Prince of Darkness might not be John Carpenter’s well known film like Halloween and to some extent The Fog, it is probably one of his finer more complete films. The concept is fascinating and scary while the cast headlined by Donald Pleasance are great.
Shout Factory | R – 102 min. – $29.93 | September 24, 2013
Directed by: John Carpenter
Writer(s): John Carpenter (written by)
Cast: Donald Pleasance, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount
Theatrical Release Date: October 23, 1987
Features: Audio Commentary, Interviews, Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Disc Size: 43.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Plot Outline: A group of graduate students and scientists uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open it, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid and an evil force on all of humanity. As the liquid turns their co-workers into zombies, the remaining members realize they have released the most unspeakable horror of them all. Terror mounts as the team must fight to save the world from a devilish fury that has been contained for over seven million years.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5
This release comes with a nice looking slip cover. The inner cover is reversible with the flip side containing the original poster artwork.
Audio Commentary – Writer/Director John Carpenter and Actor Peter Jason sit down for a lively and fun track which also delves into some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of making the movie.
Sympathy for the Devil (10:28; HD) – This interview with writer/director John Carpenter as he talks about the origins of the project which he had complete control over.
Alice at the Apocalypse (9:27; HD) is an interview with musician Alice Cooper talking about his small role in the film and his fandom of horror that began from his childhood.
The Messenger (12:41; HD) is another interview with Actor and Special Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Grasmere chatting it up about his part in the movie.
Hell on Earth (10:15; HD) covers the score from composer Alan Howorth.
Also included is the Alternate Opening from the TV Version (6:55; HD) recorded off of some network (the lower right corner is blurred); another episode of Horror’s Hallowed Ground (13:44; HD) where host/writer/creator Sean Clark takes viewers to the locations where Prince of Darkness were filmed (he’s done some for other Shout Factory releases); Trailer and TV Spots (2:48; SD) and a Still Gallery.
While exploring the disc contents I noticed an additional one not listed in the features section: Prince of Darkness: 25th Anniversary Screening (12:10; HD) where Carpenter participates in a Q&A at Screamfest 2012.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Shout Factory continues its successful Collector’s Edition line with a beautiful 1080p high-definition transfer of this 1987 film. Presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio, Prince of Darkness has impressive detail levels and a well balance of colors. This is one of the better transfers I’ve come across with a fine natural film grain.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The disc includes a standard lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track which is just as impressive as the video. The audio kicks into gear from the opening as the story unfolds and you can hear the slight rumble on the floor as the suspense builds. The dialogue levels also sound crisp and clear throughout while ambient noises come through the front and rear channels quite nicely.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Prince of Darkness might not be John Carpenter’s well known film like Halloween and to some extent The Fog, it is probably one of his finer more complete films. The concept is fascinating and scary while the cast headlined by Donald Pleasance are great. The Blu-ray released by Shout Factory is once again top notched with a wide range of features and great video/audio transfers. If you’re a fan of Carpenter this is one Blu-ray worth the $20 purchase price.