick, not worth your time

August 21, 2002 | Rating: 2/5

When it stops making no sense, it's really quite boring.

July 27, 2002 | Rating: 1.5/5

Audience Reviews for The First Power


Body swap horror is nearly a genre unto itself with 'The Hidden' as the forefather. 'The First Power' is a moody, but dull-witted hybrid of police procedural and supernatural thriller. A priest name-drops Geraldo Rivera within five minutes which really time-stamps the film. Logan (Lou Diamond Phillips) is not an acute detective insofar as he fumbles incompetently on a city map until he finally realizes that the occult killer's pattern is an inverted pentagram even though his modus operandi is carving them into his victims. The serial killer Patrick Channing (Jeff Kober) inexplicably adorns himself with a crusty-old-man mask which is a needless flourish. Apparently recovery from almost fatal abdominal stabs is practically instantaneous. Plotholes abound with a psychic informant (Tracy Griffith in a pitiful performance) who isn't forthright and explicitly state that Channing will be eternally resurrected if he receives the death penalty. Despite her clairvoyance, Griffith is shocked when Logan and his partner Oliver (Mykelti Williamson) are rummaging through her house. An extremely schlocky death is when Oliver's internal organs are stomped by a carriage-hitched horse. The lone commendable aspect in this otherwise joyless enterprise is the lithe stuntwork (ex. A death-defying leap off a six-story building). The cat-and-mouse chase is predominantly listless because there is no depraved symbiosis between Phillips and Kober.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer


Awesome action/horror/thriller casts LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS as a detective attempting to stop the evil spirit of a maniac executed in the gas chamber for a series of satanic murders. With the help of a nun & psychic, Phillips must find a way to end the horrible killing spree, save themselves & prove the maniac exists before he gets framed or worse killed by the psycho. Well acted & directed thriller is very fast paced & action packed from first frame till last, never stopping to take a breath & is much better than THE HORROR SHOW (A.K.A. HOUSE 3) SLEEPSTALKER & in someways beats out WES CRAVEN'S SHOCKER in a variety of ways. The film has many creepy images & a few shocking murders (usually we see the aftermath) & plenty of plot twists & turns. Highly recommended. Such a shame a sequel was never made. 4 1/2 stars 5-15-13

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Lou Diamond Phillips plays Detective Russell Logan -- on the bloody trail of a demonic killer who can inhabit different forms and perform super-human feats. Detective Logan is aided by a Psychic (Tess Seaton), who helps him locate the evil force. It is an action-packed showdown against evil with some really cool chases and battles. Suspenseful and fun!

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

The First Power Quotes

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