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Prince of Darkness (Widescreen)

Donald Pleasence , Lisa Blount , John Carpenter    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Sale: CDN$ 43.77
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Prince of Darkness (Widescreen) + The Fog (Special Edition) (1978)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Carpenters best � a cult horror classic. 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Masterpiece! June 30 2004
By CreepyT
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Low-budget chiller way better than it should be! June 3 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Prince of Darkness SHOULD have been a horrible movie. It has alot of things wrong with it. For instance:
-The opening credits are boring and take a LONG time to roll by.
-The first half hour of the movie, nothing much happens.
-There is a "romantic" subplot that is about as exciting and fun as eating paint chips.
-The budget is clearly really small, even for a Carpenter flick.
-It has a lot of scientific/spiritual mumbo-jumbo dialogue, which is bount to put people off in what is mostly a ZOMBIE MOVIE.
-The plot is outrageous, even by horror movie standards.
-Almost all the actors are recycled from older John Carpenter movies like "Big Trouble in Little China."
-Satan in a jar... 'nuff said.
-Alice Cooper... 'nuff said.
Having said all that, this movie really creeped me out. It has some good scares, some gross-outs, and some chilling moments. The ending was flat-out nuts, in a good way. This movie doesn't measure up to Carpenter's version of "The Thing," but it is a good and original chiller all the same.
On to the DVD... the sound and picture quality are excellent, but you get practically NO extras whatsoever. And I think this movie deserves the "Special Edition" treatment like "The Thing" and "The Fog" got.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One hell of a ride! June 1 2004
By A Customer
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great HD transfer
Scream Factory has done it again! Great HD transfer, great mix of old and new extras, and some kickass slip covers handdrawn/painting style. Highly recommended!
Published 1 month ago by Mathieu N.
1.0 out of 5 stars i'm sorry,...,
but i thought this was a really bad John Carpenter movie. i just felt
the whole thing was ridiculous.take the premise,for example. Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2007 by falcon
1.0 out of 5 stars Excuse me..do you have Satan in a can?
Since the other reviewers have spoiled the plotline (roughly), I will limit my review of this movie to a brief synopsis and try to keep the criticisms on a creative level. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Valjean
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated baloney
There wasn't an original idea in this film. To hear it referred to as scary, or worse yet, a masterpiece, curdles the yogurt I just ate. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Jonathan Appleseed
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good one from Carpenter
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. Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by John IV
4.0 out of 5 stars An "almost" perfect Horror film. Unique best decribes.
Reality check:
Major Problem #1: this film features what is perhaps the most annoying opening credits sequence of any film ever made. Read more
Published on March 18 2004 by enoonnoone
4.0 out of 5 stars It is evil. It is real. It is awakening.
Something evil is awakening in the ancient basement of St. Goddard's church, something that has lain dormant and for eons, until now... Read more
Published on March 15 2004 by cookieman108
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one from Carpentar...
Prince of Darkness is a movie where religion and science comes together. Before you say: "it has zombies in it so it must be cheesy," watch the movie and you'll see how... Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Kenneth Lehman
1.0 out of 5 stars WORST CARPENTER MOVIE
The ideas aren't really that bad, but in my oppinion this movie is very badly made. The scenes are crappy and the movie is nor spooky nor gory. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Marc Kremer
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