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August 11, 2017

The Science of Faith: Junkfood Cinema Worships ‘The Prince of Darkness’

Last week, the Junkfood Cinema podcast was live from ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas. Brian and Cargill are now broadcasting across time directly into your dreams to bring you a warning of an apocalypse (or at least one phase of the apocalypse) as presented in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.

Fiction in all forms is brimming with examples of the conflict between science and religion. Often times these films involve a character experiencing a crisis of faith in the perceived absence of the presence of God. Father Karras in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist is a prime example. His faith, ironically, is restored not by proof of God’s existence, but by proof of Satan’s.

John Carpenter’s under-heralded 1987 film Prince of Darkness is also about the revelation that the titular Supreme evildoer exists, but his presence is not the resolution of a crisis of faith but rather the catalyst for a crisis of reason. A supernova and the death of a priest sets in motion a series of events that leads a group of scientists to investigate the basement of an abandoned church where a strange green canister has been discovered.

The movie supposes that if God, like any other being or object, is composed of matter then there would have to be an antimatter counterpart. An anti-God. This revelation coincides with the slow, ghastly demise of this team. The movie also features a recurring device wherein an apocalyptic warning from the future is transmitted back through time and into the dreams of the scientists. Quantum physics, relativity, and particle physics leading to the rise of a subatomic Satan? Prince of Darkness is sort of like if The Exorcist was written by Stephen Hawking.

We delve deeper into the scriptures and calculations of Prince of Darkness on this week’s episode. We also discuss Alice Cooper’s weird unicycle collection, Max von Sydow, and the real secret of the ooze. Give a listen to our live episode below!

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