MovieChat Forums > Prince of Darkness (1987) Discussion > POD is EASILY Carpenter's best film ever...

POD is EASILY Carpenter's best film ever, after The Thing


The only film that Carpenter ever made that is better than POD is The Thing.

Other than The Thing, POD blows all of his films out of the water easily.

POD does have a few problems though. The biggest problem is that it is way too long. The first 30 minutes could have been condensed into 10-15 at the max. Way too much time is wasted on boring and unnecessary scenes, like showing the crew move in and set up their gear.

Along the same lines, the film drags during the gestation period. The guy jumping out the window then climbing back in, the Asian guy making stupid jokes at the zombies, the rest of the crew sitting around a room and brooding...all of that could have been edited down a ton in order to trim the film's fat.

Those were the bad parts of POD.

These are the great parts that make POD way better than all of Carpenter's other films, except for The Thing:

POD has many excellent horror elements that are extremely scary:

- The lead homeless zombie guy who kills the nerd with the bicyle.

- The zombie who tells them to pray for death and then implodes and falls apart because he is infested with millions of cockroaches.

- The scenes transmitted from the future.

- The catatonic woman who types out satan's thoughts on a computer screen.

- All of the scenes with the gestating demon zombie woman --- that's AAA-quality make-up and special effects...and it utterly annihilates the CGI-infested garbage that filmmakers today would use instead...in fact, now in 2016, POD's special effects still looks better than 99% of the CGI-infested effects that have appeared in almost every film from the mid-1990's to 2016. For POD's effects to beat the crap out of almost all effects made almost 30 years later is quite an accomplishment...and there is no sign of the CGI-crapfest of effects slowing down...so who knows for how long POD's effect will continue to reign..probably for another few decades, at least, if not forever.

- The final two scenes that comprise the ending (the final transmission from the future, and satan-in-Katherine's body, in bed with Brian) are brilliant, and they undermine the cliche happy ending that 99% of Hollywood movies have.

On top of those horror innovations, POD also has some very interesting SciFi innovations:

- satan as a deadly & sentient ooze that expands itself to take over mankind.

- the existence of an evil mirror universe and mirrors as a portal to it

- video transmissions to the future received by the human brain (these are simultaneously excellent horror and SciFi scenes).

Other than the The Thing, no other Carpenter film has horror or SciFi elements anywhere near so good as the ones I've just mentioned from POD. Accordingly, other than the Thing, no other Carpenter film is anywhere near so scary or entertaining or as interesting as is POD.

I've seen people on this board say The Fog is better. That's a joke. The Fog put me to sleep. While watching The Fog, I kept waiting for something interesting or scary or entertaining to happen. Yet it never did. All that happened was people sat/stood around talking in the most boring way possible for the whole film. I think all of the professional critics who give The Fog acclaim are on crack.

I've seen people on this board say things say They Live is better. That's a joke too. Roddy Piper has almost zero acting ability and his inability to act kills the believablity of the film 100%. In addition, They Live is boring as heck too. The aliens in it are not the least bit scary. They Live is good as an anti-capitalism political message, but as entertainment, it sucks.

I've seen people on this board say Escape from New York is better. Oh please. That too is a very boring film. And it plays like a silly cartoon. I.e. the Duke is a black pimp stereotype; and it also has tons of other goofy characters like one named "The Brain" and another named "Cabbie;" not to mention "Snake" himself, who is like a cartoon-caricature version of Russell's character from The Thing, etc.

I haven't seen Assault on Precinct 13 yet so I can't comment on that, but I highly doubt that it can match POD.

From Halloween, Michael Myers is a semi-decent horror monster, but for the most part, Halloween is a typical generic "slasher" film, and much inferior to Friday the 13th. Yawn.

I've seen people on this board say In The Mouth of Madness is better. It does have some very scary scenes and a creepy atmosphere, but its moronic ending turns it into a terrible film that jumps the shark big-time.

Most people agree that Carpenter's post-1994 films all suck (other than his MoH episode), so no need to discuss them.

So what's going on with all the hate for POD? It makes no sense. POD's problems of being overlong are not so large as to ruin its great elements.

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I prefer Halloween, The Fog, They Live, Christine, and Village of the Damned over this film myself. But that's only my opinion. I just found this movie dull and confusing. I suppose the story was too complex for an idiot like me to follow. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

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On top of those horror innovations, POD also has some very interesting SciFi innovations:

- satan as a deadly & sentient ooze that expands itself to take over mankind.

- the existence of an evil mirror universe and mirrors as a portal to it

- video transmissions to the future received by the human brain (these are simultaneously excellent horror and SciFi scenes).


Don't forget that it also turns the ancient astronaut theory on its head a bit. I love how it is hinted that Jesus was an alien who came here to warn us of the Anti-God (who presumably is alien as well), but was too advanced to to be understood and was basically crucified. I love this stuff because it is creepy and strange, made more so by the fact that there are no flashbacks about it. It is solely described in dialogue alone.

I've seen people on this board say The Fog is better. That's a joke. The Fog put me to sleep.


Why are you spending half of your post griping about other Carpenter movies?? I love The Fog. If not for these earlier films I fell in love with, I'd most likely have never even seen Prince of Darkness. None of Carpenter's films have ever topped the great atmosphere of The Fog, though I do think Prince of Darkness comes close in a way. The Fog spends it's time soaking up the coastal ghost story feel, while Prince of Darkness has this pervading dread that starts nearly at the very beginning and keeps on building.

The aliens in it are not the least bit scary. They Live is good as an anti-capitalism political message, but as entertainment, it sucks.


They Live is not a horror film and is not meant to be scary. What a silly criticism. I guess maybe you thought Big Trouble in Little China was supposed to be scary as well?  They Live is a fun movie. Same with Escape from New York. Carpenter is a good film maker, but he isn't just a horror director. He does action, camp, thrillers, etc. If you like Prince of Darkness, then there should be things you like in his other films as they all have his touch. Instead, you act like you hate them just in order to prop up Prince of Darkness. Weird. I am a fan of John Carpenter. Prince of Darkness is one of his many films I love. I guess you are just a Prince of Darkness lover who hates John Carpenter, eh?

From Halloween, Michael Myers is a semi-decent horror monster, but for the most part, Halloween is a typical generic "slasher" film, and much inferior to Friday the 13th. Yawn.


Halloween started the slasher genre. It may seem typical and generic thanks to the tons of ripoffs, but at the time it was unique and original. Sorry you can't appreciate films for the era they were made in rather than judging them against everything that has come since. You sound like those dopes who hate ALIENS because it is so generic. All the ripoffs that followed are not the fault of the first.

I've seen people on this board say In The Mouth of Madness is better. It does have some very scary scenes and a creepy atmosphere, but its moronic ending turns it into a terrible film that jumps the shark big-time.


Seriously, you are just trying way too hard. Like I said, you come off as some sort of Carpenter hater. Well, whatever floats your boat, I guess.

So what's going on with all the hate for POD? It makes no sense.


Nothing is going on. Either people like a film or they don't. If you love Prince of Darkness more than everything else, that is fine. Why do you want to waste so much time taking a dump on everything else just to justify your enjoyment of this film? It really makes no sense. You don't have to prove anything. All you have to do is accept that not everyone else is going to agree. Big deal.



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I am not a fan. I just happen to enjoy movies. Fans are embarrassing.

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Why do you want to waste so much time taking a dump on everything else just to justify your enjoyment of this film?


Because the majority of people bash POD yet praise Carpenter's much worse and often crappy films. That makes no sense. So I made the OP to set the record straight.

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Well, even if I don't agree with you on other things, I do agree with you about loving Prince of Darkness!

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I am not a fan. I just happen to enjoy movies. Fans are embarrassing.

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+1!
PoD is one of the creepiest, most unsettling films I've ever seen.
I disagree about The Fog which I like very much, but as someone who finds generic slasher films just predictable, boring and yawn!-inducing, I absolutely agree about Halloween.

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I just don't think it is fare to judge Halloween based on the tons of crap it inspired. I think it is important to view a film in the context of the era it was made in. If you cannot do that, then just stay away from old films. That sentiment is just as bad from certain folks who say stuff like that about ALIENS. It isn't James Cameron's fault that his movie inspired countless ripoffs. ALIENS deserves to be judged for what it accomplished back in it's day, not by how generic some folks think it is because they watched all of the ripoffs first.

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I am not a fan. I just happen to enjoy movies. Fans are embarrassing.

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Halloween was so important to the genre, I don't care how much crap it spawned. Considering what it was made for and how sharply it was directed. While I love POD, I'm also a huge fan of Carpenters entire body of work from 1978-1993, The Fog works as a crisp little Ghost Story and it's well acted. Escape From NY is just classic Retro-Punk SF or whatever you want to call it. It's another incredibly shot film with plenty to offer. The Thing is personally my favorite of Carpenters work. It's a Masterpiece IMO. They Live, ITMOM, Christine! Christine is awesome, so underrated. Idk, I guess it's just Carpenters aesthetics that get me. Let's not forget Starman either, another quality picture. But back to the point lol, Halloween is only responsible for itself. It's remarkable that 40 years later, it's still holding up as arguably the greatest Slasher film ever. On a minimal budget from a nobody director and a lesser known DP, both of whom changed the genre for good.

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After THE THING I like THE FOG and EFNewYork a lot better, even THEY LIVE, but this is by far his most to the point, and, being that he wrote the thing, his most personal, pointed horror film, not messing around with the sub genre of body count horror or whatever an audience is anticipating... Seems like his labor of love, and for that I really like it...

Interesting that he noted, during a pretty good commentary with actor Peter Jason (tho they didn't really watch the movie much), that this movie was more like Hawks's original THE THING wherein a bunch of scientists walk into one room, and then another, like they do here and it's not that way in his more sparse and edgy THE THING...

I always think of POD as John Carpenter's Mean Streets...

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After THEY LIVE!

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It's not up there, but Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a very underrated Carpenter flick.

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