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Prince of Darkness

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Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Writers: John Carpenter
  • Producers: Andre Blay, Larry J. Franco, Shep Gordon
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 15 2013
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AOX0A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,349 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

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.


The B picture lives on in the films of John Carpenter. Prince of Darkness weds supernatural horror with quantum weirdness, when a group of theoretical-physics students, led by their professor, Birack (Victor Wong), joins forces with a priest (Donald Pleasence) to forestall the coming of the Dark Lord. His Darkness has been imprisoned in a cylindrical container as a swirling green plasma since time immemorial, and is now beginning to find his way out. All of this is bolstered by a lot of fancy science talk (all of which is real, I can assure you--someone did his homework), which allows us to settle down, say okey dokey, and enjoy the thrills that this presages. As the title character spreads his contagion through the group of students, holed up in a church to study the sequestered Satan, the film shapes up as an homage to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, much like Carpenter's earlier film, Assault on Precinct 13. But this adds the twist of quantum physics dovetailing with religious orthodoxy, and in the bargain spawning numerous zombie minions. There are plenty of squishy splatter opportunities, the kind that make some affected people say, "This is a bad movie!" while they grin from ear to ear. Look for Alice Cooper as a street schizo. I think you'll recognize him. --Jim Gay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By OverTheMoon on July 15 2004
Format: DVD
I remember seeing this in the theatre when it first came out and there is no mistaking that this is one terrifying horror movie, not because Carpenter can knock up a load of blood on the screen but because it has brains and all the hallmarks of classic Carpenter suspense. If you are a Carpenter fan then you probably know that his earlier shoestring budget works are better than his recent big budget crap fests - The Thing, Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween and The Fog are what makes Carpenter great. Prince of Darkness is no exception to that rule.
The film concerns a secret Christian sect, called the Brotherhood of Sleep, who have kept something evil locked up in one of their churches downstairs in a large glass vessel. When the final brother dies he passes on the secret to Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence) who in turn decided to call in some physics students from the local college to find out what is in the vessel. Soon the students find themselves up against an evil that is waiting to be reborn, and also up against themselves as the evil takes hold of them (sort of turning people in zombies that spray evil water out from their mouths).
The single most amazing thing about the Prince of Darkness is the whole atmosphere. There is very little blood at the start and yet the feelings that are evoked by the wonderful set designs, music and lighting will have the hair on the back on your head sticking up. When the blood does come it is not as shocking, however there is one scene of a dead man outside standing in beetles that gave me sleepless nights for weeks. Imagine that thing standing at the end of your bed at night!
This is not just a horror film either.
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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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By A Customer on June 1 2004
Format: DVD
I'm going to get this out of the way, by stating up front what is wrong with this movie:
-The opening credits take WAY too long. What was he thinking? Start the movie, get a beer, come back 5 minutes later.
-Related to #1, the movie is slow to start and the pacing seems a little uneven. Not much happens but talking for a while. If you expect a continuous slash-o-rama, you will be disappointed.
-The premise is a real doozy, and might bounce some people right out of the movie before anything even gets started.
-Like alot of Carpenter movies, this one has a small budget, and it sometimes shows.
-If you don't like John Carpenter's soundtracks, well, this has got one, only more so.
Having said all that, I am forced to admit that "The Prince of Darkness" is one hell of a horror movie. Not quite on par with the damn-near-perfect "The Thing," and in fact a very different kind of horror movie, but a killer movie on its own merits. It is also more thought-provoking and intelligent than almost anything wearing the "horror" label. It makes great use of the "everything you know is wrong" premise to really screw with your head, and if it doesn't freak you out once or twice, you just ain't human.
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Format: DVD
Sunday, May 09, 2004 / 4 of 5 / Another good one from Carpenter. There is a certain niche in the horror genre that mixes religion and science well. Event Horizon, and Prince of Darkness are prime examples. I always enjoy this offering from Carpenter, it has his trademark minimalist musical tone set throughout, like the throbbing of a heartbeat. It also has his weird bent on conflict through identity issues, people are taken over and used to attack the others. And of course there is the shocking image of a bad guy standing in full view in the shadows, unmoving ala Halloween. A disparate group of grad students including physicists, language people, biologists, etc. are brought together to an abandoned church to investigate a mysterious cylinder which may well contain Satan. About to be loosed, he seeks his father an 'anti-God'. An interesting take on the theory of opposites in the universe, never mind that the dogma of an omni-powerful monotheistic God makes that possibility moot. Carpenter staple Donald Pleasance plays the latest in the line of priests to learn about the monstrous lie propagated by the church that evil is not in fact a sleeping physical entity. Cat and mouse games ensue in the church as the group gets trapped by homeless people under the power of Satan. Recommended.
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