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John Carpenter: Master of Fear 4 Film Collection (The Thing / Prince of Darkness / They Live / Village of the Damned) (1982)

Kurt Russell , Donald Pleasence , John Carpenter  |  R |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Deal of the Week: Save 55% on "Elvira's Movie Macabre: The Coffin Collection" on DVD
Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark, hosts this frightfully funny collection of 26 B-Movie horror classics with her own unique style, all delivered in this collectible tin coffin. Learn more

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John Carpenter: Master of Fear 4 Film Collection (The Thing / Prince of Darkness / They Live / Village of the Damned) + The Blob (1988) / Christine (1983) / Fright Night (1985) / Seventh Sign
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kurt Russell, Donald Pleasence, Roddy Piper, Christopher Reeve, Wilford Brimley
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Writers: Frank Armitage, Martin Quatermass, Bill Lancaster, David Himmelstein
  • Producers: Larry Franco, David Foster, Michael Preger, Lawrence Turman, Sandy King
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 405 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024FADBA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,117 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "John Carpenter: Master of Fear 4 Film Collection (The Thing / Prince of Darkness / They Live / Village of the Damned)" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Possessed by an ominous creative vision and a chilling ability to keep audiences guessing until the very end, director John Carpenter is justifiably known as the Master of Fear for his body of mind-altering horror films that helped introduce the slasher genre to American audiences. The John Carpenter: Master of Fear Collection, featuring The Thing, Prince of Darkness, They Live and Village of the Damned, delivers all the shocks, suspense and sinister twists fans have come to expect. Dare to enter the world of John Carpenter: it’s a journey to the dark side of humanity that you won’t soon forget... The Thing In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and takes on the appearance of those it kills. They Live Aliens are gaining control of the earth by masquerading as humans and lulling the public into submission. Humanity's last chance lies with a lone drifter who stumbles upon a unique pair of sunglasses that reveal the terrifying and deadly truth. Prince of Darkness A group of graduate students and scientists uncover an ancient canister and inadvertently unleash a strange liquid from it. As the substance turns their co-workers into zombies, the remaining members realize they have released Satan himself. Village of the Damned After an unseen force invades a quiet coastal town, ten women mysteriously find themselves pregnant. A local physician and a government scientist join forces when the women simultaneously give birth…and the reign of terror begins.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great package but nada on extras September 24, 2009
Will the real John Carpenter step forward? Is he the diabolical, masterful horror trailblazer who made Halloween and The Fog, or the sardonic, self-aware b-movie cheese-slinger who made Escape From L.A., Ghosts of Mars, and Body Bags? What makes this collection so good is that it not only represents some of his biggest and best, but you can almost see the transition take place. Carpenter is in top form with The Thing, a gripping, atmospheric feat of pure horror. Prince of Darkness is somewhat of an experimental film, with little in the way of special effects, a relaxed and naturalistic pace, and perhaps even heavier on the atmosphere, complete with a strange, somewhat elliptical tale. While it has its moments, Village of the Damned seems to be a misstep, and while Carpenter seems to handle this movie with a straight face, the subject matter is ultimately too meager and silly to make it a worthwhile watch. Thankfully, Carpenter remedies this disjunction with They Live, helming a far out, 50s pulp era story and giving it both the seriousness it needs for us to connect with it while also ensuring hammy performances and exaggerated visuals as a counterpoint.

The four movies are collected on two DVDs, and thankfully, they're one-sided discs with artwork instead of those abominable flippers. We get The Thing and Prince of Darkness on the first disc, with They Live and Village of the Damned on the second. All four movies are in Widescreen, but that's all you get here. There are no special features of any kind, not even any trailers. In fact, there aren't even chapter selection options on the menu screens, so if you want to get to a certain point in the movies, you have to play them from the beginning and then skip chapters from there.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yes , each film has English subtitles . Now , if you are deaf or hard of hearing or just like to read the script dialog while you watch (like me) , you have that ability to do so here . Perhaps you have to keep the volume low ? Besides , if you are a TRUE horror fan , how many Anchor Bay or other film distribution companies have made you pay through-the-nose for pictures , but have failed to provide subtitles or encode closed captions ? I won't extol the various virtues of these films (all presented in their proper aspect ratios) , as that's subjective . Read um and don't weep though . Less than 4 dollars a film ? Wow . Great-value-fun .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cue in the John Carpenter soundtrack...enjoy! October 27, 2012
Prince of Darkness: Alice Cooper as a zombie bum! This is more surrealistic than literal; there is some sort of evil godforce in a glass tube beneath an old Catholic church that turns a group of college ghost hunter types into zombies; Donald Pleasance plays a jittery priest, and as always is a joy to watch. An eerie little horror flick with gruesomely fun music.

They Live: Don't trust the media because they're aliens! Yeah, not a surprise there. Roddy Piper is our delirious hero with his special glasses that let you see the disguised aliens as they truly are and reveal subliminal meesages peppered throughout society to stay subservient to the aliens. Wish we had some of those glasses, especially when watching today's mass media spin their Wonderland news. The music here is a bit jaunty but catchy.

Village of the Damned: Christopher Reeve and Mark Hamill star in this nifty remake of the 1960's classic about a town that collapses into unconsciousness and nine months later all the women give birth to blonde-headed, telekinetic terrors that were possible inspiration for Charlie in Firestarter. I think it's the last movie before my favorite Superman had his spine injury that left him paralyzed for the last five or six years of his life. The music here is slow and lethargic, the worst of all four films.

The Thing: Kurt Russell starred in five Carpenter films (Elvis (1979), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986)and Escape from L.A.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Old Movies. August 11, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This set is fantastic to get out if you want to experience the chill that older movies can send down your spine without the use of all the special effects that are currently used today. The best of the set, in my opinion, was Village of the Damned. Let's face it... any film about scary, evil children is flat out freaky. I am crossing my fingers for a remake of this movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We loved all these movies October 25, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's been my experience with sets like these that you normally only like one or two of the movies, and the rest are awful. We saw every one of these movies back in college, and loved them all, so when I saw them here, all together, it was a no-brainer purchase. They Live was our favorite, but we've watched every one of these movies a handful of times over the years. We're 39, and people our age who are into Horror will probably love this stuff as much as we do. Great collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a nice collection of his works. April 10, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this for the film "They Live" which turned out to be far more prophetic than I expected when I saw it in the theaters. The collection was a great price and I am happy with my purchase.
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Topic From this Discussion
Special Features?
Bad news: there are no special features whatsoever on any of the flicks here ... not even trailers. It's a cool package, but if you need the special features, I'd go with the Collector's Edition of The Thing.
Sep 24, 2009 by Alex Faber |  See all 3 posts
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