Powder is a 1995 film starring Sean Patrick Flanery as Jeremy "Powder" Reed, a blindingly white, bald albino boy born with supernatural powers. Powder's mother had died during pregnancy and his father had disowned him, so his grandparents cared for him instead, though keeping him in the basement with nothing but books for solace. CPS agents take Powder from his home and to bring Powder into the outside world after his grandfather was discovered dead.
This film was directed by Victor Salva, who was guilty of molesting a 12-year-old child actor in 1988. Salva's victim would eventually come forward to get others to attempt to boycott the film, a possible reason for its disappointing box office revenues (US$31 million) The controversy and low return is probably why Disney—owner of the film's release label Hollywood Pictures—has never re-hired Salva since.
This film provides examples of:
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: At the end of the film, Powder vanishes after running into a field and being struck by lightning. Doug theorizes that he transcended the mundane world and turned into pure energy.
- Bullying a Dragon: The bullies try to strip Powder naked after they catch him checking out other boys in the shower.
- Death by Childbirth: Powder's mother died giving birth to him. This leads his father to abandon him (Powder being albino is also probably a factor).
- Did Not Get the Girl: Because her father's a raging bigot.
- Fantastic Racism:
Sheriff Barnum: I never thought we'd find a man too white for you there, Harley.
- If the characters depicted are any indication, it would seem that the country's worst bigots have all been dumped into this small town. You can count on one hand the characters who aren't openly hostile.
- Suggested to be a conventional racist, Officer Harley's reaction to first seeing Powder leads to this.
- Heel Realization: Officer Harley after Powder makes him feel the pain of the deer he shot. However, while it causes him to never use a gun again, his appearance at the end of the film shows that he's still a Jerkass who hates Powder even more for having done that to him.
- Heroic Albino
- Humans Are Bastards: One of the overall themes of the film.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Harley mentioned briefly about a medical report that claimed Powder's grandfather was electrocuted. Barnum scoffs it off. However seeing his powers lead us to believe that he may have either accidentally or intentionally killed his grandfather. It's implied that Powder tried to use his powers to revive his grandfather, the same way he saves John later in the film.
- Magical Defibrillator: With his powers, he is this.
- Mistaken for Gay: One point of the film has Powder stare at one of the boys at the gym washing himself in a drinking fountain, but envious of the hair on his head and body that he lacks, not that he's sexually attracted to him. The other boys catch him for this, assuming he's gay.
- Raised by Grandparents: As soon as he was born, Powder was sent to live with his grandparents because his father wanted nothing to do with him.
- Teens Are Monsters: John especially, although he's revealed to be like this because his step-father abused him. It's implied he became a better person after Jeremy restarts his heart.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The fate of the titular character, who gets struck by lightning, but disappears outright, leaving nothing behind.