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  • Prince of Darkness [DVD] [1988] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Prince of Darkness [DVD] [1988] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305078165
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,583 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Probert on 1 Feb. 2003
Format: DVD
This underrated film is far from perfect, but the concepts are sufficiently ambitious to allow you to forgive their rather garbled presentation. Carpenter's script (attributed, in a nod to Nigel Kneale, to 'Martin Quatermass') is never very clear about exactly what is going on and why, and neither is his accompanying commentary track. The film uses what sounds like a rudimentary grasp of quantum physics (but then I wouldn't know) to explain the existence of Anti-God, whose son is trapped in a container secreted in the bowels of a crumbling Los Angeles church. Only now he's trying to escape so that he can bring his father from his anti-matter universe into our own by using mirrors as a portal. Trying to combine science and the history of religion in this way was never going to be easy, and Carpenter deserves some credit for trying to deal with several complex concepts within the context of what is, essentially, a low-budget siege movie. This film continues to divide the fans, but as the DVD Delirium Guide puts it, this is one of those few horror films that actually becomes scarier the more you think about it.
The Momentum Pictures DVD is the best version available of this film to date. The widescreen transfer is excellent, allowing you to fully appreciate the skill of Carpenter's compositions. This disc also improves over the old Image disc by including a commentary track by Carpenter & actor Peter Jason which, while not illuminating, is probably worth listening to once.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Colonel Decker on 27 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
John Carpenter is one of my favourite directors, but he hasn't directed anything as creepy as this movie.

Almost the whole film is shot in a disused church, which claims to be holding the son of Satan, or Satan himself.
One by one research students are being possessed.

This is a very effective chilling film with a famailar score from Carpenter.
There are genuine unsettling moments, great character building and a few jump scenes.

An excellent old fashioned scary movie. Don't watch alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Moncrieff on 9 Dec. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Coming in between "The Thing" and "In the Mouth of Madness" as John Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy, Prince of Darkness represents Carpenter's most thoughtful horror film, with creepy and interesting ideas to spare, shocking philosophically and viscerally in equal doses. The plot has it's own joys and if you're avoiding it because you dislike religious-based horror or expect an Exorcist knock-off, you have got it all wrong. This is science-fiction/religious horror and it bears little resemblance to the Judeo-Christian myth. Enough about that - you must see it.

This Scream Factory disc includes amazing picture and sound (this score begged for 5.1 surround sound), the same John Carpenter/Peter Jason commentary (fairly average for Carpenter's tracks, which means it's a solid 3/5) that's on the UK Studio Canal DVD (missing the opening remark about the "Studio Canal Plus logo" which is irrelevant as said logo is replaced by the original Universal logo here), a good solid interview with Mr Carpenter, another with a effects guy who also acted in the film, another with Alice Cooper (who acts here and recorded a song for it, briefly heard in the film), one with Alan Howarth (who collaberated on most of John Carpenter's scores between Halloween II/The Fog to They Live), the trailer and radio spots, the alternate opening sequenced edited for American TV which hilariously speeds up the footage to fit it between commercial breaks and attempts to tone down severely anything that might be construed as anti-religious. There's also the customary "Horror's Hallowed Grounds", which is funnier than usual (I still kind of find the host annoying, but these are really fun features) and an easter egg from the 25th anniversary screening of the film which features some of Carp's funniest answers to questions.

This is THE version of the film to own. I find it VERY unlikely it will be topped by anyone for years and years to come.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. Arts on 7 Oct. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
*******THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE SCREAM FACTORY BLU-RAY!!!**********

John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness is a slow-burning gem of a movie where a group of physics students go to an old derelict church in down town LA at the behest of an unnamed priest to investigate a mysterious canister of green goo that has been kept secret by the church for 2000 years. Soon the students face a desperate race against time to stop an ancient evil from awakening and destroying mankind.

Prince of darkness was written by John Carpenter using the pseudonym Martin Quatermass. This is a pointed reference to the character created by Knigel kneale for British TV and cinema. It also gives a strong hint for those familiar with the character and the stories an idea of how Carpenter is going to approach the material. Perhaps the most famous of the Quatermass tales was Quatermass and the Pit that took the irrational superstitions and folklore of Britain and added modern scientific plausibility. Carpenter takes the same approach with Prince, offering outlandish but well thought through ideas for Judaeo-christian folklore surrounding the oldest of evils, The Devil.

Like a lot of people, I discovered Prince of Darkness on home video in the late eighties. The film was poorly reviewed on release in the states and dropped out of theaters fairly quickly. Fortunately thanks to the huge market for horror on home video the film found it's second wind and has built up a solid fan base who really appreciate this hugely underrated effort from Carpenter. It boasts one of his more impressive scores, plenty of great actors and a wonderful location. Most importantly it has a great script that deals with its ideas intelligently and philosophically.
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