September 25, 2013

Blu-ray Essentials- Prince of Darkness (1987)

Prince of Darkness (1987)
Shout Factory
Price: Currently $20.96 on Amazon (click pic above to order)
1 50 GB Blu-ray disc
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/2.0
Region A

The question should be: Why would you not own this?

Of all of John Carpenter's films, Prince of Darkness is my sentimental favorite. Maybe it's because it was released right in the middle of my formative years, when I was at "that stage" of my life where everything made such a huge impact on me, blah, blah blah...

...or maybe it's because it's an awesome movie about Quantum Physics and Satan?

I still remember the first time I saw the swirling mass of green liquid in that huge cylinder and was like "That's Satan!" I still remember hearing "I've got a message for you, and you're not going to like it" in the Trailer, and getting chills. I remember watching Victor Wong and Donald Pleasance in the prime of their careers, and realizing how great they were. I remember seeing Alice Cooper in a movie for the first time and thinking how awesome that was, becaue he rocked so much. I remember Jamison Parker's moustache making him look like a Gay Pornstar. I remember the spraying liquid, the axe, the mirror, the Devil's Daughter, Amazing Grace, the hot chicks...

And it's all still just as great today as it was back then.

I'll admit it. She gave me nightmares.
It's sharp, it's grainy, the colors look fantastic and aside from a few issues in some of the darker scenes, Prince of Darkness looks fantastic on this Blu-ray disc. I've owned this movie on both VHS and DVD, and it always looked drab and "old" whenever I would watch it. This this new HD transfer, however, makes it looks just about as new and crisp as any lower budget movie from this decade does.The PQ should impress just about anyone who watches this disc.

Was he ever not great in anything he did?
We're not usually ones to get excited about the sound mix on our Blu-rays, but this one is especially pleasing to us because of John Carpenter's score; it truly thumps and sounds ominous here in DTS. Seeing as how his scores were such an important part of his movies in the 70's/80's, it's nice to see this one sound so great on this new transfer.

This guy sounds even creepier now.
This disc isn't really packed with a comprehensive array of special features, which is fine by us, because the movie finally being on Blu-ray was all we really wanted.

The special features that we do get are pretty good though: I really liked the Interview with Carpenter, and "The Messenger" with Robert Grasmere was a fun watch. The alternate TV version opening was interesting too.

  • Audio Commentary with John Carpenter
  • Sympathy For The Devil – An all-new Interview with Writer/Director John Carpenter
  • Alice at the Apocalypse - An all-new interview with Actor & Rock Legend Alice Cooper
  • The Messenger – All-new interview with Actor & Special Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Grasmere
  • Hell On Earth – A look at the film's score with Co-Composer Alan Howarth
  • Horror's Hallowed Grounds with host Sean Clark
  • Alternate Opening from TV Version
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Stills Gallery
Who's your daddy?
As a film, Prince of Darkness is one of the most criminally underrated Horror films of all time, and was dismissed as a "John Carpenter misstep" by too many Critics when it was first released. Screw them though, because this movie is fantastic, and it's one of Carpenter's best.

As a Blu-ray disc, it's a beautiful little Collector's Edition which will please fans of the movie, and maybe even help to introduce the film to a whole new generation of fans.

This is about a much of a "Must Own" as a Horror flick can be on Blu-ray, and you're really missing out if you don't add this one to your collection.

So after watching this little gem of a Blu-ray, and doing my usual research on the cast, crew, etc... I find out that not only did Lisa Blount pass away in 2010, but that she was married to the equally talented Ray McKinnon (Sons of Anarchy, Deadwood, & tons of other stuff.) Not only do I feel double stupid for not knowing either of those pieces of info before now, but I feel a bit sad about the whole thing.

I hope the beautiful & multi-talented Lisa Blount is resting in peace, and I hope she knew just how much she entertained us all.


  1. Extremely underrated. Arguable the MOST underrated genre pic.

  2. I couldn't agree more,I think I first saw this late one night on TV and I thought Holy Shit Wow!The film is awesome,it's original and is always great to watch.It sticks with you for all right reasons.

  3. The transmission from the future was sampled on DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing' album a few times throughout the record. I went to see this in the theatre when it came out. I loved it. Still do. Great review here too.

  4. One of my all-time favorite movies. Like The Shining, the music plays such an important part in setting the mood. I first saw this movie with my little brother, both of us staying up way past our bedtime and watching it in a pitch-black living room. It freaked us both the Hell out. It was awesome.

    I didn't know Lisa Blount. I'm sorry to hear that. She really was beautiful, and so tragic in this movie.