Sunday, April 29, 2007

FGFC: I always had a feeling that the devil was locked up in a jar in southern California

It was last last August, on a night like tonight. I had turned out the lights, and opened the windows to settle onto my couch to watch a movie. That movie was The Descent. It was, I believe, the third film in the Final Girl Film Club movie series and the first that I had been able to participate in.

It's now April, and I'm doing my fifth movie for the old film club. This time it's John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness, the second consecutive movie not to start with "The".

Donald Pleasence, whom you may remember from another of Carpenter's movies, plays Father Loomis, possibly the twin brother of Dr Loomis. Wouldn't that be kind of neat? Perhaps as kids or young adults they had a falling out over one's desire to study medicine and science and the other's desire to follow the Lord's path. And while one goes on to battle evil in the form of a serial killer, the other goes on to battle evil in the form of a mirror. It's the kind of sibling rivalry that sitcoms are made of! I can hear the laugh track now!

Jameson Parker, whom you may remember as Simon from TV's Simon & Simon, is a physicist, or a physics student, or something. I'm not real sure, they're not very clear. He's in a lot of classrooms, so I guess he's a student. A very old student, with a very handsome mustache.

Look at that mustache. It's a thing of beauty. It's the kind of thing that makes the gods weep.

Victor Wong is a scientist. He's the teacher of the physics class. He does not have a six demon bag. Which is a damned shame, it may have come in handy.

Apparently, the Catholic Church has been...keeping secrets. Shocking. I know. This secret is that Jesus was an alien, and he trapped the devil in a jar. Not a mason jar, either. A jar with a much tighter top. The devil is a green liquid that seems to pour upwards. Also, you you drink it, you become it's slave. Insects and the homeless also appear to be enslaved to the goo. It must be very similar to cheap booze. It looks, however, like the green stuff that the barber soaks the combs in.

Father Loomis has invited the Science Club to come to this church and figure out what in the jar. To prove that it's the devil. So, the quantum physics class joins up with a radiologist, some microbiologists a theologist and a couple other folks, well you get the GIST OF IT! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Wasn't that HILARIOUS! What a great pun! Oh, I kill me sometimes!

*Ahem* Sorry for that little outburst. Moving on.

While the science club is inside doing science things, the homeless population of the area is laying siege to the church, barricading the doors and surrounding the place looking creepy. They may also be throwing spaghetti and worms at the windows. They're main goal seems to be preventing anyone from leaving.

"You know I've always wondered what it would look like if someone were to be killed with half a bicycle..."

"Really? Maybe you should ask Alice."

"Killing someone with half a bicycle? Yeah, I can tell you what that looks like...better yet..."

"I can show you"


The goo manages to free itself and is swallowed by one of the ladies in attendance. She begins killing people and spitting in their mouths so that they too become enslaved. Soon, half the gang is dead/enslaved and the other half is barricaded into their rooms. Satan himself begins to manifest in the body of one of the physics students and is soon free of the cage and looking to set his father free. His father is possibly a white rabbit who'd late for an important date, or an anti-god. Regardless, Satan must try to retrieve this being from the other side of the looking glass. While Satan is pulling him into our world, mustache man's lady friend grabs Satan and flings them into the mirror! The good Father, throwing caution to the wind and saying "seven years of luck be damned," breaks the mirror, trapping everyone inside. The homeless dissipate and the paramedics arrive.

I've never been much of a fan of Carpenter's movies. Not sure why. Though, to be honest, I'm not sure that I realized how many of his movies I had seen, or liked for that matter. Hell, of Carpenter's "Apocalypse Trilogy" (The Thing, Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness) I have to admit to being a fan of both The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness. Both of which I found to be frightening and at least a little unnerving. Prince of Darkness had a lot going for it. 1) My love of quantum physics. Seriously, bring up Schroedinger's Cat in a movie, and I'm in. 2) My affection for Victor Wong. Never met the guy, but I loved him in Carpenter's other flick Big Trouble in Little China. 3) I don't have a three. Sorry to get you're hopes up like that.

There was something, though, and I can't put my finger on it, that just didn't do it for me. Maybe it was expecting to see Kurt Russell around every corner. Maybe I thought too much about Big Trouble in Little China. Maybe it was the Exorcist overtone throughout. I think that may have been a big part of it. It reminded me too much of The Exorcist. The whole church and possession thing. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it though, that's the weird thing. I mean, is it something that I'll watch again? Unlikely. But I certainly don't feel like I wasted my time. I mean, I did get to see Alive Cooper kill a dude with a bike, and that ALONE would have been worth the 7 dreams that are not a dream, using your brain's electrical system as a receiver for the purpose of causality violation out of 10.


Clay McClane said...

Yeah, the quantum physics bit was handled just right - I never got mired down in it, but it set up that "anything can happen" thing in the best way I've ever seen it.

I didn't love the movie 100% myself, but it does get a lot of things right. I miss this kind of super seriousness from Carpenter.

Stacie Ponder said...

I too liked the physics angle, and the fact that theories were tossed around linking science and religion together.

And I LOVE the idea of The Loomis Brothers!!!

Unknown said...

I think that The Loomis Brothers may be my best sitcom idea yet! And I've had a lot of sitcom ideas.

I have this weird thing about physics. I love the theories, but have no understanding of the math. The funny little symbols they use boggle my little mind, but movie that make use of physics as a plot point seem to win me over. I mean, it was probably my favorite part of Event Horizon.

M said...

And the movie is full of horror-red herrings. Like the girl who swallows the liquid and then grows a big belly, like she's pregnant. You expect her to give birth to the son of Satan, or something, right? But if I well remember nothing comes of that, and it's just a distraction because the devil will try to enter our world through the looking-glass. It's like all those plots exist not to make any sense, but just to set up an spooky atmosphere.