Two roles and one storyline element make a revisit to this double decade plus film (not to mention its director, John Carpenter) an interesting exercise far beyond nostalgia. The role of a Catholic priest coming to terms with Vatican secrecy and confused doctrine could anticipate no casting better than placing the well established Donald Pleasance as, Father Loomis. Then there’s that already awe-inspiring Alice Cooper cult image critter as, Street Schizo. (Don’t ask, just see the movie.) Throw in the handsome, Jameson Parker and the beautiful faced, Anne Marie Howard (turning on a dime to assume the austere eerie stare of Susan Cabot, and you’re firing up on all burners.
The “element”?…well that’s the way that super novas at the time had been discovered to advance sub-atomic particle research (where Satan might be hiding) and now in retrospect, might cast an equally disquieting view upon super-colliding potentials…especially among many physicists already somewhat alarmed. (We building the campfire atmosphere already?) Mr. Carpenter!…nudge, nudge. Good remake potential here.
With a very versatile music score and a building crescendo upon it, as opening events unfold, The Prince of Darkness captivates viewers’ attention but declines a bit to losing it as the story reduces to the more predictable, inevitably becoming the ages old conflict of hell’s spawn versus the domain of mankind. But with the interesting twist of the Church’s complicity in it all by keeping a secret that might have led to better chances of man’s survival had the The Authority for God on Earth not had a view of its own concerns for hiding its impotency in mind uppermost.
Which indeed sets it apart. Supporting cast is, as well, another bonus, especially since they adopt actually two roles in this, the before and after (again, don’t ask…see the movie) and Alice Cooper gets by splendidly just being his lovely self.
Not just another horror flick, Carpenter’s touch noted, plenty of room for intense language but none found, blood and gore but no bare boobs, so fine for kids. Hope you like bugs and larvae slime. You might not need the salt and butter for the popcorn.
See if you don’t agree a remake might be in order. And, by the way, stay to the bitter end, there is where the hint a remake just might have been in mind. Really don’t know what else to make of it.