When a priest who belonged to a mysterious sect passes away it is discovered he has been containing secrets in his basement such as a container of strange green liquid. It leads to him getting in touch with a physics lecturer who with a select group set about trying to discover what is going on with the green liquid in the basement. But what they discover shocks them as this green liquid contains the essence of Satan and when it comes to life it turns some of them into zombies whilst the others battle to prevent hell on Earth happening.
I have a lot of respect for director John Carpenter as he always seems to be trying to deliver a great movie, the trouble is that I reckon his time working in the confines of Hollywood affected him and sadly some of his movies end up feeling formula driven. Take "Prince of Darkness" where we have this evil green liquid, students investigating and the threat of the end of the world. Then think about "The Thing", we have this alien thing, researchers in a remote location and well I don't need to go on. I say that because whilst each movie has there specifics what we get is one by one people falling victim with those surviving battling to prevent Armageddon.
As such "Prince of Darkness" didn't blow me away, yes Carpenter's use of a soundtrack was great and he delivers some great visuals but the whole set up of satan juice causing zombies did little for me and the rest of the movie was a walk through the familiar story of a group of people stuck in a location battling something they don't fully understand. Beyond Carpenter's strong styling the only other saving grace for me was that Donald Pleasence and Victor Wong delivered memorable characters which is a good thing as the rest of the cast end up bland and forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "Prince of Darkness" ends up a rather routine movie which whilst having some original ideas places them in an all too familiar formula. It is a shame as Carpenter's styling is strong in this one whilst both Donald Pleasence and Victor Wong give it their best to delivering entertaining characters.