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  Prince Of Darkness
John Carpenter, USA, 1987
Rating: 3.0

Posted: November 20, 2002

Originality goes a long way, and the story line here is pretty original. Donald Pleasance is a priest carrying around a heavy secret about God, religion, and the devil, a secret to shake the foundations of every religion and challenge the faith of the most devout believer. As if this weren't enough, a zombie-fied Alice Cooper kills a guy with a bicycle, which if I recall correctly, is one of the signs of the Apocalypse. Need time to catch your breath? Too bad! We've got the offspring of Satan, in the form of a swirling green liquid hidden away in a big hi-tech canister in the basement of a church. This stuff defies gravity and leaks upward onto the ceiling (like all satanic fluids are prone to do). Surely this is enough for one movie, right? Wrong! Enter stage left: hobo zombies, grad-student zombies, throat stabbings, and mirrors that you can reach into to pull Satan into our dimension. Sweeeet! Victor Wong (Big Trouble in Little China) lends his support as Prof. Birack, leading a group of college students on a special project to date and decode the canister's markings, which I believe translate to something along the lines of "Satan's Offspring: Do Not Fuck With." Needless to say, when canister's contents spill onto the floor, or in this case the ceiling, chaos ensues. Jameson Parker plays the hero, although he's far from a dynamic presence. This is not a particularly scary film, but it's fun and keeps you interested. The plot (concerning the true identity of Jesus and its ramifications on the world today) is unique enough to overlook some of the film's other shortcomings and yield moderate entertainment value. Why so high a rating? If you were a director, would you have had the creativity to let Alice Cooper kill a guy with a bicycle? All right, then.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

 5.0: A drop of bliss

 4.0-4.9: Touchdown!
 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
 2.0-2.9: Box of Rocks
 1.1-1.9: Time bandit
 0.0-1.0: Soul scarring
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