"On the brink of the ultimate truth":
Or, The Brotherhood of Sleep[y]

Two lists that "just, uh, slither[ed] out" from the glazed boredom of watching John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness

  1. Donald Pleasance.
  2. Victor Wong working very hard (his integrity).
  3. Graduate students destroyed by satanic forces.
  4. Attempt to locate horror in the subatomic.
  5. Choreographic filmmaking.
  6. Applied Physicist Catherine Danforth  & Lisa who is “getting [her] doctorate in theology—analysis of ancient scriptures.”
  7. Mustachioed Jameson Parker.
  8. Peter Jason as Dr. Paul Leahy, singing, carrying junk food.
  9. Nuns in habits; anti-Papistry.
  10. Nervous, unfunny jokes told by Dennis Dun as Walter.
  11. Carbonated soda (7-Up?) as weapon.
  12. Jameson Parker struggling through a window in tight light jeans c. 1986
  13. A: Birack did that whole series of debates on the BBC. A few years ago.
    B: Oh, with the English priest. Right.
  14. The idea of Alice Cooper as Street Schizo.

  1. Plodding pace.
  2. Victor Wong working very hard (the pathetic cramp of effort wasted).
  3. Street people & insects-- as the devil’s henchmen-- identified as “simple organisms.”
  4. Utter conceptual incoherence.
  5. Shitty script, except in certain spots and only on the subatomic level.
  6. “Confirmed sexist, and proud of it. Hey. I was just joking. What happened?”
  7. Absence of nudity, male and female (see also, CON #10 below).
  8. First they laboriously pile all the furniture to block the door. Then, they laboriously move the furniture away from the door.
  9. Jesse Lawrence Ferguson laughing then pouting in a mirror would be captivating if not for the context of this narrative, this film.
  10. Consistently unsympathetic characters, each without an iota of human vulnerability even on the level of fleshiness (see also PRO # 3 above).
  11. Primary effect: streams of water shooting from mouths.
  12. Additional effects: fluids filmed upside down; underwater as alternate/negative reality.
  13. Plodding pace slows as movie progresses.
  14. The result of Alice Cooper as Street Schizo.

It's frustrating and confusing and strangely satisfying to see those capable of stunning greatness produce-- for whatever reason-- misses, disappointments.


Erk said...

There's a PS related to "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" which I watched just after "Prince of Darkness." I was moved by their complimentary notions 1)from PoD that video can be broadcast backwards in time through dreams and 2) from CoFD, that the drawings project and animate dreams of the dead forward in time. Suddenly, the time spent with PoD seemed far richer, more worthwhile.

Kenneth Burns said...

Roger Ebert on Prince of Darkness: "Call me an optimist, but I believe Absolute Evil should somehow be worse than that."