RoosterVision: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987), 4K UHD (Scream Factory)

An ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media.

…an ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media that we at Rooster Republic Press find ourselves enjoying. Once a week, on Thursdays, we will showcase new and old works and, hopefully, help spread the word on great stuff you might otherwise miss out on.

RoosterVision was previously the name of our non-fiction imprint, and since those titles and that line of books are no longer, we have decided to resurrect RoosterVision for the purpose of this showcase. Enjoy!

PRINCE OF DARKNESS is John Carpenter’s nod to the science-fiction of Nigel Kneale, a writer whose works have sadly fallen out of print. TOMATO CAIN, a Kneale short-story collection, is basically ripe for reprint, and we find ourselves surprised that no one has stepped up to that proverbial plate. If you have (or know someone who has) a connection to Penguin, then get on the phone and start a campaign on our behalf. Thanks!

Like Kneale’s best known works, Carpenter’s film deals with long-buried ancient evils which resurface in contemporary times and test the very limits of our scientific understandings. Even more, test our own place in this vast universe. Or, uh… anti-verse? I guess that depends on whether or not you’ve seen the film.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS seems to us to be one of those “love it/hate it” entries in the man’s career. We fall on the side of “love it” and have trouble imagining hating on the film at all. But, that’s personal taste for ya, just no accounting for it.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS, believe it or not, was hard to find on home video in the North American market for a long time. Too long! So long, in fact, that if one wished to purchase the film on DVD, then you had to grab (most likely) a Korean import. There was, eventually, a pretty lousy North American DVD release, but we don’t talk about that.

It wasn’t until 2013 that the film received a proper Blu-ray release. And, not too long after that, there were two different 4K UHD releases. Suddenly, we had a king’s bounty of PRINCE OF DARKNESS in the home video market. Sure, it only took nearly 20 years, but what’s a decade or two in the grand scheme of things?

We love the movie so much that we decided it was finally time to upgrade our old import DVD.

The Scream Factory collector’s edition of PRINCE OF DARKNESS arrived in a really attractive black case, and included a 7″ vinyl (featuring two tracks from the score) and a reproduction of the original theatrical poster. You have your choice of UHD or Blu-ray Disc. Both look and sound spectacular. Easily the nicest presentation of the film since it’s original theatrical run in 1987.

For size comparison, here’s the collector’s edition case next to a regular Blu-ray release…

As physical media (unfortunately) wanes, companies like Scream Factory are really stepping up to deliver quality work, and we are always looking forward to their new releases.

If you’ve never seen PRINCE OF DARKNESS, then we’d tell you it has our highest recommendation. Not afraid to get a little out there with its narrative, loaded with atmosphere, and has one of Carpenter’s best film scores. Check it out!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the support!


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