"A life form is growing out of pre-biotic fluids. It's not winding down into disorder, it's self-organizing. It's becoming something. What? An animal? A disease? What?"
Long before Dan Brown had us all looking cross-eyed at the Mona Lisa and shaking Mary Magdalene's family tree to see what divinely red apples fell out, apparently, another secret sect of the Roman Catholic Church has had, for all intents and purposes, Satan contained in a very large jar for the past two-thousand years. However, as several recent signs that can only be read as biblical, in a apocalyptic sense, present themselves, the Church engages a bunch of scholars, scientists and quantum physicists to mathematically prove that what they've been preaching isn't just a bunch of horseshit before the lid finally pops off, the Sleeper awakes, and the world comes to an end. And as the evidence is translated, collated and carbon-dated it's discovered this jar containing the ultimate evil is, indeed, locked shut. But it's locked shut from the inside! Meaning whatever it is being contained is simply biding its time. And between you and me, I think that time is about up...
It's funny -- not funny ha-hah, just funny as in looking at the devil's tuning fork, but as I get older Prince of Darkness, despite all its faults, and there are many, keeps moving up the list of my favorite John Carpenter movies, where it now sits firmly entrenched behind only Halloween and Big Trouble in Little China. Sure it could do with few less characters mucking around, and it could definitely do without Jameson Parker's bro'stache, and it also most definitely does nothing to solve Carpenter's constant Pavlovian Third Act Hole-Up for the Siege Reaction with yet another Rio Bravo-HO-mage! (-- not to mention the double-dipping by ripping off some choice dialogue from Howard Hawks' To Have and Have Not). But you can chuck all that out the window along with the possessed eggheads, because I still get a bad case of the drizzles during those dream sequences, where Carpenter sticks his finger into our collective brains and taps out his usual staccato beat on our amygdala as the camera tries to bring whatever the hell that is coming out of the church into both frame and focus. Yes, the set up is better than the wrap up. And I still haven't quite gotten my head around all of it yet, but don't let that stop you from seeing it -- or seeing it again. For this is just a solid, thinking-person's sci-fi/horror hybrid that demands your attention as it poses a lot of questions that, for once, I don't mind not having the exact answers for and lets me draw my own conclusions.
Prince of Darkness (1987) Alive Films-Universal / EP: Shep Gordon, Andre Blay / P: Larry J. Franco / D: John Carpenter / W: John Carpenter / C: Gary B. Kibbe / E: Steve Mirkovich / S: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun