Prince of Darkness (1987)

R  |   |  Horror  |  23 October 1987 (USA)
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A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.



(as Martin Quatermass)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Dun ...
Susan Blanchard ...
Susan Cabot (as Anne Howard)
Ann Yen ...
Ken Wright ...
Thom Bray ...


A sinister secret has been kept in the basement of an abandoned Los Angeles church for many years. With the death of a priest belonging to a mysterious sect, another priest opens the door to the basement and discovers a vat containing a green liquid. The priest contacts a group of physics graduate students to investigate it. Unfortunately, they discover that the liquid contains the essence of Satan himself, and they also discover that he will release HIS father - an all-powerful Anti-God! The liquid later comes to life itself, turning some of the students into zombies as the Devil comes forward to release his father. Will these students be able to stop him? Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

church | priest | student | liquid | devil | See All (133) »


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Release Date:

23 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$14,182,492 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


(at around 35 mins) Alice Cooper used the bike impalement trick in his stage shows prior to this movie. The bike he uses was his own personal prop. See more »


We see the new moon very close to the sun (though showing far too much crescent for such a small angle). A few scenes later, Brian Marsh is looking at a full moon, then a few more scenes later, we see the new moon again near the sun. That night, we see the full moon again. See more »


Walter: [In the closet hiding from the demonically-possessed Susan and Lisa who stand outside staring at him. Walter comes up with a joke he heard] All right. A Jewish mother goes to the airport to meet her daughter. The daughter steps off the plane with an eight-foot-tall Zulu warrior with a bone through his nose. The mother screams, "You fool! I said a rich doctor!"
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits last for nine minutes. See more »


Referenced in The American Nightmare (2000) See more »


Prince of Darkness
Performed by Alice Cooper
Courtesy of MCA Records
Written by Alice Cooper & Kane Roberts
Produced by Michael Wagener
(C) 1987 Ensign Music Corporation, Ezra Music Inc.
Screen Gems Music - EMI Music Inc.
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User Reviews

One of Carpenter's most underrated and best! **** out of *****
9 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The great thing about John Carpenter's films is that almost all of them feature a great sense of doom throughout the picture. Think about it... HalloweeN, The Fog, Escape From New York, In The Mouth of Madness... pure doom and gloom. And they are all accompanied by equally brooding soundtracks.

Prince of Darkness has all of the elements of a classic Carpenter flick. I think it's finally getting the recognition it deserves and is gaining a small cult following.

The acting for the most part is really good. There are some very memorable lines of dialog and I think the script is very well written. Again music is key here. The music helps with the feel of the movie which is very unsettling.

Also, Alice Cooper has a very small but memorable roll. His song 'Prince of Darkness' from the album 'Raise Your Fist and Yell' can be heard during an incredible suspense scene.

A must see for the Carpenter fan. In my opinion it's in his top five.

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