Prince of Darkness (1987)

USA, 1987
35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), colour, 2.35:1
“recorded in Ultra Stereo”, English

An American science fiction/horror film directed by John Carpenter. Carpenter also wrote the script using the pseudonym Martin Quatermass, a reference to the writer Nigel Kneale.

Plot Summary

Father Loomis discovers a large metal cannister containing a swirling green liquid hidden in a vault beneath a Los Angeles church. The cannister has been in the care of a mysterious sect of the Catholic church, The Brotherhood of Sleep for centuries and now Loomis is its new caretaker. He calls in a group of science graduates and their lecturers to help him find out what the cannister really is and what it contains. They discover that it’s seven million years old and houses the essence of the Anti-God, a Satanic being from another dimension out to destroy the world. For centuries, it’s been safely locked away, the Catholic church’s greatest secret – but now, with a unique alignment of the planets on its way, plagues of insects massing at the windows and a horde of demonic hobos laying siege to the church, the Anti-God is on the move, and preparing for the final showdown.


Directed by: John Carpenter
© 1987 Universal City Studios, Inc. in the United States, certain related territories, and Canada
© 1987 Carolco International N.V. in all other countries and territories of the world
Alive Films presents a Larry Franco production. A Universal/Northern Distribution Partners release
Executive Producers: Shep Gordon, Andre Blay
Produced by: Larry Franco
Written by: Martin Quatermass [real name: John Carpenter]
Director of Photography: Gary B. Kibbe
Edited by: Steve Mirkovich
Music by: John Carpenter
Production Sound Mixer: Thomas Causey
Costume Supervisor: Deahdra Scarano
Make Up: Frank Carrisosa
Hair Stylist: Janis Clark
Computer Effects Coordinator: Robert Grasmere Jr
Special Effects Coordinator: Kevin Quibell
Production Designer: Daniel Lomino

Donald Pleasence (priest [Father Loomis])
Lisa Blount (Catherine [Danforth])
Victor Wong ([Professor Howard] Birack)
Dennis Dun (Walter)
Susan Blanchard (Kelly)
Anne Howard (Susan [Cabot])
Ann Yen (Lisa)
Jessie Lawrence Ferguson (Calder)
Dirk Blocker (Mullins)
Peter Jason (Dr [Paul] Leahy)
Ken Wright (Lomax)
Robert Grasmere ([Frank] Wyndham)
Thom Bray (Etchinson)
Alice Cooper (street schizo)
Joanna Merlin (bag lady)
Jameson Parker as Brian [Marsh]
Betty Ramey (nun)
Jessie Ferguson (dark figure)

Alternative Titles

Die Fürsten der Dunkelheit – West German title
Ksiaze ciemnosci – Polish title
Mörkrets furste – Swedish title
Pimeyden prinssi – Finnish title
Pimeyden valtias – Finnish title
Prince des ténèbres – French title
O Príncipe das Trevas – Portuguese title
El príncipe de las tinieblas – Spanish title
Il signore del male – Italian title
A sötétség fejedelme – Hungarian title

Includes extracts from
The Cat Above and the Mouse Below (1964)
Heavenly Puss (1949)


Première April 1988 p.26 – review (by Stella Molitor)
Studio April 1988 p.18 – review (by Jean Witold)

Elliot’s Guide to Films on Video by John Elliot p.621 – credits, review
Hoffman’s Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.291 – credits, review