Prince of Darkness

PRINCE OF DARKNESS – DVD MovieThe B picture lives on in the films of John Carpenter. Prince of Darkness weds supernatural horror with quantum weirdness, when a group of theoretical-physics students, led by their professor, Birack (Victor Wong), joins forces with a priest (Donald Pleasence) to forestall the coming of the Dark Lord. His Darkness has been imprisoned in a cylindrical container as a swirling green plasma since time immemorial, and is now beginning to find his way out. All of this is bolstered by a lot of fancy science talk (all of which is real, I can assure you–someone did his homework), which allows us to settle down, say okey dokey, and enjoy the thrills that this presages. As the title character spreads his contagion through the group of students, holed up in a church to study the sequestered Satan, the film shapes up as an homage to George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, much like Carpenter’s earlier film, Assault on Precinct 13. But this adds the twist of quantum physics dovetailing with religious orthodoxy, and in the bargain spawning numerous zombie minions. There are plenty of squishy splatter opportunities, the kind that make some affected people say, “This is a bad movie!” while they grin from ear to ear. Look for Alice Cooper as a street schizo. I think you’ll recognize him. –Jim Gay

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