Blu-ray Review “John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness”

princessdarknessActors: Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong
Directors: John Carpenter
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

I have to admit, the first time I saw “John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness”, I was really blown away.  But over the years, I have developed quite the love for this film.  It is not the most recognized Carpenter film over others like “Halloween”, “The Thing” and even “They Live” but is definitely a great film. If you are a horror fan, Carpenter really delivers fan-favorites with Donald Pleasence (“Halloween”), Lisa Blount (“Needful Things”), rock icon Alice Cooper (“Roadie”) and Victor Wong and Dennis Dun (both from Carpenter’s “Big Trouble In Little China”), So the cast feels like a big reunion.  It has also been a few years since I have seen this film probably (don’t laugh on VHS), so I was really blown away with this Blu-ray release. The film still holds up today, delivers a very creepy ambiance and arrives perfect time for Halloween. So if you are a horrorhound like myself you will be thrilled to see this film finally get the love it deserves.  Did I also mention the new cover art totally rocks!?

Official Premise: Master of horror John Carpenter (“Halloween”, “The Thing”) directs this terrifying battle between mankind and the ultimate evil. A group of graduate students and scientists uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open it, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid and an evil force on all of humanity. As the liquid turns their co-workers into zombies, the remaining members realize they have released the most unspeakable horror of them all. Terror mounts as the team must fight to save the world from a devilish fury that has been contained for over seven million years.

Scream Factory really scored with the film’s Blu-ray presentation. The 1080p transfer in 2.35:1 aspect ratio is quite amazing. Being a big Carpenter fan, I have to admit that this is actually one of the best transfers for one of his films, especially the make-up effects which look stunning. Of course that might all chance when Anchor Bay releases their anniversary edition of “Halloween” later this month. In terms of audio options, we get both a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 tracks. The 5.1 score definitely the most ass and takes the win, especially with the amazing  score delivered by Carpenter and Alan Howarth.

In terms of special features, Scream Factory really delivers the goods for this Blu-ray. “Sympathy for the Devil: An Interview with John Carpenter” is a 10 minute interview with the master of horror discussing the film. “Alice at the Apocalypse: An Interview with Alice Cooper” is an awesome new interview with the rock icon to discuss his role. “The Messenger: All New Interview with Actor and Special Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Grasmere” looks into both his role in the film and special effects work. “Hell On Earth: A Look at the Film’s Score with Co-Composer Alan Howarth” is a feature on the score. There is an “Alternate Opening from TV Version”, which is worth checking out. “Horror’s Hallowed Ground” features Sean Clark giving a hosted look at the film’s locations. There is a Q&A from the “Prince of Darkness 25th Anniversary Screening” from 2012’s Screamfest. There is a great audio commentary with John Carpenter and Peter Jason. Lastly there are trailer, radio spots and still gallery included.

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