Why I love John Carpenter…and will always forgive him

I know, I know – I promised I’d start posting film reviews, but for now my feverishly slavering audience will have to do with more general posts.

So, as the title says – I love John Carpenter. Not in a physical sense *shiver*, but this is a man who has brought us five stone-cold classics, for which I am willing to ignore the more recent aberrations. You know the ones I mean. Let’s leave it there.

So, in order of personal merit:

1) The Thing

That’s Got to hurt

Look at that. Seriously, just look at that.

How can you not love a film with an image like that? And the dog kennel scene? If you think Return of the Living Dead had a good split dog, check this baby out:

Now. like most non serial killers, I cry when dogs die in films. Even shitty films like I Am Legend (it’s way too late to warn about spoilers – if you haven’t seen it by now, don’t bother – go out and spend time with friends instead, you’ll feel much less like smashing stuff up afterwards.) But that’s missing the point – it’s not a dog that’s dying here. That beast stopped being a dog a good while ago. I think it was the four way head and tentacles that gave it away.

Anyone reading this should have seen this film already. Many times. If not, shame on you – but you’re forgiven as long as you promise to watch it in the next seven days, ok?

Final words? “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me…”


2) The Fog


I have this on a t-shirt. Girls love me

“One hundred years ago, between midnight and one, something evil came out of the fog. Now, it has returned”

In a word. Fucking creepy. Ok, two words. But only because fuckingcreepy isn’t a word in it’s own right. This is a film that makes me want to sleep with the lights on and soundproof my flat so that if revengeful lepers come a-hunting, I won’t hear that slow thumping at my door.

The youtube links are dicey and I can’t get them to work, but I am a massive amateur so click below for the trailer:


…and as an adolescent male (and yes, admittently, as an adult male now) – Jamie Lee Curtis and Adrienne Barbeau? Together? In a Carpenter film?  ’nuff said.


3) Assault on Precinct 13

When posters were real posters

Not for the assault itself, not for the creeping tension between the characters, and not for the incredible Carpenter soundtrack (though it is worth of a mention – synths ahoy!) but for this scene:



4) Halloween

Aaw, he’s so cute

So. number four on the list you say? No Shatner mask in the pic you say? Yes. Yes to both. This is obviously a great and iconic movie, and has its place in “slasher” (*vomits*) history,  but come on, with hindsight, what’s more scary

a) An insane bloke with a grudge who just wants to get to know / kill his family (I’m not a, and don’t know any Myers’s)

b) A body melting alien gizmo that imitates your mates and your best friend i.e. the dog and slowly but surely wipes out humanity

c) Ghost lepers. Just read that back.

d) A man who cold-bloodedly shoots a schoolgirl before taking on a police station. And doesn’t even pause for ice-cream.

Now do you see where all these “Scariest Moments In Film” shows have been going wrong? I rest my case.

But, just in case you’ve recently awoken from a *counts fingers, toes, and, erm, let’s leave it there…* 31 year coma, here’s the trailer:


5) Escape From New York

 Just one thing, right now… don’t call me Harold!

Snake Plissken. It’s not a name, it’s a thing (ooh, clever – referencing a “Thing” after my number one choice was The Th…I’ll get me coat)  Honestly though, when they were coming up with character names, who thought “Yeah, that’ll work”? And whoever it was – sorry, never listened to a commentary or read much about it, if you ever meet me, slap me for that – is a frickin’ genius. Because once you’ve seen him walk, sorry strut, onto the screen and own the film like few characters can, you’ll be hooked.

If you’ve seen Escape From L.A., please refer to the title of this post.

…and there you have it.  Please feel free to comment, I’m only one man, and whilst I’m clearly always right, I can accept a good slagging.


One Response to “Why I love John Carpenter…and will always forgive him”

  1. KimBergie Says:

    David, you are so RIGHT! Three of my all time favorite movies are on this list of classics by Carpenter. And I am with you…John…ALWAYS forgiven. I can only dream of someday coming up with a charater name as great as Snake Plisskin…and believe me, I will try!!!

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