Action / Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
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A modern-day politician is faced with an incomprehensible in this mystical-fantasy. Senator Rast is a very powerful man. But his is nothing compared to the extraordinary power of the enigmatic stranger who mysteriously comes to "visit" him. Possessing uncanny magical prowess and miraculous psychic abilities, the peculiar, but seemingly benevolent, visitor quickly gains a spell-binding hold over the senator and his family. But a power-lusting political backer is also vying for control over the up-and-coming senator. And he would kill the influential stranger, without question, for that power. But he and the senator are about to be enlightened. —Rone Barton Lokarr.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 15, 2021 at 09:09 PM
grade Movie Reviews
I saw this film in my youth and after years of searching for it, finally taped it off the telly. Robert Powel is exceptional as the title character as is David Hemmings as the senator. There are a few films out there that can just bewitch you as you're watching them, The Wickerman being the best example, but this one comes very close. If you see this little gem airing on your TV in the wee small hours I urge you to tape it.
Who's pulling your strings?
A faith healer who appears from nowhere suddenly cures the sick son of a profound government senator, whom the politicians wife falls under the mysterious healer's charm and the young boy grows attached to his company. The senator can't shake the idea that there's something strange about all of this, could it all be a hypnotic trick or is there something really supernatural going on here. Then you got the chief political adviser who's trying to rid the healer of power he holds over the senator and his family, because he wants to be the one who's in control of the senator.Was it all an illusion? Who was playing whom? Did this go beyond reality, by making way for supernatural influences? Like you see there are so many question brought up here that are totally left unexplained, but this enigmatic factor of who, what and why makes for one curious, but oddly enchanting spectacle. The multi-layered story plays out like political fantasy where it throws around many different ideas and allegories into the blend, where nothing seems quite like what it is because of a real mystical edge that's given out by Powell's charismatic character Wolfe. As an exhilarating tale, it failed for me, but for a curiosity piece, it really did work. The plot's outline shares its similarities with the Rasputin account, but this film has gone with a contemporary take on the story. The story does become incredibly strange with certain circumstances and situations, in which you have to suspend your disbelief and plays around with psychological tension. The thick air of mystery that's planted in the film, you could say is like that of a jigsaw puzzle that's missing some important pieces to give it that truly satisfying feel. The complex script is heavy on its parallel theories and it very much comes across like a poetic riddle (that's most of Powell's lines anyway) with it parables and psychic jargon. It's a very talkative piece with little significant details and hints running throughout it very mischievous layout on who's really the manipulator and just what are everyone's true intentions.The film, which was made in Australia, looks reasonably good, even though it had a modest budget to work with. By today's standards the appearance and even the context is somewhat dated. The special effects are reasonably modest, with the odd hokey effect, but I guess you just got to take it with a grain of salt. The mostly well devised FXs were well orchestrated in to the story, but it does go over-the-top in the third act were the uneven pacing makes way for some flamboyant magic tricks for the fight of control over the senator. At least they were spot on with it, but they do and as well as the costumes give it an underlining campy b-grade charm. The location setting was simply ravishing and the exterior of the senator's house (were it all mostly plays out) is given a grand feel. The glitzy cinematography was remarkably well handled with some showy moments and Brian May's tenderly spooky score had a stinging, but emotional rush too it. Director Simon Wincer manages to come up with some inspired, solid visuals and tiny pockets of heighten and exciting suspense. But some moments are half-baked and it has an climax that doesn't feel like it has paid off. You just feel like it's working up for something big. However it does fit in with its subtle moodiness.The performances are very first-rate with an international cast on show. Robert Powell plays the healer, Wolfe and his piercing capabilities create such subtly mysterious imprint (good or evil?) that you can't help but be intrigued by. David Hemmings' underplayed performance as senator Nick Rast shows a real solidarity. Broderick Crawford superbly plays Doc Wheelan a greedy political leader who overlooks Senator Rast and when he's on screen his presence truly governs the film. Carmen Duncan as Sandra Rast simply shines in her feisty role and Mark Spain utterly fits the role of eerie young lad Alex Rast. I thought the chemistry of the relationships was well thought up and naturally suitable.What is served up here is exceedingly ambiguous and different, but this creative project has more going for it then what actually meets the eye. It's far from flawless and it wasn't what I expecting that's for sure, but it does make for an interesting viewing.
Shades of the Romanov.
Intriguing supernatural thriller which keeps -at least till its last sequences -special effects to the minimum and mainly relies on Robert Powell's fascinating presence -whatever you think of Zephirelli's work,you cannot deny he was perhaps the best Jesus on the screen- and the rest of the cast follows suit.Actually the little boy's and Powell's relationship reminds me more of that of Damien and his sinister nanny in "the omen" (see their power on animals) than Rasputin and the czar's son.But Sandra 's behavior is Alexandra's under Grigori the monk's spell.And their surname,"Rast" is "tsar" backwards!Rasputin's motives were mysterious ,and he moved in a political world where his influence was huge when it came to ruling the country .Wolf's reasons why constantly elude the viewer's perception,and it justifies the hints at comedia della arte and Harlequin :like Rasputin ,he tried to open his master's eyes.Rasputin's death has remained even today wrapped in mystery :poison (but documents were found which would tend to prove poison was not efficient and that the killers -Iusupov and Dimitri- were amateurs.) then the gun (four shots in the back),but when they found the dead body in the frozen river,they had to admit he did not die of his wounds.Hence the conclusion of the movie which would pass for another "Friday the 13th" rip-off ,if history were not here.But connections with "the omen" remain:Powell trying to enlighten the senator is not unlike the priest trying to persuade Peck his son was evil;both movies take place in the political world.And the last pictures of the two movies are very similar.Watch it:although by no means a masterpiece,it's above average and would deserve a better rating.
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