Day 9 of the NOFS 31-day horror movie challenge is favorite director. After thinking about it I decided to go with John Carpenter. It was a safe bet because I genuinely enjoy everything that I’ve seen of his. The movie I went with was one of the movies of his that I have physically, which is Prince of Darkness. I feel like this is the most underrated movie in his unofficial Apocalypse Trilogy. I feel like this is one of his movies that you really need to se if you’re a fan of his movies.
Prince of Darkness was directed by John Carpenter. It was written by Carpenter going under the nome de plume of Martin Quartermass. It stars Donald Pleasence, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Lisa Blount, and Jameson Parker. The cast is fairly large and for the most part it’s kind of like a bottle movie, rather than a bottle episode. While technically not one, it largely is one after the action gets going. It also mostly takes place inside. Both Pleasence and Wong put in performances that are highlights of their illustrious careers.
Spoilers inbound, watch the movie for yourself.
Prince of Darkness opens with the death of priest from a secretive sect of priests called “The Brotherhood of Sleep” which leads to a catholic priest inviting a quantum physicist Professor Birack. Birack invites all of his students including, Walter, Brian, and Catherine, among a large selection of other academics. They all study an old bible and a cylinder full of green liquid. They discover that liquid in the cylinder is actually the son of Satan, who is essentially the Anti-God. While they learn this the group is picked off slowly, either by the liquid or by the homeless that are controlled by it through telepathy. Everyone that falls asleep experiences that same dream, which is a broadcast from the future to warn them about what happens. Catherine ends up sacrificing herself to save the world, by knocking the possessed leader into the portal that they had opened. It was immediately broken by the priest, which led to all of the other possessed people dying and the homeless wandering off. The survivors are rescued but not before Birack comforts Brian about Catherine’s death. The movie ends with Brian experiencing a different version of the dream from the church, this time with Catherine instead of the shadowy figure from before. He walks to a mirror as if he hopes to rescue Catherine from being trapped.
I really want to mention the practical effects in Prince of Darkness. The effects done on Kelly are incredibly gnarly, she literally looks like her skin has melted. The reanimated Wyndham looks great too. Whoever made the cylinder did an amazing job. It looks like its so incredibly ancient. The score is awesome, but I would expect nothing else from a score that John Carpenter did. He worked with Alan Howarth on the score.
Prince of Darkness kicks ass. I feel like this is one of Carpenter’s more underrated movies. I don’t really know why, but I don’t hear it mentioned alongside his other movies. I don’t think its available streaming anywhere right now. I give Prince of Darkness 9.5 ancient cylinders out of 10.