Remarkable Power DVD Review


Very likely the mother of all regional filmmaking, Brandon Beckner’s Remarkable Power gives outrageous new meaning to the notion of offbeat, while showing no mercy for just how bizarre the unsung locals of Los Angeles can be. Approached with a playfully subversive eye, the take no prisoners devilish satire observes those deliriously dysfunctional inhabitants as if from another freaky planet.

In a city apparently typified, or rather plagued by highly unorthodox aspirations, and we’re not talking Hollywood, Nora Zehetner is Athena, a, how shall we say, posthumous paparazzi who is fond of eavesdropping into police dispatches and compulsively chasing down fresh corpses. In particular, the really bloody and mangled kind, to post to her website, But when Athena aggravates private eye Van Hagen (Tom Arnold) by interfering with his own stakeouts, the unlikely duo end up pooling their wits to decipher a mindblowing crime in progress. Portions of which have not yet been perpetrated or even in some cases incidentally formulated.

Mixing into the pathological mayhem about to unfold, is a late night talk show host (Kevin Nealon) experiencing a drastic dive in ratings at the same time that he discovers his wife is having an affair. And whose preference is for interviewing uncommon guests like the shortest rockers in the world, while mulling the installation of a trap door on stage to eliminate boring conversationalists. And waiting to get into the singularly perverse action on the narrative sidelines, is a kid slacker turned kitchen knife peddler, or rather domestic enhancement specialist; a phony infomercial self-help guru turned star, LAPD buffoons gone undercover in Batman and Robin Halloween wear; Russian communist mobster corpse thieves; and a religious Jewish crimelord fond of calling his similarly sectarian supersized black lieutenant ‘He-Bro.’

If there’s too much going on to keep straight at times, there’s never a dull moment pandemonium throughout. While not surprising at all considering the scoops lately grabbed by sleazy supermarket gossip rags upstaging more reputable media, are the tabloids totally getting it when other reporters haven’t a clue. So don’t forget to pay attention to those closing credits, for a few far out cinematic punchlines wrapping up all the weirdness.

MTI Home Video

Rated R

3 stars

DVD Extras: Filmmaker Commentary; Deleted Scenes; Interactive Menu; Theatrical Trailers.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.