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Review wanted on John Carpeter's Prince of Darkness

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Review wanted on John Carpeter's Prince of Darkness

Old 08-05-00, 08:21 PM
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Please review the movie.
Old 08-05-00, 08:51 PM
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The movie itself is good.....not sure about the DVD transfer!!! Basically you have a group of people inside a church who are kept inside by zombies who are trolling around outside!!! You may want to rent this first to see if it is worth a purchase. Has been awhile since I have viewed this title!!! Give it a try!!!
Old 08-05-00, 09:00 PM
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From DVDReview....Hope this helps!!!

"Prince Of Darkness" is no exception. The film starts with the death of an old monk, the last survivor of the "Brotherhood Of
Sleepers". With his death, he leaves behind a key and a diary. A priest (Donald Pleasance) is intrigued by the items, and in
studying them, discovers the truth about the Brotherhood. For 2000 years they have been guarding the Sleeper in an ancient
crypt deep beneath the church. It is said to be the Ultimate Evil, the thing against which Christ warned mankind and it has been
sealed inside a giant glassine cylinder, manifesting as a green, twirling, ethereal matter.

The priest turns to Professor Birack (Victor Wong), a renowned physicist, for help, who in turn
recruits some of his students for a weekend field trip to the ancient crypt to study the subject. They
are joined by other professors as well, all of whom are taken with the mystery of the sealed cylinder.
Within hours they detect physical and metaphysical anomalies, clearly indicated and recorded by
their instruments, and when they begin to interpret the data, it becomes clear that the Sleeper is
awakening. While the scientists argue about whether they’re going to believe in what they see, the
Sleeper manages to break the seal of the tube from the inside, and infects members of the team with
a spray of its fluid. This fluid turns them into walking undead under the mental command of the
Sleeper.

Outside the church, strange changes unfold. Ants, worms, and other insects manifest in great
numbers, and homeless people begin to gather around the church as in a trance. The church
becomes a trap with zombies on the inside and human monsters on the outside and any who
attempts to break free are hunted down and killed. When the remaining scientists are cornered, the
attacks suddenly cease… and make way for something even worse. One of the victims is changing, and as age-old scrolls
predicted, turns into the final medium that is needed to set the Prince Of Darkness free at last.

The movie efficiently demonstrates the clash between pure, hard-fact science and the
spirituality of religion. Unfortunately, after a grand start, the film loses focus in the middle,
and deteriorates, for a time, into a "Night Of The Living Dead" scenario. Carpenter yanks it
back on track for the movie’s intelligent, surprising, and unpredictable finale. He makes
good use of his signature "something-is-moving-behind-you" shots, building suspense to a
fever pitch. Another of his techniques is his changing field of depth shot, which creates the
illusion of subtle movement in an otherwise static camera setup. Unfortunately, this
technique is slightly overused in this film, and oftentimes it distracts from the actual shot.

The movie is surprisingly tight and believable. Continuity and logical errors are held at bay, which is astounding for a horror movie
made on this budget. John Carpenter, who also wrote the movie’s screenplay under his pseudonym, "Martin Quatermass," has
gone to quite some lengths to make sure the story wraps up nicely yet leaves you pondering what really happened.
He has employed some interesting plot devices, such as surreal dream broadcasts from the future, giving the movie the right mix
of fantastic realism and unlike many of the movies of the modern day, has created characters with motivations that easily propel
them through the entire story. On a personal note, I found it a very nice touch to find Alice Cooper starring as one of the leading
zombies in the movie a role, I am sure, he enjoyed greatly. His performance, perhaps surprisingly, is excellent, and adds so
much to the film’s overall sinister appeal. I also always enjoy the way Carpenter uses Victor Wong in a number of his movies to
carry sympathy in Wong’s unique, almost self-mocking way.

"Prince Of Darkness" has received a brand-new anamorphic widescreen transfer and is
presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio. The image is sharp with lots of
details even in the murky areas of the crypt and the dimly lit interior shots. The movie
exhibits some film grain, which is visible in the DVD transfer but it seems toned down by
the clean transfer and the top notch compression job of this disc. There are no artifacts in
the picture and the overall image quality is very clear without chroma noise. Colors are rich,
even though some interior shots exhibit a very slight red oversaturation that is barely
noticeable. John Carpenter is an auteur who studied making movies from scratch, and he
enjoys being involved in all aspects of their production, from directing, writing, acting, all
the way to composing. Not surprisingly, "Prince Of Darkness" once again features one of
his very own musical scores, written in cooperation with Alan Howarth. Just as in earlier scores, he makes highly efficient use of
themes that, despite their simplicity, never get boring but rather stress the film’s progression and actively help build suspense.
His chilling theme from "Halloween" is a perfect example of this technique. He once again puts it to excellent use in "Prince Of
Darkness". The disc restores the movie’s original theatrical cut - there has been a completely re-edited version for TV audiences
- and contains a rich and clean 2.0 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack, but unfortunately no subtitles or foreign language tracks.

"Prince Of Darkness" is a signature John Carpenter film, one that will fill every fan of the
director with joy, especially because Image Entertainment’s splendid DVD treatment brings
out the best of the movie. This film is miles above most other genre entries of the 80s and
90s, a time when horror was often degraded to mindless special effects orgies without
story, continuity, or sense. If you like John Carpenter’s work, I am sure you have seen this
movie before… but still, I have to recommend this DVD. For those who haven’t seen it…
still, I have to recommend this DVD. It is a great, intelligent horror flick with just the right
amount of gore, one that moves beyond simple scares and into the realm of the mental.


Old 08-06-00, 12:27 AM
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Just cleaning up the review.

From DVDReview....Hope this helps!!!

"Prince Of Darkness" is no exception. The film starts with the death of an old monk, the last survivor of the "Brotherhood Of Sleepers". With his death, he leaves behind a key and a diary. A priest (Donald Pleasance) is intrigued by the items, and in studying them, discovers the truth about the Brotherhood. For 2000 years they have been guarding the Sleeper in an ancient crypt deep beneath the church. It is said to be the Ultimate Evil, the thing against which Christ warned mankind and it has been sealed inside a giant glassine cylinder, manifesting as a green, twirling, ethereal matter.

The priest turns to Professor Birack (Victor Wong), a renowned physicist, for help, who in turn recruits some of his students for a weekend field trip to the ancient crypt to study the subject. They are joined by other professors as well, all of whom are taken with the mystery of the sealed cylinder. Within hours they detect physical and metaphysical anomalies, clearly indicated and recorded by their instruments, and when they begin to interpret the data, it becomes clear that the Sleeper is awakening. While the scientists argue about whether they’re going to believe in what they see, the Sleeper manages to break the seal of the tube from the inside, and infects members of the team with a spray of its fluid. This fluid turns them into walking undead under the mental command of the Sleeper.

Outside the church, strange changes unfold. Ants, worms, and other insects manifest in great numbers, and homeless people begin to gather around the church as in a trance. The church becomes a trap with zombies on the inside and human monsters on the outside and any who attempts to break free are hunted down and killed. When the remaining scientists are cornered, the attacks suddenly cease… and make way for something even worse. One of the victims is changing, and as age-old scrolls predicted, turns into the final medium that is needed to set the Prince Of Darkness free at last.

The movie efficiently demonstrates the clash between pure, hard-fact science and the spirituality of religion. Unfortunately, after a grand start, the film loses focus in the middle, and deteriorates, for a time, into a "Night Of The Living Dead" scenario. Carpenter yanks it back on track for the movie’s intelligent, surprising, and unpredictable finale. He makes good use of his signature "something-is-moving-behind-you" shots, building suspense to a fever pitch. Another of his techniques is his changing field of depth shot, which creates the illusion of subtle movement in an otherwise static camera setup. Unfortunately, this technique is slightly overused in this film, and oftentimes it distracts from the actual shot.

The movie is surprisingly tight and believable. Continuity and logical errors are held at bay, which is astounding for a horror movie made on this budget. John Carpenter, who also wrote the movie’s screenplay under his pseudonym, "Martin Quatermass," has gone to quite some lengths to make sure the story wraps up nicely yet leaves you pondering what really happened. He has employed some interesting plot devices, such as surreal dream broadcasts from the future, giving the movie the right mix of fantastic realism and unlike many of the movies of the modern day, has created characters with motivations that easily propel them through the entire story. On a personal note, I found it a very nice touch to find Alice Cooper starring as one of the leading zombies in the movie a role, I am sure, he enjoyed greatly. His performance, perhaps surprisingly, is excellent, and adds so much to the film’s overall sinister appeal. I also always enjoy the way Carpenter uses Victor Wong in a number of his movies to carry sympathy in Wong’s unique, almost self-mocking way.

"Prince Of Darkness" has received a brand-new anamorphic widescreen transfer and is presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio. The image is sharp with lots of details even in the murky areas of the crypt and the dimly lit interior shots. The movieexhibits some film grain, which is visible in the DVD transfer but it seems toned down by the clean transfer and the top notch compression job of this disc. There are no artifacts in the picture and the overall image quality is very clear without chroma noise. Colors are rich, even though some interior shots exhibit a very slight red oversaturation that is barely noticeable. John Carpenter is an auteur who studied making movies from scratch, and he enjoys being involved in all aspects of their production, from directing, writing, acting, all the way to composing. Not surprisingly, "Prince Of Darkness" once again features one of his very own musical scores, written in cooperation with Alan Howarth. Just as in earlier scores, he makes highly efficient use of themes that, despite their simplicity, never get boring but rather stress the film’s progression and actively help build suspense. His chilling theme from "Halloween" is a perfect example of this technique. He once again puts it to excellent use in "Prince Of Darkness". The disc restores the movie’s original theatrical cut - there has been a completely re-edited version for TV audiences - and contains a rich and clean 2.0 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack, but unfortunately no subtitles or foreign language tracks.

"Prince Of Darkness" is a signature John Carpenter film, one that will fill every fan of the director with joy, especially because Image Entertainment’s splendid DVD treatment brings out the best of the movie. This film is miles above most other genre entries of the 80s and 90s, a time when horror was often degraded to mindless special effects orgies without story, continuity, or sense. If you like John Carpenter’s work, I am sure you have seen this movie before… but still, I have to recommend this DVD. For those who haven’t seen it…still, I have to recommend this DVD. It is a great, intelligent horror flick with just the right amount of gore, one that moves beyond simple scares and into the realm of the mental.

------------------
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So, this is what's inside that damn suitcase
Old 08-06-00, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for the information guys... I'm going to buy this dvd, which is now Out Of Print.
Old 08-06-00, 01:26 PM
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It isn't OOP.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6305078165/qid=965572046/sr=1-1/103-6144116-5216667
Old 08-06-00, 02:02 PM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by MrBEAViS:
It isn't OOP.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6305078165/qid=965572046/sr=1-1/103-6144116-5 216667
<HR>


Yes, some places still have this in stock but I do believe it is on the endangered species list....also, notice the high price!!! Both Express and Amazon are only offering 20% off due to the fact that it is hard to find or will be hard to find in a matter of a couple of months. Purchase now or you will need to find it on ebay down the road.
Old 08-06-00, 04:38 PM
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This DVD is no longer being produced and buy.com hast it for $19.99.
Old 08-06-00, 06:53 PM
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But, is it discontinued because a Special Edition is planned? Or because it is expected never to be available again?

The movie was pretty good, but I would really hate to buy a bare bones version, only to be faced with a re-release with extras.
Old 08-06-00, 07:21 PM
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Have not heard anything at all regarding a
special edition....you never know!!! If I do buy this movie, I can always
sell it on ebay down the road far in advance of a special edition release....I usually get more than what I paid for the movie when I list on ebay!!!!
Old 08-06-00, 07:24 PM
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I know what you mean. I recently bought Spinal Tap CC on ebay, and paid $50 (First DVD I ever paid full MSRP for), but the seller backed out. I think he figured to get more for it, and was surprised at the price.
Old 08-07-00, 05:29 PM
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Am I reading this right Hoc??? It looks like the price reduction is from $24.99 to $14.99....

From $24.99 to $14.99--

Andromeda Strain
ID4220USDVD

Animal Crackers
ID4272USDVD

Cat People
ID4221USDVD

Double Indemnity
ID4222USDVD

Duck Soup
ID4223USDVD

Fahrenheit 451
ID4231USDVD

Firestarter
ID4274USDVD

I'm No Angel
ID4230USDVD

Monty Python: The Meaning Of Life
ID4226USDVD

Prince Of Darkness
ID4275USDVD

Quantum Leap: The Pilot Episode
ID4301USDVD

Seven Percent Solution
ID4269USDVD

Silent Running
ID4229USDVD

Slaughterhouse Five
ID4227USDVD

Tales From The Crypt: Bordello Of Blood
ID4225USDVD

Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight
ID4233USDVD

They Live
ID4234USDVD

This Island Earth
ID4268USDVD

Weird Science
ID4232USDVD




Old 08-07-00, 05:30 PM
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OK, on the DVD Bargains Board, there is a post saying that Image Entertainment is reducing the price of their Prince of Darkness DVD from $24.98 to $19.99. So, it looks like it is not going OOP. Rather, it is getting a price reduction and is being re-released at a lower price.

And,in fact, Image Entertainment's site confirms that, as of 8/15/2000, Prince of Darkness is being released at the new price of $19.99

Here's the Image Entertainment Site. Do a search, and you will find Prince of Darkness on that very long page.

BTW, here's the review of the quality of the DVD itself from Amazon:

Widescreen Review:
Picture Quality: 2 (5 is the highest rating) The anamorphically enhanced DVD picture appears to have distortion and NTSC artifacts throughout. The picture looks dated and lacks a natural overall appearance. Images are oversaturated with brownish-orange fleshtones, and deep, undefined blacks. Images are sharp, with good vertical and horizontal resolution, but fine background detail is lost due to oversaturated, muddy colors. Exterior scenes exhibit only slightly better clarity. Contrast and shadow delineation are wanting in naturalness, as is the entire presentation. The DVD is framed at 2.45:1, in both the letterbox and anamorphic formats.

Sound Quality: 2.5 (5 is the highest rating) The soundtrack, originally matrix encoded and presented theatrically in Ultra Stereo, is credited as two-channel stereo and there is no surround. Dialogue is phantom imaged and wanting in spatial integration. John Carpenter's electronic music score, reminiscent of the music score for The Thing, is at times dynamic, but mediocre overall.
Old 08-07-00, 05:33 PM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by djones6746:
Am I reading this right Hoc??? It looks like the price reduction is from $24.99 to $14.99....

<HR>


That looks right to me. The pricing I got was from the other post, but the image page obviously should have the correct info. Amazon lists the MSRP as $29.99, though.
Old 08-16-00, 01:06 PM
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Hey Hoc.....$10.49 at dvdplanet with the 30% off!!!!!
Old 08-23-00, 02:32 PM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by djones6746:
Hey Hoc.....$10.49 at dvdplanet with the 30% off!!!!! <HR>


There we go -- now it's getting into my price range. $10.99 at buy.com. Use a $10 off $15 coupon and add another $10 DVD (any of the new priced Image DVDs) to get it for $5.99 plus around $2 shipping.

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