The First Power - Rotten Tomatoes

The First Power (1990)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This lackluster attempt at blending equal parts action movie and supernatural thriller ends up sacrificing the merits of both genres. The plot finds baby-faced homicide detective Logan (Lou Diamond Phillips) on the trail of "Pentagram Killer" Patrick Channing (Jeff Kober), negligibly assisted by lots of occult mumbo-jumbo espoused by various doomsaying members of the Catholic Church. Channing is eventually captured and executed, but this turns out to be a big mistake: one of the Satanic powers … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense , Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Resnikoff
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 28, 2001
Orion Pictures Corporation


as Russell Logan

as Patrick Channing

as Tess Seaton

as Detective Oliver Fra...

as Gang Member #2

as Sister Marguerite

as Commander Perkins

as Lieutenant Grimes

as Grandmother

as Carmen

as Father Brian

as Cardinal

as Monsignor

as Anchorwoman

as Driver in Alley

as Detective No. 2

as Bum/Detective

as Cop at Tenement

as Resevoir Worker

as Cop at Arrest

as Street Vendor

as Reporter #1

as Man In Parking Struc...

as Reporter #2

as Bartender

as Reporter

as Uniform Cop #1

as Uniform Cop

as Antonio

as Bum in Hotel

as Gang Member #1
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The First Power

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 6, 1990
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

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

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

Super Reviewer

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