"Prince of Darkness (1987/Blu-ray/Scream Factory)" Review

I have a couples times before delve into the history and films of John Carpenter on this site and of all the films I have seen of his Prince of Darkness is not one I particularly love or have seen alot. I think that is due to the film being such a slow burning film. Now that is not bad, but I personally can't sit down all the time and watch films with similar pacing. Now the one thing that does keep me a moderate fan of the film is the dark nature of it as well as the amazing storytelling that takes place. Also I love films that are apocalyptic in nature and that have an impending sense of doom.

Review: As you probably already know this is the second chapter in the "Apocalypse Trilogy" and follows a group of scientist who are sent to an old boarded up church to investigate it. They stumble upon a canister that seems to be something not of this world. After opening the canister all things to go hell and what is inside goes from one person to another possessing them. Those who have not gotten possessed have to figure out how to stop the evil before it gets them and then gets out and takes over the world! With a doom laden plot like that I am all in for a good time and Prince of Darkness does deliver the darkness very well. This film goes quite well with Carpenter's other film "In The Mouth of Madness" due to it's theme as well as the overwhelming bizarre feel of both films. Prince of Darkness goes in dark and odd territories which works well, but I could see it turning some horror fans off due to how out there it can be. I personally didn't like this film on the first viewing but since then I have grown to really like it and almost to the point of loving it.
Along the side of a the awesome plot there is a great cast and some good characters. Now there really only is a couple of them that really stuck with me after it was done. The ones that I remember and liked the most were the Priest played by the very talented Donald Pleasence, Professor Birack played by Victor Wong, and Walter played by Dennis Dun. Of course I still did enjoy the rest of the characters and cast, but they just didn't stand out as much to myself. I also want to mention it is always great to see Alice Cooper show up in a film even if it is something not so great like "Monster Dog".
When it comes to the gore/special effects they are top notch like always when it comes to Carpenter's films. There are two very notable effects that I want to point out and those are one where they had this green liguid going from the ceiling down into one of the womens mouth, it reminds of the effect they did on Nightmare On Elm Street when Johnny Depp gets slaughtered by Freddy in the waterbed. The other one that I really liked was when one of the characters gets killed by one of the street people and then is infested by beetles and starts talking in this creepy voice then falls apart.
Now getting to the presentation of this blu-ray release I can confidently say that it will satisfy fans of this film. I have seen it on VHS and DVD which worked good for the time while I had them, but this release blows those other out of the water. The picture quality is damn good and the detail is excellent. Keep in mind that there are alot of dark and neutral colors used in the film with the occasional bold color like the green used in the container with the mysterious liquid in it. When those colors are on camera they pop out and look amazing. The audio tracks are great as well and you have a choice between either a 5.1 HD Master Audio or 2.0 HD Master Audio, each I checked out and sounded clear and quite good. The special features are not that bad on here and include new interviews with John Carpenter and Alice Cooper, an audio commentary with John Carpenter, and last but not least the theatrical trailer. If you like or love this film I say pick this release up because it's well worth the upgrade!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: John Carpenter
Lead Actor/Actress: Donald Pleasence
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 1987
Time Length: 102 mins.
Rating: R
Region Code: A
Release Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)
Website: www.shoutfactory.com