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Prince of Darkness (1987) Poster

Trivia

Donald Pleasence's character, Father Loomis, is named after the character he played in the Halloween movies.
This is the second film in what John Carpenter calls his Apocalypse Trilogy. The others are The Thing (1982) and In the Mouth of Madness (1994).
(at around 25 mins) When actor Peter Jason, who plays Dr. Leahy, introduces himself to Dr. Birack (Victor Wong) for the first time, he wasn't expecting Wong to walk away in the middle of the scene. Jason's subsequent confused appearance and awkwardness is natural and unscripted.
John Carpenter's first film that he made independently since Escape from New York (1981). Not only because of the box office failure of his previous film Big Trouble in Little China (1986), but also his frustration with working with the studios.
(at around 1h 7 mins) Peter Jason hurt his shoulder in the scene where he and Jameson Parker try to break the front doors of the church down to escape. He claims that the pain still flares up to this day.
The recurring dream was shot on video and filmed off of a television screen.
Mercury was used for the reaching through the mirror shots.
(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.
The audio of the "broadcasts" that Brian receives in his dreams was sampled by Marilyn Manson in the song "Down In The Park" originally performed by Gary Numan. It is also sampled on DJ Shadow's album 'Endtroducing...'
The movie was shot in just over 30 days.
(at around 34 mins) Peter Jason came up with the idea for the mouth trumpet routine.
(at around 23 mins) When Brian and Catherine are in bed in the morning, Brian says to her, "Who was he, the one that gave you such a high opinion of men?" This is a fairly well known quote (among others) from To Have and Have Not (1944), only the sexes are reversed here. The original has Lauren Bacall saying, "Who was the girl, Steve?" To which Humphrey Bogart replies, "Who was what girl?" And she responds, "The one who left you with such a high opinion of women."
Several scenes were shot at the University of Southern California, which John Carpenter attended as a film student.
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The parts played by Donald Pleasence, Victor Wong and Dennis Dun were written specifically for them by John Carpenter due to his enjoyable prior collaborations with them.
Jameson Parker, who plays Brian, was sporting an old leg injury he picked up while making TV series Simon & Simon (1981), and would sometimes need to rest in his trailer because of the pain.
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While Dennis Dun and Victor Wong worked together with John Carpenter on Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Donald Pleasence worked with Carpenter on Halloween (1978) and Escape from New York (1981). It was the first time Peter Jason worked with Carpenter and would later work together on They Live (1988), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), Village of the Damned (1995), Escape from L.A. (1996), and Ghosts of Mars (2001).
Rockstar Alice Cooper believes the film is ripe for a sequel, claiming he wants to see more than just the anti-God's hand but the whole thing!
Screenwriter John Carpenter is credited as "Martin Quatermass". The pseudonym is a homage to Professor Bernard Quatermass, the lead character of The Quatermass Experiment (1953) and several subsequent TV series and film versions. In the original press notes he was described as 'the brother of Professor Bernard Quatermass, head of the British rocket programme.' In a further nod to Carpenter's influences, the character Wyndham is named after science-fiction author John Wyndham and Anne Howard's character is named after the star of The Wasp Woman (1959), Susan Cabot.
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Jameson Parker came up with the idea for the card trick.
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Rock singer Alice Cooper is among the hordes of homeless people that surround the church during the film.
The first of two films that John Carpenter made with Alive Films. The second film they made was They Live (1988).
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Alice Cooper states he was directed to act emotionless and "brain dead" by John Carpenter. The street people were "soul-less".
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Alice Cooper originally asked Carpenter if he could come to set just to watch a special effect, due to Cooper's manager also producing the film. Carpenter eventually decided to offer Cooper a role as the leader of the street people.
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Carpenter states he set out to make a film that was atmospheric and dreadful. At the time he was noticing a lot of derivative horror films and wanted to try something new involving quantum mechanics and religion.
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(at around 51 mins) The scene where Wyndham (Robert Grasmere) is stabbed by the bag-lady at the back of the church is inspired by a similar stabbing scene in the Terence Fisher movie The Curse of the Werewolf (1961).
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Although the film wasn't John Carpenter's first screenplay that he wrote since Escape from New York (1981), it was the first film since Escape that he directed but credited himself as "Martin Quatermass". A similar thing he did on They Live (1988) but under the name "Frank Armitage".
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Was originally written as the fourth Halloween film (when the series was to be unrelated Halloween anthology films ala Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)) but was rewritten as a stand alone film when the producers decided to resurrect Michael Myers, a story arc Carpenter felt he had concluded with Halloween II.
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Carpenter mentions the film died a swift death in theaters but found life, like many of his films, on video.
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Carpenter claims to have been fascinated with religion ever since watching the old Hammer horror films and how Holy Water woud destroy vampires.
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The first time that Gary B. Kibbe worked as a Director of Photography for John Carpenter. Since then, they had worked together on every movie except for Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) and The Ward (2010).
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Carpenter claims the most difficult effect was the claw coming out of the mirror. They drained mercury from a crane to create the effect of a pool of silver liquid.
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The genesis of the project came from Debra Hill describing a dream she had of a vague dark figure exiting a church which filled her with dread. Carpenter developed the story around this idea in hopes of recreating the fear Hill really felt.
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At around 36mins when Etchinson is cornered in the alley by the homeless people, he is listening to 'Prince of Darkness' by Alice Cooper on his headphones, just as he is about to be killed by the character played by Alice Cooper.
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Michael Haneke is a big admirer of this film. His throat cutting scene at a pivotal point of Cache(2005) was an homage to a throat cutting scene in this film.
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The film takes place in 1987 and 1999.
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