Review: Prince of Darkness (1987)

D: John Carpenter
S: Donald Pleasance, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Dennis Dun, Susan Blanchard, Anne Marie Howard

What can really be said about this movie, aside from the simple fact that it's a Carpenter classic.  Part of what he has termed his "Apocalypse Trilogy" - starting with The Thing and culminating in In The Mouth of Madness, Prince of Darkness is at once both bizarre and terrifying, but it is thoroughly Carpenter at the top of his game.

The story starts out interesting enough - an old priest guarding an ancient secret dies and passes the torch on to none other than Donald Pleasance, who upon discovering what has been hidden in this dilapidated, collapsing old church, immediately calls in some scientists to investigate.  The center of the mystery is a giant cauldron of green goo...which it appears holds the son of the devil in some form of stasis.  Unfortunately for the crew investigating this anomaly, the goo begins to infest them, one-by-one, turning them into servants of the devil, as they attempt to break a hole between Hell and Earth, bringing Mr. Red and Horny across into our world.

Typical of Capenter's better works, the inability to tell friend from foe, and the hesitancy to hurt those that we consider our friends, pushes the story along.  We watch as one scientist after another succumbs to the infestation, and witness a moment of sacrifice that we later discover to not only have been in vain, but to have enabled the very end that everyone was hoping to avoid.

If you're a fan of horror, a fan of Carpenter, or just a fan of devil-summoning, this is a great movie for you to enjoy.