The Films of John Carpenter: The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter’s The Thing is one hell of a monster movie. Filled with fantastic special effects, it was a film that Carpenter himself was very proud of (“I love the movie a great deal. It’s my favorite film of my own”). Unfortunately, it also had the misfortune of opening two weeks after Steven Spielberg’s box-office juggernaut, E.T., a movie with a message...

Read More

The Films of John Carpenter: Escape from New York (1981)

Escape from New York was the first John Carpenter movie I ever saw. Released in 1981, I caught the film a year later, when it made its way to cable television. Needless to say, I became an instant fan, so this particular entry in the series may just be the most difficult for me to write. However, I promise that I’ll do everything in my power to fight the...

Read More

The Films of John Carpenter: The Fog (1980)

Director John Carpenter has referred to The Fog, his 1980 horror film, as a “learning experience”. “We shot the movie I wrote”, Carpenter explains, “finished it with the music and everything…and it didn’t work. I saw the completed movie and it was terrible. I had a movie that didn’t work, and I knew it in my heart.” At that point, Carpenter went back to...

Read More

The Films of John Carpenter: Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic, Halloween, is a rare mix of old and new, a film that pays homage to the Italian Giallo movies of the 60’s and 70’s while at the same time being credited with launching an entirely new horror sub-genre, the slasher film, which would reach the zenith of its popularity in the 1980’s. On Halloween night, 1963, nine-year-old...

Read More

The Films of John Carpenter: Someone’s Watching Me! (1978)

John Carpenter’s initial intention when writing the script for Someone’s Watching Me (also titled High Rise) was that it would be given a full theatrical release. But it didn’t work out that way. Purchased by Warner Brothers, the project was transformed into a made-for-TV project for NBC. Yet, despite the constraints and regulations that a television...

Read More

The Films of John Carpenter: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Some have called it an homage to Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo, while others have cited the obvious influences of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Whatever its initial inspirations might have been, however, one thing is certain: John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 now stands on it’s own merits; a masterwork of action and a film with the power to shock...

Read More

The Films of John Carpenter: Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Technically, Eyes of Laura Mars is not a John Carpenter film (it was directed by Irvin Kershner), but one based on a screenplay he had written titled “Eyes”. Producer Jack H. Harris, who was involved with Carpenter’s first film, Dark Star, handed a treatment of “Eyes” to Jon Peters at Columbia Pictures, who liked the concept of a woman who psychopathically...

Read More

The Films of John Carpenter: Dark Star (1974)

One of the better Holiday gifts I received this past season (ok, ok…I bought it myself with some of my Holiday money) was the book, “John Carpenter: The Prince of Darkness” by Gilles Boulenger. Essentially a series of interviews that the author conducted with the famed filmmaker, the book covers everything from earliest inspirations right up to Ghosts of Mars...

Read More