Today’s patch-day flick was John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. The movie was made in 1987, back when women wore baggy tops with rolled up sleeves, men had ugly moustaches, and Atheism was the new religion. A group of college students (not the young partying kind, but the older serious kind) are asked to monitor and research something in an old Catholic church. They don’t know what it is they are supposed to be researching, they are given no real information at all only that it is very important.
Now through the opening of the film and its lengthy opening credits, we are given glimpses of different things; the students in a class talking about different forms of reality and its basis on science and scenes of a priest (played by Donald Pleasence in the credits he is only called the Priest, but on IMDB they call him Father Loomis, this could be because Pleasence’s performance was very much like the one he gave in the Halloween series) and him getting a key and conferences with nuns and writing a letter of urgency to the before mentioned professor. Most of the dialogue is lost to us unfortunately as the only thing we are allowed to hear is the music for the credits through most of it. Oh and one of the students, Brian Marsh (played by my favorite Simon brother Jameson Parker) stalking a redheaded co-ed (Lisa Blount). So in essence, we are as clueless to what is going on as the characters are.
Deep in the church is a big container of green ooze apparently containing the essence of God’s son. There is a little talk in this film that Jesus was actually alien and some discussion on the scientific level of theology; every particle has a mirror image of itself, the opposite of what it is. Where the Vatican has deduced that this essence was actually the positive and Godlike substance, what if we are looking at the reverse of that and all we thought was good wasn’t?
Philosophically, this movie was very interesting for study. It tried to make you question your own personal beliefs, which for a movie such as this, is an interesting twist. However, it really didn’t hit the mark completely. The religious and scientific babble was not only slow paced and sleep-inducing, but it was never fully explained. It came across like my tenth grade geometry teacher who expected us to already know the information on the first day since he had been teaching it so long. It left me with a whole feeling of “Huh? So that means what?” And frankly I hate feeling like an idiot when I am watching a horror film.
Our demonic force, the big green bottle of ooze, also has telepathic powers controlling the lower life forms around it; mainly worms, ants, roaches, and the homeless (including a cameo by Alice Cooper, who actually got to kill someone by ramming half of a bike through them). The ooze also likes to spray itself in the mouth and eyes of random people creating zombie-like minions who then squirt a little of it from their mouth to others. Tastes like chicken!
Where the movie was creative in thought and theory, the action, the suspense, and the oomph that one looks for in a Carpenter film just was not there. It was missing something, and left me feeling empty and sleepy.
2 crucified doves out of 5