Prince of Darkness
I’ve decided that the only way to watch a John Carpenter film from now on is in high definition.
His 1987 film "Prince of Darkness" is a prime example, brought about on Blu-ray for the first time from the ever-reliable people at Shout Factory. The simple story of the devil possessing young physics students isn’t the best in Carpenter’s long resume, but is worth a look regardless.
Carpenter’s use of widescreen and long tracking shots are in evidence in the Blu-ray presentation and enriches the tale of the unleashing of the devil from a canister, after being locked away for seven million years. Physics students and scientists are holed up in an abandoned church doing research and slowly the devil turns them into killing zombies.
Rocker Alice Cooper has a small, non-speaking role as a homeless zombie and "Halloween" star Donald Pleasence is billed as the Priest. The simple story in "Prince of Darkness" becomes bogged down with incomprehensible dialogue about physics, equations, math, religion, faith, and human nature. Carpenter makes up for this with a stinging, eerie music score and creepy imagery.
Special features on the Blu-ray are hit and miss. A nine-minute interview with Carpenter barely mentions the film at all; the master director talks about his horror career and how he’s thankful that people still remember his films.
Alice Cooper is also interviewed, as is special effects supervisor Robert Grasmere. Alan Howarth, co-composer of the film, is in the "Hell on Earth" feature. And be on the lookout for an easily accessible Easter Egg, in which Carpenter sits in at a Q&A session for the "Prince of Darkness" 25th anniversary.
This Blu-ray blows away the prior DVD release in which no special features were to be found.
"Prince of Darkness"