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Prince of Darkness (1987)

R | | Horror | 23 October 1987 (USA)
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ON DISC
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
3,619 ( 689)

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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 ... Kelly
Anne Marie Howard ... Susan Cabot (as Anne Howard)
Ann Yen ... Lisa
Ken Wright Ken Wright ... Lomax
Dirk Blocker ... Mullins
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:

Before man walked the earth... it slept for centuries. It is evil. It is real. It is awakening. 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

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. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Susan Cabot: Hi.
Etchinson: Hey.
[Susan leaves the room]
Etchinson: Frankie, who was that?
Wyndham: Susan Cabot. Radiologist. Married.
Etchinson: How married?
Wyndham: Very.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits last for nine minutes. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK 15-rated Universal video version released by 4-Front is edited slightly to avoid an 18 rating. 42 secs of cuts include a shorter bike-stabbing sequence, the removal of some swearing and a brief cut to 'soften' the scene where Calder cuts his throat with a splinter (in the case of this cut there is a noticeable jump in the soundtrack). See more »

Connections

Referenced in 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Quick Takes Volume 7 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Carpenter's best work . . .
30 October 2004 | by brother_d_73See all my reviews

John Carpenter's made some great horror films, and Prince of Darkness is my hands-down favorite Carpenter flick. First and foremost, the music does it for me every time. Sometimes Carpenter's score do miss their mark, but this time, the music is dead on perfect. Beyond this, the movie overall is wonderful. The opening title sequence (which does extend quite a bit into the film itself) does a great job of setting up the characters and the beginning of the drama at hand. Once the film picks up, it really doesn't let you go until the end, and even then, to the very last shot, the film reminds you that, for the briefest of moments, it had you. Oh, it had you. Alice Cooper makes his first theatrical film appearance with this film, but he appears briefly. Instead, the film centers mostly around Brian Marsh, a grad student brought in as part of a group of collegiate-types to investigate something dark and sinister in the basement of an old church. A lot of people I know pan his performance, but I felt Jameson (TV's "Simon & Simon") Parker's performance was solid and that look of confusion he wears throughout a bulk of the picture seems appropriate to the events unfolding around his character. Donald Pleasance's presence as a Catholic priest who begrudgingly recruits the team of college students and professors, scientists and theorists, adds a sense of credibility to the threat involved, as well as the film itself. And Victor Wong - he's just fun to watch. I love this movie.


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