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Prince of Darkness (1987)

R | | Horror | 23 October 1987 (USA)
Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writer:

John Carpenter (as Martin Quatermass)
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Popularity
4,244 ( 93)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 (as Anne Howard)
Ann Yen ... Lisa
Ken Wright Ken Wright ... Lomax
Dirk Blocker ... Mullins
Jessie Lawrence Ferguson ... Calder
Peter Jason ... Dr. Paul Leahy
Robert Grasmere Robert Grasmere ... Frank Wyndham
Thom Bray ... Etchinson
Joanna Merlin ... Bag Lady
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Storyline

A sinister secret has been kept in the basement of an abandoned Los Angeles church for many years. With the death of a priest belonging to a mysterious sect, another priest opens the door to the basement and discovers a vat containing a green liquid. The priest contacts a group of physics graduate students to investigate it. Unfortunately, they discover that the liquid contains the essence of Satan himself, and they also discover that he will release HIS father - an all-powerful Anti-God! The liquid later comes to life itself, turning some of the students into zombies as the Devil comes forward to release his father. Will these students be able to stop him? Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Before man walked the earth... it slept for centuries. It is evil. It is real. It is awakening. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

23 October 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,657,401, 25 October 1987

Gross USA:

$14,182,492

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,182,492
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo | 4-Track Stereo (Psycho Dynamism Sound) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carpenter refers to the priest who dies during the opening credits as "a Sentinel-type guy" in a nod to 1977's The Sentinel. See more »

Goofs

(at around 12 mins) In the beginning of the movie the Priest tells Dr. Birack that the Catholic Church containing the demonic fluid, located in Los Angeles, was built in the 1500s by Spanish missionaries. The Spanish did not colonize California with missions until 1769, with the founding of San Diego by the explorer-missionary Fray Junipero Serra. The mission where filming took place, Mission San Fernando Rey de España, was not founded until 1797. See more »

Quotes

[Walter is studying quantum physics]
Walter: Why do I want a Ph.D. in this?
Catherine: Particle beam weapons, research grants...
Walter: A millionaire when I'm forty! Now I remember!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits last for nine minutes. See more »

Alternate Versions

The new UK DVD, released by Momentum, contains the full uncut version of the film and has been downgraded to a 15. The same DVD is also available in Germany from Kinowelt. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Heavenly Puss
from the short Heavenly Puss (1949)
Written by Scott Bradley
Use courtesy of SBK Records Catalog Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
slow, good, creepy quasi-intellectual horror
21 October 2005 | by clogsdonSee all my reviews

I know more than one person who watched this film, claimed immediately after that it wasn't very scary and then called me a few hours later telling me that they were freaked out.

Highlight: For me, the best concept in the film is the video-feed dream sequence. Oh man! It's creepy and exceedingly ominous and the shaky-cam newsreel quality gives it an extra punch.

The plot: You don't have to be a genius to understand what is going on in this film, but you do need to pay attention. The supernatural physics is a little nonsensical, of the "Popular science" variety, but the basic premise is explained in layman terms.

The characters: Actually, while the "science" is hocus-pocus, I really liked that the film's characters were mostly grad students. The actors do a great job of portraying annoyed, skeptical science grad students. Horror flicks are filled with numbskull undergrads, and it is nice to see the hidden sector of college life revealed in its nerdy glory.

The skinny: I'd describe it as a Biblical/Lovecraft horror film. It's got the whole "evil universe" theme running alongside an effective "Hell breaks loose" plot.


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