Prince of Darkness (1987) Director: John Carpenter

In my teens, Prince of Darkness terrifed me. I never saw it all the way through, just caught snippets on late night television and all I remembered was that it featured Alice Cooper, zombie-like people, scientists stuck in a church, throat-slashings and some gunky stuff in a jar that had bad karma. My recollection was very accurate and I'm thrilled to say that John Carpenter's classic is even more captivating, haunting and enjoyable in my mid-30s.

It's not one of Carpenter's most 'commercial' movies, but it's a firm fan favourite. Prince of Darkness opens with a dying priest, clutching a box which contains the key to a room in a church with a horrific secret. Donald Pleasance then turns up as a Vicar who asks a group of physics students to investigate the sinister room and the weird cylinder that's in it, full of green gloop. Gloop turns out to be Satan - of course - and nasty things start to happen, including Alice Cooper's hobo impaling a student with a bike frame and a foxy student becoming the incarnate of Satan after being force-fed the gloop.

After a slow start and much laughter at the tight jeans and haircuts of the main characters, Prince of Darkness gears up the Eerie Indiana with traditional spooky Carpenter score and the fear of not knowing who you can trust as student after student falls foul of the gunk. Carpenter strays into body horror, as Satan's main way of infecting the students is making them puke water into each other's mouths. Nice. There's some genuine terror and creep-outs, especially when one of the students delivers a message from the dead to the others and then his body falls apart, and Satan Incarnate/foxy student tries to pull her 'Fatheerrrrrr' in via a mirror.

If you haven't seen Prince of Darkness and are a horror film fan, you should check it out. Carpenter always delivers.
4/5 Satan's Hubba Bubba