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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
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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

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. See more »

Goofs

(at around 38 mins) The student radiologist Susan Cabot says she has been "carbon dating the corrosion on the lid" of the cylinder, and "we're talking about 7 million years". Carbon dating is used to determine the age of materials, usually organic, containing carbon, not metal corrosion substances, and is only useful for about 60,000 years. 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

Television version is slightly reedited, suggesting that all that takes place in the film is just a dream that Jameson Parker's having:
  • after the opening credits there a new shot showing Parker's house from the outside (the theatrical version opens with a shot of Parker trying to perform a card trick).
  • at the beginning, after Parker watches on TV a program reporting the discovery of a new supernova, the narration goes on talking about the death of a millionaire and the discovery of a religious book in his library
  • all mentions of the dead priest, member of the Brotherhood of Sleep who took care of the church where the evil liquid is kept hidden, are deleted;
  • during the whole film, there are new inserted sequences showing Parker sleeping/dreaming in his bed
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

A Message from the Future
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by John Carpenter
Produced by Alan Howarth
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I happened to enjoy this film greatly.
31 January 2004 | by Carnivorax-PejoratusSee all my reviews

This is certainly more of an intellectual movie than the usual horror fare. Much like "The Thing" (sort of the same plot development even.) the implications of the concepts in the film are what make it deeply disturbing. I haven't completely trusted a mirror since I saw this film, I doubt I ever will again.


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