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Prince of Darkness

253 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Master of horror John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) directs this terrifying battle between humankind and ultimate evil. A group of graduate students and scientists uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open the container, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid and an evil force on all humanity. As the liquid turns their co-workers into zombies, the remaining members realize they have released the most unspeakable of horrors, Satan himself, thus paving the way for the return of his father - the all-powerful anti-God. Terror mounts as the last two members of the team must fight to save an innocent world from a devilish fury that has festered for over seven million years.

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Recommendations

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Lisa Blount, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun
    • Directors: John Carpenter
    • Writers: Martin Quatermass
    • Producers: Larry Franco
    • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen, Surround Sound
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • 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: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2003
    • Run Time: 102 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0000AOX0A
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,229 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Prince of Darkness" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    79 of 87 people found the following review helpful By CreepyT on June 30, 2004
    Format: DVD
    An ancient evil has awakened, and it is in liquid form! Father Loomis (Donald Pleasance) receives a key from another, now deceased, priest, and with this key opens himself up to a whole new realm of knowledge that the Roman Catholic church has kept secret for quite some time now. Father Loomis enlists the aid of a brilliant physicist, Prof. Howard Birack (Victor Wong), and some of his graduate students to help him unravel this archaic mystery. Without knowing exactly what they are getting themselves into, several experts in the fields of chemistry, biology, and ancient texts set out to investigate the undisclosed enigma.
    Deep within the sanctuary of a run down church lies a dirty little secret few know about. The Prince of Darkness, son of the devil himself, is being held captive in liquid form, and is guarded by only a few lucky priests and nuns. However, the time has come for the Prince to awaken and bring forth his father to wreak havoc. As the Prince, and thus his father, gains his strength, many of the more weak-minded are turned to do the biding of the dark lord. The zombie and bug counts rise as the plot thickens, and this group of science professors and students are in a race against time to stop the forces of evil from inflicting their ill will on the unsuspecting public.
    Unfortunately, this film tends to be hidden in the shadows behind Carpenter's more famous "Halloween" and "The Thing." However, that does make this film all that much more of a gem. This is truly one of his great cinematic accomplishments, complete with his own score, a great cast, and stellar effects for the time. The characters are fairly well developed, yet Carpenter manages to accomplish this without dwelling on this aspect of the film.
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    125 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth V. Cockrel on December 18, 1999
    Format: VHS Tape
    One of John Carpenter's last truly great movies, made before he lost his touch and began cranking out dreck like "In the Mouth of Madness" and "Vampires."
    Not surprisingly this film tanked at the box office when released way back in 1987. It's script, a heady mix of quantum physics, religious doctrine, and questions about the origins of Christ and Satan, challenges everything viewers think they know about God, the Devil, and Man. But true horror film fans will appreciate it's intelligent script about Satan's return to earth and his attempts to bring along something even worse than him.
    What could possibly be worse than Satan? Buy the movie and find out. You won't be dissappointed.
    At its core, "Prince" is an old-fashioned horror film. A group of people, in this case, college grad students, their professor, and an emotionally shattered priest, are trapped in an old spooky place(a church) with something horrible. But the script's deft mix of science and secret scripture lifts it above cliche. Carpenter's skillfull direction creates a sense of claustrophobic tension that makes you feel as if you're in the movie.
    There are few directors who can create this sense of menace even in daylight scenes but Carpenter pulls it off. The film's first scene establishes a sense of escalating dread that spirals into full blown terror by the movie's final moments.
    You'll also be thinking about the film's bone-chilling last scene long after you've hit the rewind button.
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    53 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Dark Mechanicus JSG on October 21, 2003
    Format: DVD
    John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness" is vintage Carpenter and one of the Master's greatest and most underrated outings, serving up a masterfully ghoulish, take-no-prisoners, heavy on the red sauce and liquefied pure green Evil little howler of a horror movie.
    Consider "Prince of Darkness" as a fine Carpenterian wine (a merlot, of course---a deep *red* merlot), well aged---after all, 1987 was a good year, and this film is a fine vintage. The bouquet? Rich and heady, a fine distillation of "Assault on Precinct 13" and "The Thing." With that in mind, let's pop the cork on "Prince of Darkness".
    When the last, venerable priest of an ancient and mysterious Catholic order dies, Father Loomis (played with aplomb by the great Donald Pleasence---possibly playing the brother of Mike Myer's shrink?), sent to gather the priest's effects and secure his crumbling parish church, discovers something green, liquid and nasty bottled up in the church basement, and it's not detergent.
    Father Loomis calls in a team of physics students and linguistic researchers, who begin to suspect something Evil is afoot in the church basement, and It has plans of its own. Let the Smackdown commence!
    In this corner: A team of physics grad students led by Parker Jameson (A.J. Simon from the TV series "Simon and Simon, of course!) and veteran character actor Victor Wong (from Carpenter's other camp classic "Big Trouble in Little China", here hamming it up and chewing scenery with furious abandon and with the help of a spooky eye), and of course with Pleasence bringing in the ecclesiastical heavy weapons.

    AND in this Corner: Evil, incarnate as puke-green liquid encased in a translucent cylinder in the base of a decrepit L.A.
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    Topic From this Discussion
    The green liquid..Satan or Satan's Son?
    I can only offer an opinion as it has been 15 years since I last cranked up the VHS tape of this...awaiting my copy of the DVD to arrive from Amazon :)
    As Jesus is the Son of God, I am left with the impression that the "spirit" of the son of satan inhabits the vesel of green... Read More
    Aug 5, 2009 by A. PRICE |  See all 4 posts
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