Prince of Darkness

AKA John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness

John Carpenter

John Carpenter (as Martin Quatermass)

Donald Pleasence – Priest
Jameson Parker – Brian Marsh
Victor Wong – Prof. Howard Birack
Lisa Blount – Catherine Danforth
Dennis Dun – Walter
Susan Blanchard – Kelly
Anne Marie Howard – Susan Cabot



Release Date:
23 October 1987 (USA)

Australia: M
Canada: 18+
France: 12
Germany: 16
Iceland: 16
Ireland: 18
Norway: 18
Sweden: 15
UK: 15
Flickchart Global Rating: 986
IMDb: 6.6/10
Netflix: 3.3/5
Rotten Tomatoes: 50% (No Consensus)


So I approached this one with some trepidation because, as you know, when it comes to horror movies I’m a big scaredy poop. Srsly? It’s a movie called Prince of Darkness and it’s directed by the horrormeister himself, John Carpenter.

I needn’t have worried. While there are a couple jolts of the Ripley’s Cat variety, it’s not really that scary. Mind you it’s gooey, and it’s not dull. It kept my interest, but it didn’t scare me.

John Carpenter actually calls POD the second film of his “Apocalypse Trilogy.” The first is the far superior The Thing, and the third is In the Mouth of Madness which I haven’t seen. Apparently, the thing that ties these three movies together isn’t a set of characters, but a view of the nature of evil that is quite Lovecraftian, that evil isn’t a spiritual problem that exists outside of us, it’s a manifestation of a cosmic force that controls everything. Fun.

Donald Pleasance, my favorite Blofeld and one of the models for Dr. Evil, plays a priest who stumbles upon a chest which contains a key which unlocks a door to a church that contains a very strange container of strange green liquid that seems to be alive. So he calls his old friend Professor Birack (Wong) who assembles a crack team of student researchers (including one of the Simons) to figure out what the bejeebers this thing is.


Given the nature of this kind of movie, I’m not giving too much away when I say that it doesn’t take long for our heroes to start becoming devil’s food. It’s always fun to watch these things and try to figure out who’s going to die next. Hint: If you are in a horror movie, don’t go traipsing around by yourself. Also, don’t be the comic relief. Or the token black. Just saying.

If at all possible, try to be the suave guy with the porn mustache who’s got a detective show on CBS.


Oddly enough, it turns out that Satan isn’t alive and well like Hal Lindsey told us, he’s been imprisoned in an old church in downtown LA all these millenia. So who was doing all that pre-1987 evil? The Holocaust? Slavery? The Spanish Inquisition? That was all pretty satanic. You mean he pulled all that off while he was sitting in the green jacuzzi? Imagine what he’ll do when he’s set free by a bunch of lame ass USC students.

The Misplaced Boy MST3K Scale:

Like I said, the movie isn’t boring. It has a reasonably interesting premise, but the climax is disappointing and it’s just not scary. It didn’t scare me and I’m a horror movie lightweight.







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