“I’ll leave my Supermen to the comic strips,” says Holliman’s character about this supposed Nietzschean murderer whose evolution sees him disrespect the lessons of The Bible and its parables as well as psychology and the law itself. He or she can get away with killing anonymously… Hamilton doesn’t agree but he listens and understands his point of view.
“Could you imagine what it would be like with your Superman running round? …” Holliman adds about what Nietzschean Superman skinheads say about Godless homosexuals even if their Nietzschean Gay Science is all wrapped into one – “Don’t mention the war” as Basil Fawlty would say – as Holliman adds further: “I don’t hold much hope for the human race but I’d be willing to kill a man to avoid that” about his momentary thought to kill a gay when his belief in God is momentarily a latent one as he shares this Godless philosophy to kill along with his aside about a youthful idolisation for another man and how he wanted to be him… Just between you and me, says Holliman about the sunset of his Bromance as he insisted he prefers girls and always has… The title Twilight of the Idols being the last volume by Nietzsche which may relate to man’s idolisation of other men in terms of Christ, the movies, and at the gym … and also their ability to have a drink and get stoned together at the pub, or just take tablets and other substances and dance the night away gaily at the local rave… It’s a worry.
The Doors singer Jim Morrison (1943-71 drug overdose/alcohol-related heart failure) was heavily under the influence of Nietzsche in his formative years and someone posted on IMDb once that his IQ was 149 which was one digit below certified genius level… as the possible reason for his self-destructive lifestyle. Most people have some genius which needn’t be measured and needn’t be self-destructive… A lot of certified genii are conceited. So, who created this test anyway which sets people apart from MENSA and DENSA to use a term coined by legendary Australian writer Philip Adams? Arthur O’Connell in The Power so it seems… or is it all a club with Carlson’s wink at Rennie.
By the way, O’Connell dies in a scene which shocked me as a child, when in one of the film’s first attributions to ‘gremlins’ happens when a gravity centrifuge machine goes berserk and spins out of control. The look on his dead face has stayed with me to this day, while I’m sure my grandfather giggled in the background as he and my Nana, who read Agatha Christie, babysat us one evening.
The original novel that The Power was based on was written by Frank M. Robinson (1976-2014) who was openly gay and a legend within that community… The screenplay however was largely altered from the novel and written by John Gay (1924-2017), the joke being that he was married with children, and not gay. He also co-wrote his last book with his daughter like Stevenson wrote The Wrong Box with his step-son. The screenwriter of The Power is not to be confused with the creator of the satirical The Beggar’s Opera by the same name (1685-1782) which dealt with the notion of liberty in reaction to growing conservatism in Britain centuries ago. Then there’s the also the philosopher (1699-1745) who turned vicar with the same name. Some children suffer for their stigmatised Christian and surnames to this day…
The film is also about how people in a career can be suddenly cancelled or their identity removed or changed as Hamilton’s credentials suddenly emerge as forged and he doesn’t really exist as his former colleagues turn on him and he is left an outsider. In present day terms it all seems to ring of the internet blocking people and the ability of other unfair cancel culture through the manipulation of media…. There is a possibility of an evil person being a prejudiced canceller … and that cancelling a person breaks their hearts and kills them through stress and along with being left to their own devices in terms of addiction.
“That’s odd,” says a cop to Hamilton. “No one seems to have heard of you” as it goes to show that a genius IQ doesn’t mean you cannot be persona non grata in your former industry… It can kill people along with their reputations for addiction and their perceived bad philosophical outlook on life. This disenfranchisement drives Hamilton towards a near total mental breakdown as he shows no faith in terms of Christ as a solace.
Hamilton ends up panicking when he seems to see a pedestrian light flash red: “Don’t Walk” and then it changes to “Don’t Run”. It’s a form of schizophrenia he is having from being cancelled and no longer a member of the club as the madness of having no God as a centre will let you listen instead not to your inner voice but react in reverse to common sense in everything you see and hear. Instead of an inner voice you may hear people whisper: “Run” in your ear (the wisdom being not to) and to quote from the Alan Parson’s Project song Games People Play: “If they promised you the moon and the stars would you believe them… Games people play in the middle of the night!” about one of those dark nights of the soul which Hamilton is about to suffer… He then may have a heart attack at around 3am in the morning in bed for no apparent reason. No one is telling in The Power…
Hamilton is suddenly in a fun house after a cameo appearance by producer George Pal’s early career Puppetoons (they earned him an honorary Oscar in 1943 as Pal was a Hungarian who fled Nazi Germany) which are in the form of an army of toy soldiers firing rifles at Hamilton. The entire world has turned on him or so it seems. The fun house scene has him then get on a small carousel which appears to get out of control and spin like some sort of homage to Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951) as if life is getting faster and faster as the rest of the people present don’t really realise it all has to end somehow… There is also a plastic globe which Holliman touches along with the giant globe outside of the institute at the end of the movie. Remember that centrifuge… Everyone is ultimately helpless on planet Earth.
“Unlike the military we don’t need vast numbers… just a few men of science,” says Carlson to some faceless men in a prediction of the power of the future internet against the military as Hamilton listens and is followed by faceless ‘spooks’ in cars. Or is Carlson a plotting communist?
The film then turns into the hunt for a character named Adam Hart who according to Miss Beverly Hills (1939-), otherwise known as Beverley Powers (sexual powers being another joke within the movie), had “blonde hair and blue eyes” while someone else tells Hamilton that Hart had “black gypsy eyes”. The thing being subjective in terms of the truth as people tell you what they like unless they swear in court or even take notes in committee meetings around the world. Who’s to say what is ‘real news’ today in terms of the written word and newspapers when even the reporter can be lied to by an interviewee or that it was all made up by the ‘reporter’ anyway? It seems the age of the television and what you see on the screen is taken as ‘reality’ and even that can be photo-shopped or ‘deep faked’ as they now call it.
There is a crisis of belief in terms of the media and the internet where even I can only base my blog on original ideas and the sourced ‘facts’ that these movies truly exist in one original form. But even George Lucas altered Return of the Jedi over the years and there are differing versions of movies… Will others be altered in the future as cancel culture makes this blog just as irrelevant? And will an algorithm instead deliver only what you want to hear and see on the internet and your screen in terms of advertisements and even news content… What you are allowed to hear or see is possibly already the case in other countries, so why not here? Anyway, if you see footage of me having sex with a rockmelon/cantaloupe on the dark web it may or may not be a deep fake!
Speaking of the schism between the straight Nietzschean and a practising homosexual or ‘actual poof’ to use the non-preferred nomenclature, along with sex with fruit and vegetables, the wisdom of director William Friedkin’s Boys in the Band (1970) comes to mind, even if it is spoken by a bitter ‘Christian’ homosexual who tells that if you ‘try it once, it’s youth and two times a phase but several times you like it’ or something which has a ring of truth about it. But if you like it, is it still ‘right’ which is the Catholic homosexual/gay dilemma? “Don’t reject the fact, Larry swings both ways but with a decided preference,” adds actor Kenneth Nelson (1930-93 AIDS) about one gay character played by Lucie Arnaz’s husband Laurence Luckinbill (1934-). Most of the cast died of AIDS and now that the release of Covid is seen as a conspiracy, we can so too look back on AIDS as another form of survival of the fittest in terms of morality and a deliberately released virus. But even ‘straights’ like Christian basketballer Magic Johnson caught HIV or the ‘gay plague’ along with Charlie Sheen. It got something to do with promiscuity… The Boys in the Band was another film in my grandfather’s wise VHS collection we pirated together like Long John and Jack Hawkins, lending and linking our VHS players together like superpower supercomputers and copying our favourite movies…
As for deep fakes adding to the mind-bending of the world realty, thank God we can take blessed relief in fiction in print and on screen in that it is a solace we can interpret at any time and in our own fashion. Fiction on screen being one solace for everyone who has lost faith in a world slowly sinking like the George Pal directed Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961). But I sound like the harbinger of doom when the possibility of the deep fake movie star may be thrilling as I mentioned at the end of the Death Wish article.
Another funny aside is the telekinesis/The Power issue or debate and I am reminded of a sketch from the British show The League of Gentlemen where the devil uses all his powers to move a door but the person in the room can’t perceive it as it can’t be seen by the naked eye since it only moves a fraction. The devil laughs maniacally at the triumph of his powers anyway… As the original Jason of mythology was abandoned by his Argonauts and he died in legend I think when a piece of the Argos fell on his head… Above my bed is a wooden shelf with some DVDs on it and the plank they are on slowly moves over the course of a few months and I can see it really has moved from being flush against the right-angle bracket… Perhaps I may perish like Jason in mythology by the Argos of the movies falling on my head. Anyway, it’s nice to have a superhero name. Speaking of right angles and someone has written about the use of 90-degree angles in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) about the juxtaposition of the sun and the monolith in one particular shot.
“It’s probably the vibration,” someone told me about this ‘movement’ not of the sun rising on our planet but of the plank of wood. Bad vibes? Or is it the devil? Or the Super unknown? Or even myself without knowing I have The Power? … “The Power! The Power!!…” as John Carradine’s (1906-88 multiple organ failure after hiking in Italy) ghostly apparition says over and over again in Frankenstein Island (1982), which was director Jerry Warren’s (1925-88 lung cancer) final misbegotten masterpiece… What island? It’s the place where Sheila Frankenstein-Von Helsing (Katherine Victor 1923-2004 stroke from Cape Canaveral Monsters) has dreams of her husband living beyond 200 years old while someone in prison named Jayson quotes Edgar Allan Poe… Totally nuts and cheap movie which ends with an almost cream pie using empty plastic bottles as projectiles! I had an imaginary girlfriend named Sheila Moll/Mole back in 1981…
Before The Power peters out or reaches its double climax, Hamilton faces being left for dead on a missile range on an oasis surrounded by a dry salt plain as we learn in the end someone quite unexpected has The Power… Or which super-power was that in terms of a discerning air force pilot who helps save Hamilton?
I should mention that Susan Pleshette married the sweetheart of her younger years, the comedian Tom Poston (1921-2007), who died shortly before she did also of smoking related respiratory illness. He starred in the William Castle (1914-77 heart attack) movie Zotz! (1962), where Poston has the power to kill by pointing his finger and uttering “Zotz!” among other things like perhaps causing you forget what you were talking about… What was that?
Zotz! has director Castle all heil/hail the mighty goddess of the torch bearing female Columbia logo at the beginning of the movie rather than hold any man or God above himself… and the title zotz comes from the Mayan round calendar and means ‘bat’ while there is a German Nazi apologist historian who doesn’t seem to translate named Lothar Friedrich Zotz (1899-1967), who died a few months before the tontine of The Power met to film in April of 1967. In terms of conspiracy, had reparations in terms of Western-ized foreskin removal in some major countries to atone for the Nazi’s crimes of WW2 reached its peak and then the party disbanded? The hippies seemed to celebrate with the Summer of Love a few months later the same year in terms of non-circumcidere of their babies and having a gay time in San Francisco in mid-1967. This possibly harmless conspiracy theory and/or hangover somehow relates to myself and continues to haunt the world in terms of its own schizophrenic neurosis. The Incident (1967) of Bobby Kennedy was brewing.
To use terminology and slang and belonging to a club: Too bats/two bats or strike out a third time and you’re out… to go back to working for a company and sexual preference being determined by rules of the game in terms of society and Boys in the Band… and also Covid and the Mayan calendar.
Anyway, Lothar Zotz wrote about white pre-history and the discovery of such artifacts known as the Venus of Willendorf which showed man’s appreciation of the female form in terms of art and worship. The original was reportedly discovered near Budapest in Hungary… It’s that Celtic origin of the black Irishman’s dark foreskin and all that…as opposed to the Scandinavians and Nazi admiration to breed white ones. The irony that the Celts originated in central Europe… But who notices skin colour! Venus was worshipped in civilisation long before the Bible was possibly dropped on our doorstep along with Jesus Christ by mischievous aliens… I mean it’s a possibility!
The Power is an effective way for Pal and Haskin to more or less cap off their careers as it suggests that Nazism could rise again unchecked in terms of a polarisation of the extremes of The Gay Science by skinheads on the right and gays on the left… Christians are somewhere in the middle along with those AC/DC types who forget God is in the room with them or is sometimes a figment of their imagination… Sadly the brute force of physicality in terms of the will of a personality wins, as the weak person perishes in the meantime within the cruellest sense of Darwinian evolution…. The habit of prayer and healthy pursuits won’t preclude you from an early death from chemical induced cancer or from an overdose prescribed by doctors and other drug pushers – even self-administered ones. Prayer can make you happy and miracles and Marvels still happen every day. Despite thanks for being patient turning into thank you for being a patient in terms of the industry of medicine and hospitals… and the time wasted in queues is your can’t afford home delivery or have insurance.
“Who knows?,” is the pertinent question Nehemiah Persoff asks himself as this genius IQ smoker character drinks the strong coffee which probably killed him later on in the middle of a swinging party: “When I look at the newspaper it is going to hell in a hand basket… But what if it is being pushed?” The newspaper or the world? Doomed? Or ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’ to use a title from a lesser Supertramp album. Nothing’s changed or so it seems.
Miklos Rosza’s (1907-95) music for The Power is also good and uses a zither at times which originated in ancient Greece and also has Hungarian origins. Pal and Rosza were Hungarian. Also, if you look at the beginning of the movie there is a Perspex human figure which shows man’s blood vessels and brain and there is a man shuffling white papers behind it which has the effect of an erection. Another sly joke about thought, art and sex. The Danish Isle of Mons and early civilisation and all that as there doesn’t seem to be an African-American in sight in The Power… It’s still a cult movie. Perhaps that white hard-on is another joke in terms of Adolf’s barmy attempt at an Anglo-Aryan Race as head of his own committee…
The idea within The Power to form groups and parties (not necessarily political ones) to protect yourself from any thought of the fact you may end up possibly dying senselessly alone… leaving the world just as you entered it… Something which keeps many people from realising the true the spark of genius within or without themselves, or a belief in Zeus or other Gods. Something. The ‘sanity’ instead of this eternal quest and longing for a partner often leading men to have a mid-life crisis before they die without really opening the door to true enlightenment. Or is reaching the pearly gates simply The End as The Doors song is titled… No one seems to care if your time disappears in the hands of others (even family members, but hey you created them) as autocrats incorporate their own nations… What better way to make money! No wonder Adolf and his cronies turned away from Catholicism and became Supermen!! Catholicism tried hard but it didn’t earn enough… And you can’t trust your local priest! And who needs to be the smartest person in the room when you can be the cruellest… It all depends where you sit in the theatre of life!
Perhaps there really are angels in Berlin that now listen to voices in the heads of lonely individuals in Wim Wenders’s German ‘healing’ movie Wings of Desire (1987) in the wake of World War Two – when those criminal Nazi gays exterminated real gays along with Jews and others who simply didn’t belong for being mentally ill or disabled. Inner voices and dreams – anything’s better than incurable paranoia induced by a lack of inner spirituality and a belief in the universe rather than a God with a grey beard. If only Nietzsche had written in the text of The Gay Science or one of his other books to his Nazis and other prospective gays: It all comes down to the colour/color of a man’s foreskin and the length of it – or what’s left of it. This difference unites us all. Such is the healing of The Power.
Yes, I can only afford to have sex with a honeydew melon these days as I still can’t afford a girlfriend and I look like a louche anyway. But even melons are getting expensive! … And can a man or a woman lose their virginity to a banana? Seriously. Or as my inner God of Groucho Marx would remark: “You can make love to a rockmelon but you definitely can’t f*ck a rockmelon.”
“Give it up! Give it up!!,” suggests the villain in the closing moments of The Power as he tries to kill George Hamilton with his Superman Superpowers in possibly another straight-faced gag about the evils of self-abuse … then sing Amazing Grace, I tell you!!
“And then there were none,” says Pleshette at the end in relation to the ingenious plot of Agatha Christie’s novel of the same title where past injustice is dealt with by premeditated murder and how that racist nursery rhyme relates to the rhymes and crimes in the name of The Gay Science… The Power is perhaps a white man’s movie but with a black, black heart in terms of its humour long before it had to be spelt out to us.
That last voice you hear as you swallow your own vomit in the middle of the night like Jimi Hendrix (1942-70) maybe just an evil neighbour or frustrated lover who says forcefully about cancelling your dreams and aspirations as he or she wills you to death adding: “The world will have to wait!” in terms of ‘you’ and your addicted genius over-imbibing. Accidents do happen! … But this is just another thought that belongs in the restricted Enfer library in Paris… Meanwhile, David Cronenberg’s Scanners (1981), which was possibly inspired by The Power (the director’s psychic Stereo was made in 1969), has Canadian actor Michael Ironside (1950-) use his psychic powers and evil designs to wish his splitter of a schizophrenic brother to death by sending pent-up killer psychic thought energy along with the hateful sentiment of love/hate and mind/body: “Brothers should be close, don’t you think?!” Equality knows no bounds if you have The Power. And some people in life remain more equal than others, to quote something Orwellian.
That reminds me about another cult movie… and I wonder if Michael Ironside is a Royal watcher? Despite everything, like Matt Dillon and Danny Glover in The Saint of Fort Washington, I sometimes still believe in angels, not bad fairies (hopefully, they won’t get me again), along with the inherent goodness within ourselves and mankind. What more can I suggest about the power of suggestion contained within The Power? It’s all suggestive philosophy and mythology… If you feel someone suggesting something you don’t like, either in person or in your mind, dismiss it or them or train your mind to do so. You decide what is right for you, if God can’t help your possibly black soul. You have the divinity and the will to power.
“Fraulein, wake up, did you hear me Fraulein? … come to bed, I have a Tontine pillow.”