When Scream Factory released its spe­cial edi­tion of John Carpenter’s They Live, it gave a lot of hor­ror fans hope that the com­pa­ny would give a sim­i­lar hon­or to Carpenter’s oth­er “Alive Films” pro­duc­tion, Prince Of Darkness. Scream Factory heard those prayers and deliv­ered an excel­lent new blu-ray edi­tion that deliv­ers a fresh trans­fer and a gen­er­ous col­lec­tion of extras new and old.

The pack­age starts with an excel­lent anamor­phic trans­fer that does well by the film’s dark and mys­te­ri­ous look, deliv­er­ing all the shad­owy inte­ri­ors and earthy col­ors with plen­ty of clar­i­ty and depth. When the mys­te­ri­ous cylin­der of evil is shown, the green hue of its con­tents real­ly pops on the screen. Both 5.1 and 2.0 loss­less stereo mix­es are includ­ed for audio options: the 5.1 was lis­tened to for this review and it’s a strong track that real­ly gives a lot of son­ic heft to the elec­tron­ic musi­cal score and weaves in some clev­er sur­round effects for the hor­ror set­pieces.

The first of the extras is a com­men­tary track fea­tur­ing writer/director John Carpenter and actor Peter Jason. This was orig­i­nal­ly record­ed for a U.K. spe­cial edi­tion DVD of the film some years back and finds the par­tic­i­pants in a casu­al, jokey mood. It’s not as dense with infor­ma­tion as a lot of Carpenter’s oth­er com­men­tary tracks but it does cov­er some inter­est­ing ground for the patient lis­ten­er: how Carpenter’s read­ing habits informed the plot­ting of the film, the prac­ti­cal meth­ods used for many of the spe­cial effects and how one shock scene was inspired by a stage effect used in Alice Cooper’s live show. Fans who missed out on the old U.K. disc fea­tur­ing this track will be hap­py this com­men­tary is pre­served here.

The real action extras-wise lies in the four new fea­turettes pro­duced for this set by Red Shirt Pictures. The first is “Sympathy For The Devil,” an inter­view with Carpenter. He’s in a philo­soph­i­cal, slight­ly melan­choly mode as he dis­cuss­es the var­i­ous inspi­ra­tions he drew on for his script, how the film’s mood reflect­ed his dis­en­chant­ment with Hollywood and the per­son­al mean­ing of being a film­mak­er to him. “Alice At The Apocalypse” fol­lows and it fea­tures Alice Cooper. He talks about his child­hood love affair with the hor­ror gen­re, which leads into how he got involved in this film and, most inter­est­ing­ly, how it reflects his Christian beliefs. As always in inter­views, he has a good sense of humor and cheer­ful atti­tude that belies the shock-rock image.

The oth­er two inter­views shift over to the tech­ni­cal side of things. “The Messenger” offers the unique view­point of Robert Grasmere, who served as both effects super­vi­sor and actor on the film. He goes into the tech­ni­cal par­tic­u­lars of sev­er­al dif­fer­ent effects, includ­ing the tech­niques used to achieve the two (!) death sce­nes he has in the film. He also mar­vels at how he end­ed up act­ing in the film, which required some pro­duc­er-lev­el wran­gling, and the fact that his big line end­ed up in the nation­al ad cam­paign. “Hell On Earth” inter­views Alan Howarth, the long­time musi­cal col­lab­o­ra­tor to Carpenter on his film scores. He talk about Carpenter’s impro­vi­sa­tion­al com­pos­ing style, the key motifs that make up the score and what equip­ment was used. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing stuff for sound­track buffs.

Elsewhere, there is a new install­ment of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds about the film. Sean Clark leads the view­er on a tour of the loca­tions, with some inter­est­ing changes to many of them, par­tic­u­lar­ly the old church. It also boasts sev­er­al spot-on comedic riffs on ele­ments of the film, right down to its famous slow cred­it-crawl.

A set of pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als wind this set down. An inter­est­ing trail­er is includ­ed that gives away part of the finale and also fea­tures an inter­est­ing exten­sion of the film’s final image that sug­gests there might be an alter­na­tive coda to the film. Two radio spots run after the trail­er, includ­ing one that hilar­i­ous­ly attempts to boil down some of the film’s heady sci­en­tific con­cepts into a 30-sec­ond piece. The final touch is a com­pre­hen­sive lit­tle image gallery that includes stills, pro­mo shots, behind-the-sce­nes images and ad mats.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a lit­tle unof­fi­cial bonus in east­er-egg form in the extras menu. It leads to a Q&A ses­sion that John Carpenter did before the 25th anniver­sary screen­ing of Prince Of Darkness at Screamfest in 2012. If you’ve nev­er seen Carpenter in such a set­ting before, he’s wit­ty and fast on his feet as he fields ques­tions. Highlights include his thoughts on the pros and cons of mod­ern film­mak­ing and par­tic­u­lar­ly his take on the recent “pre­quel” to his remake of The Thing.

All in all, this is anoth­er impres­sive entry in Scream Factory’s reper­toire and a boon to Carpenter fans who have long want­ed to see this neglect­ed lit­tle film get its due.