Friday, November 27, 2015

Monthly Feature #21: Prince of Darkness (1987)

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A huge thank you to Melissa for joining us on this episode. Check out her podcasts Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome, A Reel Education, A Reel Education Noir, her blog, and follower her on Twitter.

As mentioned in the episode, some Xanadus especially worth a listen (though they're all worth a listen, to be honest) is their look at Nigel Kneale and the Quatermass franchise, as well as Part 1 and Part 2 from when Noel was a guest to discuss the films of John Carpenter.

This episode discusses Prince of Darkness (1987). IMDb. Wikipedia.

Our theme music is "Black Rainbow" by Jak Locke.

Check out banner artist Benjamin J's DeviantArt page.


Tim Luz said...

Great episode! This is a really odd movie. Fantastic atmosphere and some really haunting moments but like The Fog, really weird pacing and characterization. And while I'm not particularly religious, any movie that brings in space Jesus makes me chuckle.

The scenes between Birack and Father Grumpy Pants make me think a lot of the script came from Carpenter having long, philosophical conversations with others. In fact, I remember reading that around this time Carpenter was in the running to direct the third Exorcist movie and would have discussions with William Peter Blatty about sub-atomic physics.

While I understand the desire for a Quatermassian finale in which science triumphs, I rather like that in the end science proves to be just as powerless to fight the menace as faith. Instead it comes down to the heroic and almost instinctual actions of a single person (the Priest only gets an assist for the axe throw).

Also, Tom Atkins should have received a 'special thanks' credit for lending Jameson Parker his moustache.

NoelCT said...

In thinking about it more, I do actually agree with you on the ending and what it ultimately comes down to. What bothers me more is the sharp divide at the midpoint of the film. The literal halfway mark is the conversation between Birack and Father Grumpy Pants (ha!), and the science and philosophical side just shuts off. I'd rather that extend into the second half more, saving some more of the backstory revelations for that section, and give Birack some more to actually do. Still lead to the same conclusion, just balance out the consistency more.

I've been debating whether or not to bring up Exorcist 3, and definitely missed this opportunity to do so. Carpenter signed on, and some regulars among his crew did stick with the final film, and the way I heard it, he wasn't involved for very long before he learned Blatty had really been hoping to direct, and Carpenter voluntarily stepped down so he could.