A group of graduate students and scientists uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open the container, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid and an evil force on all humanity.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writer:

John Carpenter (as Martin Quatermass)
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Popularity
3,973 ( 399)
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 ... 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:

Where are you...? Christ? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Jason recalled being given the script by Carpenter and asked what he'd "like to do with the character." He was thrown by the director's question. "Well you're an actor aren't you?" explained Carpenter, "so what did you come back and do for me?" Jason went and got some tips from his friend, David Warner, including the idea of returning from the dead and being in great pain. See more »

Goofs

(at around 38 mins) The student radiologist Susan Cabot says she has been "carbon dating the corrosion on the lid" of the cylinder, and "we're talking about 7 million years". Carbon dating is used to determine the age of materials, usually organic, containing carbon, not metal corrosion substances, and is only useful for about 60,000 years. See more »

Quotes

Calder: [to Lisa] We're having a meeting in the lab.
[Lisa is typing on her computer, not paying attention]
Calder: Lisa!
[singing joyfully]
Calder: Monaaa Lisaaa.
[laughs, but then stops, looking worried when Lisa doesn't respond]
Calder: Lisa?
[he goes towards her, only to find her typing the words "I Live!" over and over on her computer]
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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

Featured in Cinemassacre Video: Underrated Horror Movies (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Prince of Darkness
Written by Alice Cooper and Kane Roberts
Performed by Alice Cooper
Produced by Michael Wagener
Courtesy of MCA Records
(C) 1987 Ensign Music Corporation, Ezra Music Inc.
Screen Gems Music - EMI Music Inc.
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User Reviews

One of Carpenter's most underrated and best! **** out of *****
9 October 2005 | by pumpkinhead_lanceSee all my reviews

The great thing about John Carpenter's films is that almost all of them feature a great sense of doom throughout the picture. Think about it... HalloweeN, The Fog, Escape From New York, In The Mouth of Madness... pure doom and gloom. And they are all accompanied by equally brooding soundtracks.

Prince of Darkness has all of the elements of a classic Carpenter flick. I think it's finally getting the recognition it deserves and is gaining a small cult following.

The acting for the most part is really good. There are some very memorable lines of dialog and I think the script is very well written. Again music is key here. The music helps with the feel of the movie which is very unsettling.

Also, Alice Cooper has a very small but memorable roll. His song 'Prince of Darkness' from the album 'Raise Your Fist and Yell' can be heard during an incredible suspense scene.

A must see for the Carpenter fan. In my opinion it's in his top five.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Peacock

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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