When horror fans think genre cinema the first person that comes to mind seems to always be John Carpenter, the renowned film director, screenwriter, and composer who won an Academy Award for a short film as a college student. Starting in the 1970’s, he began a legacy of creating some of the most unforgettable genre films ever. With his classic tale of Michael Myers, a relentless killer that seems to be of supernatural origin, the 1978 film Halloween became one of the most profitable films dollar for dollar in movie history. The film, taking its queue from such predecessors as Bob Clark’s Black Christmas and the Italian giallo, reinvented the slasher film and created a subgenre that went on to be the model for such diverse films as Friday the 13th and the Terminator.
His follow ups included the gory yet classic ghost story The Fog, a story about a leper ship which sank a century ago coming back to seek revenge on the ancestors of the coastal town which refused to allow it to dock. His next film was the dystopian and cyberpunk forerunner Escape From New York in which Manhattan island has become a maximum security prison. The iconic character Snake Plissken is sent in to rescue the U.S. president after Air Force One crashes into the island following its hijacking by anarchists. His final film from this period was The Thing, a story based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s classic science fiction tale Who Goes There? When an alien being is defrosted in Antarctica by a Norwegian science team, terror ensues where what appears to be a sled dog escapes to an American science center bringing with it a horror of unspeakable brutality.
Dark Discussions brings their take on the John Carpenter legacy. Philip and Gordon’s conversation mention such related topics as the newly released film The Ward, the possible film version of the comic book Darkchylde which John Carpenter is anticipated to direct, the 1958 science fiction horror film The Crawling Eye (also known as The Trollenberg Terror), and the Faye Dunaway film The Eyes of Laura Mars which was penned by Mr. Carpenter. Get ready for an overview of this legendary talent and how he left his mark on genre cinema.