For hundreds of years a dark secret has been kept in a church basement in Los Angeles. After the death of a priest who was guarding it, the key to the basement is entrusted to a priest (Donald Pleasence). He goes down to the basement and finds a large vat of green liquid. The priest hires a group of physics students let by their professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong).
With the vat of liquid is also an ancient book which has been rewritten time and again, each passage warning of the return of the Devil. Through translating the book the students find that the green liquid is the very essence of the Devil himself. The area in and around the church has also attracted some strange people and other odd occurrences. A group of homeless people led by Alice Cooper no less, have congregated outside the church, resorting to murder to make sure that nobody leaves. One by one the students are snared by the evil essence leaving a small group fighting to survive.
This is one of, if not my favourite John Carpenter films. The sense of unrelenting dread that runs throughout this movie is stifling. John Carpenter creates a mood where you know something is coming and there is noting you can do to escape it. There are a few familiar faces that tend to crop up in John Carpenter’s movies like Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Donald Pleasence and Peter Jason. It is such a brilliant movie. I had to import the blu ray from Germany as the U.S version is region locked and no company as of yet has released it on blu ray, though I’m hoping Arrow Films give it a release as their stuff is always top notch.
There are some incredibly unsettling effects and heart pounding moments that make this such an awesome horror movie that I do find myself constantly revisiting. It’s one of the rare horror movies that is genuinely scary, which is not a moniker you can attach to some of the shit floating around now. If you haven’t seen it then definitely give it a go. If you do watch it then pop back and leave a comment, would love to hear your thoughts.