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Prince of Darkness (1987)

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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.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writer:

John Carpenter (as Martin Quatermass)
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Popularity
945 ( 21)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Pleasence ... Priest
Jameson Parker ... Brian Marsh
Victor Wong ... Prof. Howard Birack
Lisa Blount ... Catherine Danforth
Dennis Dun ... Walter
Susan Blanchard Susan Blanchard ... Kelly
Anne Marie Howard ... Susan Cabot (as Anne Howard)
Ann Yen Ann Yen ... Lisa
Ken Wright Ken Wright ... Lomax
Dirk Blocker ... Mullins
Jessie Lawrence Ferguson Jessie Lawrence Ferguson ... Calder
Peter Jason ... Dr. Paul Leahy
Robert Grasmere Robert Grasmere ... Frank Wyndham
Thom Bray ... Etchinson
Joanna Merlin ... Bag Lady
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Where are you...? Christ? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

23 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,657,401, 25 October 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,182,492
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo | 4-Track Stereo (Psycho Dynamism Sound) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second film in what John Carpenter calls his "Apocalypse Trilogy". The other two are The Thing (1982) and In the Mouth of Madness (1994). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 29 mins) After Walter crawls through the hole in the closet with "possessed" Lisa in tow, they're both in the other room with Prof. Birak, all standing up. You can see the obvious doubling of "short Lisa" by a stuntman - she's suddenly much bigger and taller than the two other men. See more »

Quotes

Brian: Faith is a hard thing to come by these days.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits last for nine minutes. See more »

Alternate Versions

VCD version by Panorama Entertainment is cut to 101 minute See more »

Connections

Featured in The Messenger with Robert Grasmere (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Through the Mirror
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by John Carpenter
Produced by Alan Howarth
See more »

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User Reviews

Eerie
11 November 2003 | by Krug StilloSee all my reviews

I agree with regular J.C. actor Kurt Russell on a point he made about the director: If you want to make a cheap movie but make it look slick and expensive, Mr. Carpenter is your man. Like HALLOWEEN this was made for very little money but appears to have been made on a modest budget.

After the box office failure of the underrated Big Trouble in Little China, Carpenter left the studio system and returned to independent and horror filmmaking. The soundtrack is constant synth, the acting average, the tension constantly increasing and widescreen lens used to perfection, all combined scream Carpenter's name from the lengthy opening credits scene. PRINCE OF DARKNESS sits among the most eerie and interesting of Carpenter's work. Defects are it isn't very exciting and divulges a lot of unnecessary quantum physics jargon that seem pompous on the writer's behalf (sorry J.C. but 'Martin Quatermass'? your devotees know you love Nigel Kneale's work!). Despite a few scenes of action, which seem thrown in to gather momentum, the film just moves along.

Basically PRINCE OF DARKNESS combines ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 with THE THING. A character driven story concerning isolated individuals and one by one falling victim/possessed to/by an alien foe. Priest, Donald Pleasence (HALLOWEEN) hires University Professor, Victor Wong (Big Trouble in Little China) to investigate an ominous cylinder. The green ooze inside this cannister, hidden for centuries by the 'Brotherhood of Sleep', is the 'anti God' who will end the world if the secrets of its origin remain unsolved.

This is the second part in Carpenter's 'apocalypse trilogy' that began with THE THING and concluded with IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS. PRINCE OF DARKNESS is a must for all J.C. fans, but is the slowest of the trilogy.


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