Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Halloween Day By Day: Prince of Darkness (1987)

As most people who know me are aware, I have a fondness for the older horror movies, so it's no surprise that I would be willing to pop back to 1987 to find an interesting one to review.

That interesting one just happens to be John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness"...

A small church in Los Angeles is hiding a secret... a secret that has been guarded for thousands of year.

A secret that has existed since before time began.

A secret that is finally waking up...

The story concept is fascinating as far as I'm concerned.  The idea, and the basic story was able to carry me along, even though I could unfortunately predict many of the events to occur.  This is probably due to fact that, while the idea was unique, and interesting- the actually telling of it was done in the fairly standard format of the time for such movies.

I liked the characters- especially the Priest (Donald Pleasance), Professor Birack (Victor Wong), and Catherine Danforth (Lisa Blount).  While I enjoyed Dennis Dun's acting, his character, Walter grated a bit on my nerves.  The rest of the characters weren't bad- but they were, sad to say... fairly standard characters who really didn't do much to advance the plot- except to serve as fodder.

The acting was quite good- especially the four I mentioned above.  Peter Jason as Dr. Leahy was also good considering his character wasn't overly important to the plot beyond making trombone noises... and dying.  Special credit has to go to rocker Alice Cooper for his role as the leader of the homeless people surrounding the church.  He didn't say much- but was quite capable of making his role memorable.

I found this movie was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of camera work.  There was a lot of the usual sort of camera angles and movement that you'd find in a horror movie from the 1980's... but there was also some really cool ones too.  Luckily, the cool stuff outnumbered the standard fare.

Ultimately, I have to confess that of Carpenter's films, this isn't one of his stronger ones in my opinion.  It's certainly worth a look- but I'm not sure I'd be compelled to watch it multiple times.  I'm going to have to put it in "The Bad".

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