John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness!
by: -RoG-



This is Calder. He's probably my favorite character in the entire movie just because he has the best laugh in the world and shows his big pearly whites every time he does it. Unfortunately for him, he's just walked into Miss Lisa's room. Or should I say, Miss "I'm a psycho mind-controlled zombie typist" Lisa's room. Not to toot my own horn, but I consider myself a damned fast typist. I made Mavis Beacon my bitch a long time ago. But zombie Lisa is running circles around my best typing speeds. She's just in a trance as she types insanely fast and Calder moves in for a closer look...


I don't know who the god "Plutonium" is, but I'm sure he's pissed off that Doc was using some to power the time machine. My suggestion to Calder would be to get the hell out of there right away, but it's already too late for my favorite laughing guy. Both Lisa and Susan quickly overpower him and then he's on his way to zombieville. But there's good news! It turns out Chuck survived being stabbed with a pair of scissors numerous times, because he's standing outside and calling to everybody.

Let's ALL look! Pray for death... and a new head. :(

Er, wait, something's definitely wrong here. First off, his voice has changed to sound more like a guy who is gurgling water (or perhaps Scope?). Secondly, he's definitely looking a bit pale. And then he speaks much to the horror of the remaining survivors inside the church: "I've got a message for you, and you're not going to like it. Pray for death." Then Chuck's head falls off as he is consumed by all sorts of bugs that were inside his body. Easily one of the coolest moments in the movie, and one of the many scenes that freaked me out when I was a kid. Pray for death indeed.

And here's my pal Calder again. He returns looking awfully sweaty while showing off those pearly whites of his, and starts to sing a very unsettling rendition of Amazing Grace. I say unsettling because it quickly goes from this...


to this...

SAD! :(

I guess he really didn't like the taste of that zombie Scope mouthwash, because he rips off a big piece of wood from a nearby staircase and slits his throat with it. Damn, that's really going to have a negative effect on his singing voice. Poor Calder.

One big happy family of zombies and Scope!

Back in Kelly's room, the two Zombie girls have brought a friend to keep her company while she sleeps - the giant Cylinder of green liquid! And now it's created a new pool on the ceiling which is emptying itself into Kelly's face!

Nope. Nothing to see here. Move along...

Looks like she's going to be the host for one hell of a big mouthwash party.

*spitoooey!* YAY! I'M HAPPY AGAIN!

Dr. Paul Leahy then gets a squirt in the mouth too and even Calder is back. Even with his throat slit, his badass laugh is still in tip top shape. He just stands there... sweating, smiling, and laughing. What more could you ask for in a supporting character? I'm telling you, he rules!


Now Walter is trapped inside the closet in Kelly's room, so all he can do is watch her. It finally looks as though she's had her fill of the green liquid and eventually her stomach returns to normal size as if the liquid was absorbed into her skin. Whatever the stuff is, it sure as hell doesn't do much for her complexion. She looks like a pizza-faced maniac now, and she can move things with her mind!

That had better be a #2 Pencil!

In the next room over, Birack and the others have barricaded themselves in, but they decide to open the door to see if the zombies are still out there. Sure enough, one of them comes in and spits some more of that liquid into one of their mouths. You'd think they'd learn to keep their mouths closed by now. Anyway, they soon do away with this zombie by stabbing him in the eye with a pencil. And for the record, only a #2 pencil will kill a zombie.

They do try to escape through the windows, but all of the homeless people just try to attack them. It turns out that not only can the green stuff move some objects, but it can control simple minds - which explains the insects. So I guess what John Carpenter was trying to say here was that homeless people and insects have the same mental capacity. Excellent.

Anyway, Walter starts to freak out (ie: badly act like he's really scared) and they start digging a hole in the wall to free him. And it is at this point when we see a movie first:


My friend Lucas and I are still determined to start a band with the name "Beating Demons With Bricks". There's just something really catchy sounding about it, but I digress.


And now the whole story comes together when we see that pizza-faced Kelly is trying to pull faaaaaaaaaaaatherrrrr into the real world. Only she has the power to bring him into the real world from the other side of the mirror. She tries pulling him in through a compact make-up kit, but quickly realizes that it's not quite big enough. Smart. So, she moves into a nearby room where there's a nice big mirror and she starts to reach for him when out from behind a furnace comes Father Loomis to the rescue!

OFF WITH HER HEAD! Er... maybe not.

He chops off her arm and then her head with an axe. Unfortunately, she just laughs it off as she grows another arm instantly and puts her head right back on. Looks like Loomis has met his match. She uses her mind power to move the furnace and pin him up against the wall.

GIANT HAND! Hey! Where'd the giant hand go!?

She then returns to her mirror mojo and we get a glimpse of father. And let me tell ya, father has one big fucking hand. I never thought the end of the world would come in the form of a giant hand, but it certainly looks like that's what's going on here. Strangely, the hand looks much smaller once it reaches the other side of the mirror - the real world. In all seriousness though, it's a really awesome looking shot.


Being the only one who isn't wrestling with a Scope-puking zombie, Catherine realizes that it's now up to her to save the world from Satan. When confronted with the choice of either a) diving onto Kelly and pushing her into the the mirror or b) letting the world fall to the evil of a giant hand and who knows what else, she jumps right on in. I'm not sure why Catherine couldn't just shove Kelly into the mirror without diving in herself, but she does. Father Loomis then throws his axe at the mirror and the world is saved...


...but Catherine is now trapped on the other side of the mirror forever. And it is this very image that gave me many-a-nightmare when I was a kid. Something about it is just absolutely haunting to me and only by watching the movie will you understand. It still gives me the creeps to this day, and the atmosphere alone that Carpenter and company created with this little gem has still yet to be beat in my book. So it's really no surprise why this film really stands out in my mind on the short list of truly scary horror films.

I'm like Jebus now.

Cut to that same dream "neural radio transmission" sequence from before and now the shadowy figure in the doorway appears to be Catherine. She saved us all and Brian is alone with nothing but her memory, his mustache, and...


Actually that was just a dream within a dream. Relax Brian... Satan is stuck on the other side of the mirror and your mustache is safe once again.

Don't do it man! Just leave it be! LEAVE IT BE!

Have any questions or comments about this piece?
Email -RoG-


If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

Night Of The Creeps!

Reader Comments



Pickled Patriarch
Oct 2nd, 2009, 08:16 PM
For those of you who get Cinemax, they're actually playing John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness" (my all-time favorite horror movie) throughout the month. In celebration of this, and the fact that I finally got to see it in a real theater this past week, I went ahead and updated my old article about the movie from like 8 years ago and put it into the new site template so you guys can finally it on here! The Brotherhood of Sleep awaits your comments.
Oct 2nd, 2009, 10:09 PM
This is the best anything.

Also Rog, thanks fore the heads up on Cinemax. Already DVR'd'ed.
Last of the Time Lords
Oct 2nd, 2009, 11:02 PM
Love this film. Between Halloween, The Thing and this, Carpenter was truly a Horror Movie king back in the day.

Then he made Memoirs of an Invisible Man and it all went to hell.
taco loving zombie
Oct 3rd, 2009, 01:05 AM
is the moustache guy the same guy from halloween 3?
Oct 3rd, 2009, 03:03 AM
I remember that poster hanging just inside the doorway of the video store where my mother worked as a kid. Scared the hell out of me every time I went to go see her.
Forum Virgin
Oct 3rd, 2009, 08:48 AM
Probably the weakest of John Carpenter's films (that I've seen, anyway), but still pretty awesome. The big green cylinder really does look menacing, and the scene where the guy is getting eaten apart by bugs is great. Satan typing in all caps like a 14-year-old forum troll, not so much.

If anyone's interested, I made a terrible song based on samples from this movie, "Conscious Neural Interference", and you can find it here: http://www.myspace.com/thehanglyman
Forum Virgin
Oct 3rd, 2009, 08:37 PM
This is one of Carpenter's best Hanglyman!
One of the few films thats genuinely freaked me out as an adult. I watched it late one night when in the delirium of sickness. Scared the shit out of me. I was also listening to Sonic Youth's 'Confusion is Sex' album a lot back then. 'Protect me you' reminds me of this film. Also freaks me out.
Forum Virgin
Oct 4th, 2009, 09:21 AM
Well, in explanation of what I said, I found it to be slower-paced than his other films, some of the deaths and special effects seemed more comical than horrific, the characters were pretty shallow and unlikeable so it was hard to feel anything when they got killed, and Satan inconsistently alternates between being a dark, shadowy, unfathomable force and taunting them in a very human, almost childish manner. Probably more than anything, the religious angle just didn't do it for me... the sci-fi alien horror in The Thing and the Lovecraftian story of In the Mouth of Madness were much more compelling to me (although I'll admit, the latter was pretty funny as well).

But don't get me wrong, it was a good movie. A lot scarier than your typical horror movie. In particular, the shots of the other side of the mirror really set my imagination going, thinking of Hell not as a place of fire and brimstone, but just a lonely, lifeless, pitch-dark void. Kelly and Catherine getting banished into that place forever really was scary... even though, as RoG pointed out, Catherine didn't even try to save herself.
Hypnotic Swirling Colors
Oct 4th, 2009, 10:50 PM
Pizza Face would also make a good band name.
Oct 4th, 2009, 10:53 PM
Awesome film. Too bad the days of horror films with brains seem to be over.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Oct 4th, 2009, 10:55 PM
I'm quite ashamed how far behind on my Carpenter I am. Still need to see this, Mouth of Madness, The Fog (OK, seen the last half of that one), and whatever it was he did this decade. Better get moving.
Oct 5th, 2009, 02:40 AM
Is that dude with the mustache the guy from Simon & Simon?
Forum Virgin
Oct 5th, 2009, 02:45 AM
Hate to break it to you Relaxing Dragon, but quite frankly you are probably best served by avoiding pretty much anything Carpenter has done since the early 90s at the latest.

After somehow rocking the 80s and before with numerous amazing gems, he just seemed to sputter out IMO:-(

The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, this movie, the Halloween movies, The Fog, and Starman are really his "can't miss" gems. If you like a "so cheesy it's good movie" maybe tack on "They Live."

I haven't seen them in quite awhile, but I truly recall "Vampires" and "Ghosts of Mars" to be less than impressive for one reason or another and I really don't remember too many movies other than these. Maybe my memory serves me wrong on these movies though. I'd love to hear what others think...are there other gems I'm missing?
Oct 5th, 2009, 05:10 AM
It's too bad John Carpenter lost his mojo. I rate this and In The Mouth of Madness as his best works (oh, and Big Trouble in Little China, of course, Yay cheese!). I sort of lost track after that, until I saw Vampires a few years ago on some friends' recommendations. Ye gods! How did he go from being so good to so bad? As far as I'm concerned, John Carpenter died in 1990 and has been replaced by one of the things from They Live.
An Arizona Horror Company
Oct 5th, 2009, 09:16 PM
Early Carpenter's stuff is certainly the career-best work....but I've gotta speak up for the under-appreciated VAMPIRES. Most of it is totally ludicrous. You've got a Baldwin in there, that's never a good sign, and what's-her-name from TWIN PEAKS, also usually a sign of suckage to come. But come on: James Woods is in full scenery-chewing mode, and seems to be having such a good time staking the shit out of the undead, that I just can't hate it. (And the hotel-room massacre, where the one that got away comes back to lay waste to Woods' cronies, is a pretty decent gore set-piece.)
Oct 6th, 2009, 10:40 AM
John Carpenter is awesome, his movies are not cheesy at all, their dead serious tone is what makes them so fucking awesome. The "hey we know its bad get it?" shit is so overdone, like its a requirment now to have a horror movie. I'd like to see something with an oppressive dark atmosphere that really eats your brain our your eye sockets, like Aguirre The Wrath of God or the movie White Zombie.
Turrican't. :(
Oct 7th, 2009, 07:08 AM
Isn't this an older article, why has it been reposted? Or am I just tripping? I swear I've read this before, though. 0_o
Turrican't. :(
Oct 7th, 2009, 07:20 AM
NVM I didn't read ROG's post. I'm stupid like that.

BTW, this is awesome, not as awesome as The Thing but still awesome.
I hate this hacker crap!
Oct 8th, 2009, 05:02 PM
I don't think i read this one, and I certainly haven't seen the movie. I'm so not using scope now.
Forum Virgin
Oct 25th, 2009, 07:37 PM
Im watching the movie right now and I hear the sizzling bacon
Ranting Swede
Apr 27th, 2010, 08:36 PM
I found this at my local Hollywood Video store before they closed down. Got it for two bucks in great condition along with Day of the Dead.
Deadly Towers Survivor
Aug 30th, 2010, 01:08 AM
This movie looks creeeeeepy! I just might rent (if not buy) it sometime soon.

Oh, and narcolepticsloth, please tell me you're talking about the kick-ass original Day of the Dead, and not the piece-of-shit remake
Forum Virgin
Oct 30th, 2010, 11:41 AM
Great concept and I loved the movie but unfortunately there was a lack of funding to do what JC wanted to do. At least, that's the rumor.

The god Plutonium thing was a reference to nuclear weapons, I think, because it said it wouldn't save us. I assume it meant that our most powerful weapon would be no use against the anti-god. Again, it's just a guess but it makes sense to me.

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