Prince of Darkness is a 1987 horror film directed, written and scored by John Carpenter. The film is the second installment in what Carpenter calls his “Apocalypse Trilogy”, which began with The Thing (1982) and concludes with In the Mouth of Madness (1995).
The movie was filmed in Los Angeles, California within 30 days. The idea for the film came about as Carpenter had been researching theoretical physics and atomic theory. He recalled, simply, that “I thought it would be interesting to create some sort of ultimate evil and combine it with the notion of matter and anti-matter”. This idea, which would eventually develop into the screenplay for Prince of Darkness, was to be the first of a multi-picture deal with Alive Pictures, where Carpenter was allocated $3 million per picture and complete creative control.
Executive producer Shep Gordon was also manager to singer Alice Cooper and suggested Cooper record a song for the picture. Carpenter also cast Cooper in the picture as one of the homeless zombies. Cooper also allowed the ‘impaling device’ from his stage show to be used in the film in a scene where Cooper’s character kills Etchinson.The song Cooper wrote for the film, also titled “Prince of Darkness”, can be heard briefly in the same scene playing through Etchinson’s headphones, although the song was not released until a year later.
Tho it received very poor reviews on release,In 1988 the film was nominated for a Saturn Award for best music, and won the Critics Award at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival.
On 24 September 2013, the film was released by Shout Factory! as a Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack as part of the Scream Factory line up.
Like most of Carpenter’s films, Prince of Darkness went on to have a cult following.