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Prince of Darkness (1987)

R | | Horror | 23 October 1987 (USA)
Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
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)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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:

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

Gross USA:

$14,182,492

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Carpenter and jason share several random tidbits about Jameson Parker. He had an injury from his time on Simon & Simon that was never addressed and that caused him daily pain. The mustache is real. He's a devout Christian. He was shot by a man who called Parker's wife a "whore." He has two dogs, and Jason called him "a double dog gent." See more »

Goofs

Toward the end when Brian jumps out the window and the possessed people outside come towards him, it is clearly dawn and light outside. Shortly after, when the possessed is defeated and the mirror is broken by the priest, you can see them dispersing while it is night outside. Then Walter jumps out to get help and it is night as well. The next scene shows Walter with a blanket around him and is dawn again. See more »

Quotes

[Walter is studying quantum physics]
Walter: Why do I want a Ph.D. in this?
Catherine: Particle beam weapons, research grants...
Walter: A millionaire when I'm forty! Now I remember!
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 Days of Horror: Shocker (1989) (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Carpenter crafts another masterpiece
6 May 2004 | by Roddy-15See all my reviews

What's wrong with Prince of Darkness? Well, it is a film that is struggling to find a link between Christianity and science (physics, to be more specific), and it fails to do so. Most of the things they are saying sound crazy at best.

However Prince of Darkness is still one scary movie. Horror master John Carpenter (the same genius behind The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness) is behind this masterpiece about a mysterious form of energy that appears in a Los Angeles temple and soon starts to gain control of all the people, most of them scientists, studying it. A cameo by Alice Cooper as a homeless schizophrenic who, accompanied by people like him, is making sure no one inside the temple leaves may indicate this is what he meant with the song "Welcome to my nightmare." Prince of Darkness is nightmarish. And its ending will make you wonder what the protagonist is about to do.

Watch this film alone, at night, with the lights off.


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