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- Rated: R
- Starring: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong
- Written By: John Carpenter
- Directed By: John Carpenter
- Distributor: Scream Factory
- Run Time: 102 min
- Original Year of Release: 1987
- Special Features: See Below
PRINCE OF DARKNESS Collectors Edition Blu-ray Review
The One I liked the Least
By Kimberly McCall
September 25, 2013
Prince of Darkness was always the John Carpenter film I liked the least (well, besides Vampires). By the time I was a teenager, I had already seen all the classics and felt ever so slightly let down by this master of horror's satanic undertaking. Almost 15 years after my first viewing, SHOUT! Factory's horror division, SCREAM Factory has released the collector's edition of Prince of Darkness to blu-ray and I gave it a second chance.
Prince of Darkness tells the haunting story of a group of graduate students beckoned by their professor (Victor Wong) and a priest (Donald Pleasence) to an abandoned church, where they discover an ancient evil contained in the catacombs. Once released, the devilish presence sets out to destroy the group one by one, building to all of humanity.
For me, the plot, though flawed, was never the issue. The acting was another story. No disrespect to Pleasence or Wong, but Jameson Parker (Simon and Simon), never captured my attention or empathy as the lead character and guy we're all supposed to root for. Now, I know he is supposed to be playing John Carpenter's “every man” man, but not even that mustache can keep Parker from being anything but dry and one dimensional through this apocalyptic tale. Lisa Blount (An Officer and a Gentleman) was no better as Catherine. Yes, Alice Cooper brought more to his performance than the two leads combined.
All that being said, I must admit I enjoyed the film, as a whole, much better the second time around. In an age of fast scares and loads of gore, it was refreshing to go back and watch a filmmaker take his time delivering a genuine, creepy tale. The music (co-written by Carpenter and Alan Howarth) is wonderful and definitely one to add to the collection of Carpenter movie scores. The blu-ray makes the colors pop and amplifies the lush backdrop of the slowly building terror. It comes complete with audio commentary by the director, as well as exclusive interviews with John Carpenter and Alice Cooper. The theatrical trailer is also included in the special features (both below).
Whether you originally enjoyed Prince of Darkness or not, any Carpenter fan should give the blu-ray a shot. Even with its flaws, the movie deserves the respect of anyone wanting a break from today's over-the-top horror norm. Besides, what better way to kick off the Halloween season than with a bit of John Carpenter?
Blu-ray Special Features:
Audio Commentary with John Carpenter
Sympathy For The Devil – An all-new Interview with Writer/Director John Carpenter
Alice at the Apocalypse - An all-new interview with Actor & Rock Legend Alice Cooper
The Messenger – All-new interview with Actor & Special Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Grasmere
Hell On Earth –A look at the film’s score with Co-Composer Alan Howarth
Horror’s Hallowed Grounds with host Sean Clark
Alternate Opening from TV Version
Original Theatrical Trailer
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