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PHOTOGRAPHY

PRINCE OF DARKNESS

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  102 minutes, interviews, audio commentary, still gallery, trailer and radio spots, Screamfest 2012 Q&A

VIDEO:  2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1, English 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English

 

STUDIO:  Universal Pictures/ Alive Films/ Scream Factory/ Shout Factory

RELEASE DATE:  9-24-2013

John Carpenter’s PRINCE OF DARKNESS is my favorite John Carpenter film and one of my favorite films of all time.  It is an underrated horror movie which mixes horror, spirituality, science, and science fiction in a film which is clearly inspired by the film QUARTERMASS AND THE PIT (released in the US as FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH) due to how similar the plot of the two movies are even though the characters are different (and Carpenter writing the screenplay under the pseudonym of Martin Quartermass).  I like some of the ideas in the movie in how God has an opposite force known as Anti-God and how Jesus is an alien who came to Earth to warn Earth of a dark force that want to come to our universe.  The idea of God and Anti-God were inspired by John Carpenter reading up on quantum mechanics.  This $3 million dollar production has been misunderstood by critics, but it found its audience on VHS and now I hope the Scream Factory release brings new fans to the movie.   This release marks the blu-ray debut of PRINCE OF DARKNESS as Scream Factory presents another great release, but I wonder if they were considering this for Shout Factory at first since many the extras say Shout Factory presents.

 

PRINCE OF DARKNESS is about a priest (Donald Pleasence) who contacts Professor Birack (Victor Wong) for his help to study an ancient canister found in the basement of an abandoned church.  Birack recruits his students and others to help study it, but soon they find their lives are in danger as some of them get possessed by the liquid which is in the canister.  Also the homeless people are being controlled and they surround the church.   They discover the Anti-God wants to break into our universe and Jesus was trying to warn people about it a couple of centuries ago.   Also they all are having the same dream which is a message from the future sent as a tachyon transmission.  They must find a way to stop it with no help from the outside. 

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentary with director John Carpenter and actor Peter Jason in a pleasant commentary track as they remember the making of the film.

 

Featurettes made by Red Shirt Pictures

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL: AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN CARPENTER- John Carpenter talks about making the movie and he says he doesn’t know whether people like his movies or not since he mostly watches basketball on TV

ALICE AT THE APOCALYPSE: AN INTERVIEW WITH ALICE COOPER- Alice Cooper mentions how he watched creature features on Saturday afternoons as a kid, how he met John Carpenter, and how he came to be involved as the schizoid homeless person in PRINCE OF DARKNESS.

 

THE MESSGENER- an all new-interview with actor and special effects supervisor Robert Grasmere has Robert tell the story of how he was cast, and talk about his two death scenes and the visual effects of the film

HELL ON EARTH with Allan Howarth-  the film’s co-composer reveals how the score was created with John Carpenter and how today’s composers are referencing scores like PRINCE OF DARKNESS for their film scores

HORROR’S HALLOW GROUND- a tour of the locations in PRINCE OF DARKNESS with Sean Clark

 

Alternate Opening from TV version

Trailer and two radio spots

Still Gallery

 

SCREAMFEST 2012 audience Q&A at the 25th Anniversary screening of PRINCE OF DARKNESS has John Carpenter answer audience questions about his movies in a 12 minute segment where you can hear John talk while the questions you can barely hear.  You can find this last extra by clicking on the cross on the second bonus screen.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  It is great to see my favorite John Carpenter film on blu-ray because PRINCE OF DARKNESS is an underrated cult classic.

 

This blu-ray review is 10-5-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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