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Ancient cylinder of snot discovered in a church basement is the essence of the Devil himself?!? So-so movie. Solid Blu-ray.
on October 8, 2015
THE STORY: A small group of college students & their professors are cryptically invited to spend the weekend in an abandoned rundown church, tasked with analyzing an ages-old container of gooey green glop discovered in the church's catacombs. These eggheads end up battling Ultimate Evil because, you see, the funky substance swirling within the corroded vessel is apparently the Devil himself - albeit in liquid form?!? Will anyone survive this supernatural confrontation?
THOUGHTS: The script for PoD was in need of some minor conceptual changes and major re-writes before filming began, IMHO. Confusing tale of the nature of evil is a disjointed journey into sort-of terror. Normally on-the-money director John Carpenter fumbles the ball with this head-scratching mess. Lots of good actors on hand who turn in decent performances, but the situation isn't explained well enough nor is it very believable, even on its own terms. For a John Carpenter-directed horror movie about The Church vs. Satan, this mish-mash is a discouraging misfire. There are some great horror moments, but your overall enjoyment will be directly tied to how big a fan you are of either the genre OR the director (or both). I love John Carpenter, unfortunately I just could not get into this film. Like I said, the script (by Carpenter, writing under the amusing pseudonym of Martin Quatermass) is a barrage of wildly diverse ideas that just doesn't gel. For me, Carpenter's earlier works remain his best.
THE BLU-RAY: The good news is that fans of this film are treated to a very nice Blu-ray release from Shout!Factory. Really solid picture with strong blacks and no pixelation or overuse of DNR. Good old film grain is evident, too. All of which is a big positive since much of this film takes place in dimly-lit hallways, murky subterranean chambers and outside after sundown. The soundmix is strong & steady. A healthy dose of bonus features have been included to help up the value here as well, so if you own a BR player and are a fan of PRINCE OF DARKNESS then buying this Blu-ray is an easy recommendation. Others may wish to rent first. I can only barely give it a modest 3 STARS. I much prefer HALLOWEEN or THE THING for my Carpenter horror fix.