What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Which director made the best films, made the best visuals, or smelled the best? This is the forum to find out.

What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby magicmonkey on Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:27 pm

Yeah, I wondered where Guttenberg had gone, thats trivial, this is serious. What happened to John Carpenter? I have spent many late night chats trying to figure this one out, it is still a mystery.

With each and every one of his new films coming I still get excited, then let down. Ok, I gave up, I never went to see Ghosts of Mars. Vampires, although good enough, was a let down of epic proportions, it had the good gore though.

I want him to creep me out, providing raw thrills and tension.

I can only presume that maybe it is a budget thing, maybe he just isn't constrained enough to pump out some serious raw horror. Give the guy a smaller budget and maybe, just maybe he'll struggle to get something powerful out. I don't want this to sound like a rant, because the films he has put out post Prince of Darkness have all been O.K , but as he has proven in the past he is capable of so much more.

I just thought I'd put this out there to see what you guys think, whether you have any theories of your own.
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Postby El Scorcho on Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:44 pm

He died in 1987. His soul was reaped by Lucifer and a demon was assigned to inhabit his body and torture the world with shitty movies.
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Postby ONeillSG1 on Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:26 am

Two for two magicmonkey!

Whose your third, Charles Bronson?
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:32 am

John Candy.
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Postby The Garbage Man on Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:27 am

magicmonkey wrote:John Candy.


Ouch.
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Postby El Scorcho on Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:33 am

The Garbage Man wrote:
magicmonkey wrote:John Candy.


Ouch.


That was in poor taste... lol...

But seriously, the biggest "what happened to..." in Hollywood definitely has to be Rick Moranis. His wife died from cancer or something and he just disappeared.
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Postby Agent Alonzo on Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:41 am

He is currently playing Steve Guttenberg's bulge...
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:48 am

Agent Alonzo wrote:He is currently playing Steve Guttenberg's bulge...


Nicely linked sir. Did everyone see what Alonzo did there?
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Postby Agent Alonzo on Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:18 am

Take notes, it will be on the test...
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Postby bc1970 on Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:32 pm

When I read an <i>Escape from LA</i> interview with JC where he basically said "We (JC and Kurt) could do a real sequel stemming from the previous film that nobody cared about, or we could redo the first one for a new audience." I went slackjawed. It was there that I began to understand that the hardcore fan is way, way down on the totem pole. How long did everybody wait for that sequel? How bad ass could it have been? Nothing is worse than a wasted opportunity.
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Postby magicmonkey on Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:07 pm

bc1970 wrote:When I read an <i>Escape from LA</i> interview with JC where he basically said "We (JC and Kurt) could do a real sequel stemming from the previous film that nobody cared about, or we could redo the first one for a new audience." I went slackjawed. It was there that I began to understand that the hardcore fan is way, way down on the totem pole. How long did everybody wait for that sequel? How bad ass could it have been? Nothing is worse than a wasted opportunity.


My sentiments exactly. *Raises fists in air and screams Whyyyyyyyy!?!, firing off a wrist rocket for effect*
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Postby Gheorghe Zamfir on Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:48 pm

He's stuck on repeat, Ghost of Mars was just a sci-fi Assault on Precinct 13, Escape fromn LA was retread of Escape from NY, got that sequel to Halloween in the pipeline, and every now and then you hear him talking about a sequel to The Thing.
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Postby LudwigMackdaddy on Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:37 pm

basically.. what EVERYONE else said.. from Price of Darkness ON I think Mr. C hasn't done much sadly... a lot of grand IDEAS but they seem to be off in the exeuction-- I mean maybe he was one of those people with ONE masterpiece in them ( Halloween of course ) and then everything else never measures up? I def. will continue this when i write my review of the MOH Carpeneter episode when it comes out on DVD In March.
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Postby magicmonkey on Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:47 pm

It wasn't justy Halloween though, i'll list;

Assault on Prencinct 13
They Live
The Thing
Prince of Darkness
Escape from New York
The Fog

All great films, the films of a master of horror. Real gritty, tension filled , claustrophobic pics that helped form me in their own little way as a filmmaker and a film fan. Just what went wrong?

EDIT:Damn, forgot Big Trouble in Little China.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:17 pm

I am surprised. I think In the Mouth of Madness is one of his best films and it is right in the middle of the decline of his career.
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Postby magicmonkey on Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:30 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:I am surprised. I think In the Mouth of Madness is one of his best films and it is right in the middle of the decline of his career.


O.K, quick confession. I've not seen in the mouth of madness. I took it in good faith from a friend that it was a stinker. I must admit I have been drawn to it, but never took the step. I will have to see it and ghosts of mars for completeness sake and just hopefully a nice surprise. ALso, I missed StarMan from my list of good Carpenter flicks.
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Postby LudwigMackdaddy on Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:40 pm

Ah yes.,,. MY bad... Apologies.. i forgot both Escape NY and Starman WERE him... I still think Esacpe is just a fun B movie IMHO but Starman is excellent.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:07 pm

Mouth of Madness has some very cool vibes. It gets the closest of any major film to feel of Lovecraft I have ever seen.
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Postby magicmonkey on Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:15 pm

Well, I'll track it down and report back here. I hope you haven't got my hopes set too high! ;)
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Postby TheBaxter on Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:22 pm

El Scorcho wrote:
The Garbage Man wrote:
magicmonkey wrote:John Candy.


Ouch.


That was in poor taste... lol...

But seriously, the biggest "what happened to..." in Hollywood definitely has to be Rick Moranis. His wife died from cancer or something and he just disappeared.


The biggest "what happened to..." HAS to be Sho Kosugi. He did a few fantastic ninja films, and then disappeared... but he's a ninja, i guess disappearing is what they do.
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:44 pm

Woah, watched "Escape from New York" last night, the hi definition transfer. What a great film it is, crazily good fun. It truly is a 14 yr olds wet dream come true. In a perfect world they would screen a double bill of that with "Dawn of the Dead" (original) every damned Friday night at a cinema somewhere in the world.

I was nervous about revisiting it, but boy, it still delivers. The commentry track from Russell and Carps is great too, as they expound on just how small the budget was and the great actual locations they used.

The only flaw the film has for me apart from Lee Van Cleef hamming it up maybe a tad (just a tad) too much and Isaac Hayes' nervous twitching eye, is the shot of them all descending down the stairs of the World Trade Centre! Funny shit, but ridiculous.

Hearing the soundtrack too, in stereo, was a dream, in fact my balls nearly split like pinatas to the beat of the car entry of the duke. Awesome.

There is so much pure imagination and creativity going on that the impact of this film has been felt for years in all mediums. Respect to Carpenter.
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby Doc Holliday on Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:06 pm

magicmonkey wrote:What happened to John Carpenter?

...With each and every one of his new films coming I still get excited, then let down.


You know....suddenly I'm seeing words before my eyes.....


"Wes Craven Presents......"


Different dog....same fleas....
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Postby SilentBobX on Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:21 pm

Well he has directed Smokey Thingie Burns, not a bad effort, but his good stuff is too few and far between. His 'Body Bags' anthology was terrible also. Well, here's hoping his latest flick, Psycopath, turns out ok.
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Postby Eunuch Provocateur on Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:08 pm

Isn't John Carpenter pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals now?
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Postby magicmonkey on Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:14 pm

Pah, as if they're gonna give him the money for "Escape from New Orleans"...
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Postby Brocktune on Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:18 pm

Eunuch Provocateur wrote:Isn't John Carpenter pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals now?


nope.
he's catching now

Moriarty is pitching.
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheButcher on Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:43 am

AICN LEGENDS:
Quint chats with John Carpenter about Halloween, The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, Escape From New York and More!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. It’s been an amazing couple of weeks for me. My last two interviews were with my favorite living filmmakers. My chat with Steven Spielberg focused on Jaws and this AICN Legends chat with John Carpenter was meant to focus more on his overall career, something I found impossible even in 45 minutes.

When I got the wrap up alert from the publicist I had just gotten to Big Trouble In Little China… and that was even skipping over Christine, Elvis and Starman. There’s some good stuff in there about Halloween and The Thing, but damn. The man’s filmography is so full of gold that even 45 minutes only scratches the surface.

So, while I don’t have any commitments from Carpenter and no real idea if I can get him on the line again, I’m still going to call this Part 1 of my AICN Legends chat with John Carpenter. What can I say? I’m an optimistic guy.

Nobody has had a run like Carpenter. From Assault on Precinct 13 through They Live (and I’d even argue through In the Mouth of Madness, but that may just be me) the man turned in nothing but good to fucking great movies. And in multiple genres.

Hope you guys enjoy this Part 1 chat with the truly legendary John Carpenter where we talk about Kurt Russell, westerns, Donald Pleasence, Rob Bottin, Jed the Dog, Ennio Morricone, Goblin, Jack Burton, Rob Zombie, how underappreciated Halloween III is and why I piss him off. Enjoy!
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby magicmonkey on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:15 pm

Great read! Some nice insights too. Quint really is on fire, mucho respect due for him absolutely nailing this and the Spielberg interview.
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:01 am

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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby so sorry on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:05 pm




So he says he basically had nothing to do with the new 30th Anniversary BluRay release. That's dissapointing. I mean it terms of any potential restoration or touch up work that these kinds of releases generally tout.
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:28 am

From EMPIRE:
Exclusive: on The Thing, Snake and more - John Carpenter And Kurt Russell Reunited
Chris Hewitt wrote:They are one of the most legendary actor/director partnerships of all time – the duo behind Escape From New York, The Thing and Big Trouble In Little China, to name but three. They are, of course, John Carpenter and Kurt Russell, and we’ve reunited them in the new issue of Empire (on sale Thursday).

It’s been 17 years since they last worked together, on their second Snake Plissken movie, Escape From LA, and about four or five since the old friends were in the same room. So they were naturally overjoyed to see each other at our photoshoot in LA on March 7th, quickly slipping into the old routine and, over the course of two hours, unleashing a stream of astonishing anecdotes and, particularly in Russell’s case, room-shaking laughter. “We just have a good time together, as you can see,” explains Carpenter. “We make each other laugh a lot.”

Pick up the new issue of Empire for the full Carpenter/Russell story, including never-heard-before and often hilarious tales of the grueling making of their masterpiece The Thing, including a hair-raising near-death experience for Russell and the rest of the cast before filming had even begun; the marketing disasters that put paid to Big Trouble In Little China; and the magnificent genesis of Snake Plissken.

The interview took place a week or so before news of the Snake Plissken/Escape From New York reboot, with which neither Carpenter or Russell are involved. But we did ask them both about the prospect of a third Escape From… movie, which we can now bring to you exclusively.

“Could I do it again?” asks Russell, shaking his head. “No.”. Carpenter interjects: “He could do Old Snake.” Russell sighs. “I never wanted to do Snake old.” “Why not?” asks Carpenter. “If you’re going to do him,” expands Russell, “do him young. He’s one of those guys.”

Carpenter nods. “They got people working on trying to put together Escape From New York, and they don’t know where they’re going with it.” Russell laughs, heartily. “It’s been done! Guess what, guys, it’s been done. And there’s nothing wrong with it. But what you need now is what John told them then: you need a good young guy who gets the character.”

It’s far too early in the process for the Snake reboot to tell who that might be, but Gerard Butler, who was once linked with the role, seems out of the picture. Russell once famously said that he didn’t think Butler was right for the role, something he was keen to clarify during our interview.

“There are two guys who really do know Snake Plissken and the Escape world,” says Russell. “Number one, John. Number two, me. When it comes to Snake, I can tell you one thing… he’s American. It’s really important that he’s American. There’s a reason why that great fight in the arena [in Escape From New York] is with a baseball bat. That’s American, ok? He knows what he’s doing with that bat in his hand! I thought Gerard Butler was great in 300.

“The problem is not Snake, you can find a good Snake,” continues Russell, before unveiling his grand plan for the franchise. “You gotta get John Carpenter. Escape From New York is just weird because of the way he sees the world, man. He sees it slightly off. It’s his world, it’s a night world. This is his thing.”
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John Carpenter's The Thing

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:01 am

Examining the critical reaction to The Thing
John Carpenter's The Thing was panned by reviewers in 1982. We take a look at the angry critical reaction and the later reassessment...
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Big Trouble in Little China

Postby TheButcher on Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:24 pm

Boom! Studios Teases 'Big Trouble in Little China' Comic
BOOM! Teases "Big Trouble in Little China" Series
Stephen Gerding wrote:BOOM! Studios will be expanding its line of comics based on licensed properties in 2014, if the publisher's latest teaser is any indication.

Illustrated by "Goon" creator Eric Powell, the image features the body of what appears to be Jack Burton, star of "Big Trouble in Little China." While the picture doesn't include Burton's head, some of Kurt Russell's action hero locks are visible, and one of Burton's quotes from the cult hit -- "Everybody Relax! I'm Here." -- is superimposed above his chest.

Attempts to bring the movie to comics have been made several times over the years, to no avail. Most recently, Top Cow teased a comic based on the movie at Comic-Con International in 2009. The adaptation, which was to be done by Jason Badower and Evan Bleiweiss, never saw print.

BOOM! Adds Levitz to Board of Directors, Confirms Powell on "Big Trouble in Little China"
Albert Ching wrote:BOOM! Studios has added Paul Levitz to its board of directors, as announced by the publisher Friday at the ComicsPRO retailer conference in Atlanta.

Levitz is a comic book industry veteran who has spent decades in a variety of roles at DC Comics, dating back to the 1970s. He's served in a variety of editorial and executive roles at DC, including seven years as president from 2002 to 2009. As a writer, he's best known for his long runs on "The Legion of Super-Heroes," and stories like "The Greatness Saga." Currently, he writes "Worlds' Finest" for DC.

Additionally, BOOM! revealed the first details of its "Big Trouble in Little China" comic book, as first teased on Wednesday. The series will be written by "Goon" creator Eric Powell, who illustrated the teaser, and drawn by Brian Churilla. John Carpenter, who directed the 1986 film, is said to be on board as an "active consultant."
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John Carpenter's "Elvis"

Postby TheButcher on Thu May 01, 2014 1:09 am

AICN Legends: Quint chats up Kurt Russell about everything from Walt Disney to John Carpenter!
Quint wrote:
Quint:
Everything I've always heard about the origins of Snake Plissken was that it was pretty much just you and John creating the character, from the look to voice to wardrobe.

Kurt Russell:

That's John. First of all, John had this thing he wrote. We worked together on Elvis and we really liked working with each other. The weird part for John, which I always admired John for, is that he was already saddled with his Elvis when he came onboard. They had been testing people and they hired the actor, who just happened to be me, and here comes the director and he's gotta deal with it. John just did that so easily. I look back on that and think “Man, John had guts.” He was stuck!

For me, as always, the director is the guy. I'm trying to get the director's vision on camera, but this was so different because I was already hired.

Quint:
It sounds like it was fate that you two were thrown together and just got each other.

Kurt Russell:

It was. You know how you read those stories about certain people coming together? Like, I remember reading about Bernie Taupin and Elton John. It was out of answering a newspaper ad looking for a writer or something.

John had done Halloween. Generally that's not going to be your #1 guy... “Yeah, there's your guy for Elvis!”

Quint:
I don't know if the business has changed or if that was considered strange at the time, but I couldn't see that happening now.

Kurt Russell:

The weird thing about that is that when you know John you realize those people did their homework. John was the guy to direct Elvis. John and I are not tremendously communicative... I mean, I talk more than he does. He's pretty quiet. He says things pretty concisely, but he's so damn much fun and he's such a good thinker.

It's always fun to do a show and you're always doing a show with John, not just a movie. You're putting on a show and I really love that about John.



Kurt Russell's life as an actor plays out by his own rules
Classic Hollywood: Kurt Russell's zigzag career has been propelled by his choice to pursue his dreams outside Hollywood.
Susan King wrote:Russell earned an Emmy nomination for his uncanny performance as Elvis Presley in "Elvis," a TV movie that marked the first of many collaborations with director John Carpenter.
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John Carpenter's The Thing

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:16 am

THE THING – Storyboards to Film Comparison
Vashi wrote:John Carpenter’s THE THING is one of my favorite movies. The story, characters, score, location and practical visual effects are some of the most memorable in film history. In this classic horror film, there are several scenes that just DESTROYED me and left me cinematically scarred as a child. One scene in particular was so spectacular that just by saying ‘Chest-Teeth” or “Spider-Head” leaves people shaking their heads in disbelief and sighing loudly. The character of Palmer in the film sums it up nicely with…”You gotta be fuckin’ kidding.”


THE THING – Atmospheric Anamorphic
Vashi wrote:John Carpenter’s THE THING came out 32 years ago today. It is an epic horror film that has stood the test of time and plays as well today as when it first screened in 1982. Beautifully shot in Anamorphic by Dean Cundey, it completely captures the claustrophobic environment that encased the scientists in their Antarctic station. What is not often discussed are the massive landscapes and perfectly composed wide shots that are sprinkled throughout the film.
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:43 am

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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby Fried Gold on Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:56 pm

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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby Peven on Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:17 pm

what happened to John Carpenter? how about getting over nostalgia and accepting that he was never that great to begin with. he made a couple decent movies early on that owed their success more to the actors and/fx involved than the director. "Escape From New York" could have been so much better in the hands of a real quality director, imagine a Ridley Scott at the helm, instead it is nothing but cheap cult cheese. dude can't even muster a successful straight to dvd production now
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby so sorry on Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:52 pm

Peven wrote:what happened to John Carpenter? how about getting over nostalgia and accepting that he was never that great to begin with. he made a couple decent movies early on that owed their success more to the actors and/fx involved than the director. "Escape From New York" could have been so much better in the hands of a real quality director, imagine a Ridley Scott at the helm, instead it is nothing but cheap cult cheese. dude can't even muster a successful straight to dvd production now


I think his early work in the 80s was great. The Thing, Christine, Big Trouble in Little China, three movies I love, and I don't think for "nostalgic" reasons. I've always assumed that Escape from New York was intentionally campy (its not a movie that I personally enjoy, so I don't have much familiarity with it).

And a "What Happened to...?" director thread could be written for just about anyone... off the top of my head, Brian De Palma, Francis Ford Coppala, RIDLEY SCOTT(!), etc etc etc.
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby Peven on Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:47 pm

the movies you list are all camp, cheese, no real heavy lifting or serious directorial skills needed. The Thing was special due to its special FX/creature design, not its directing. and that is really all that Carpenter ever was, a guy who came up with gimmicks. oh, what if NY City was a giant prison. oh, what if John Wayne was in a kung fu movie. oh, what if a car was possessed? problem is once he got passed the premise he wasn't all the great with making a good movie. including mediocre cinematography. there are no movies he made that couldn't be made better by a variety of directors working today
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby Ribbons on Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:48 pm

It is weird though that he was one of the most prolific and influential filmmakers of the '70s/'80s and now he struggles to line the bargain bin.

As far as atmosphere goes my favorite movie of his is probably They Live. It's so cheesy and ridiculous, but it flaunts its cheese proudly.
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheBaxter on Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:53 pm

HOW DARE YOU ALL LIKE MOVIES THAT ARE CHEESY, CAMPY, OR SILLY!?Fq?qqqqqqFF!!!!!!

don't you all realize you're only allowed to enjoy films that have serious artistic merit, like John Carter or Guardians of the Galaxy?
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby Al Shut on Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:46 am

When I think of Carpenter I seem to remember more tension than camp & cheese, mostly the horror stuff and Escape from NY. Probably in no small part due to his work on the music.

Anyway, I credit him for my enjoyment of his movies because he's the common element.

Of course, non of that answers the question what happend to him.
Note to myself: Fix this image shit!
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby Peven on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:38 am

TheBaxter wrote:HOW DARE YOU ALL LIKE MOVIES THAT ARE CHEESY, CAMPY, OR SILLY!?Fq?qqqqqqFF!!!!!!

don't you all realize you're only allowed to enjoy films that have serious artistic merit, like John Carter or Guardians of the Galaxy?


leave it to bax to miss the point and not understand what is being discussed.....

cheese and camp can be fun, enjoyable diversions, though if you think "John Carter" is either camp or cheese you are even more clueless than I thought, and Guardians may have touches of camp but isn't a camp movie. maybe if you understood terminology better you would "get" more things put up on here?

Carpenter did make a few fun movies early on, Escape and Big Trouble, lightweight as they were, you could kill a saturday afternoon hanging out with with your friends watching them and talking about all the stupid shit that come across the screen. but like I said, the only aspect of those early movies that earned any serious notoriety are the FX. jump forward to today and he can't even manage to make an enjoyable cheesey or camp movie anymore. hasn't done it in about 30 years. when you lack real skills and rely on gimmicks your shelf life is finite, while truly skilled directors can keep making good movies
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Re: ‘Remaking Big Trouble in Little China’

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:12 pm

caruso_stalker217 wrote:
TheButcher wrote:
TheButcher wrote:The Rock Wants Kurt Russell & John Carpenter Involved in ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ Remake
Dwayne Johnson responds to fans, saying they will quit working on the ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ movie if the script stinks.

John Carpenter on Remaking Big Trouble in Little China
“I’m ambivalent about a remake,” said Carpenter. “On the other hand, it depends on how much they pay me.”


Classic Carpenter.

Is he really going blind?
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheButcher on Thu May 26, 2016 3:56 am

DEADLINE October 31, 2014:
John Carpenter Q&A: Why ‘Halloween’ Didn’t Need Sequels & What Scares The Master Of Horror

/film:
‘Halloween’ Sequel Executive Produced by John Carpenter Finds a Director
Ethan Anderton wrote:Bloody Disgusting reports Oculus director Mike Flanagan is in talks to direct the Halloween remake.


Bloody Disgusting:
Is Adam Wingard also in talks to direct Halloween?
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheButcher on Thu May 26, 2016 3:57 am

Michael is Coming Home! Blumhouse is Co-Producing the New HALLOWEEN — With John Carpenter Onboard!
“HALLOWEEN needs to return to its traditions,” Carpenter said. “I feel like the movies have gotten away from that… Michael is not just a human being; he’s a force of nature, like the wind. That’s what makes him so scary.”

“We made the original HALLOWEEN for very little money,” he added. “At heart it’s just a good, scary story, and that’s why it works. 38 years later, I’m going to help to try to make the tenth sequel the scariest of them all.


The Story Behind 'Halloween 4'
Why John Carpenter First Left The Franchise
David Opie wrote:Horror fans rejoiced today at the news that John Carpenter will return to the Halloween franchise as the executive producer of the next installment.

The original Halloween (1978) was a surprise smash, grossing $70 million on a budget of $300,000, so the studio was quick to commission a direct sequel that continued the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. The problem was that Carpenter didn't want anything to do with Halloween II (1981), refusing to direct the picture.

In an interview with Deadline, Carpenter said:
"I didn’t think there was any more story, and I didn’t want to do it again. All of my ideas were for the first Halloween – there shouldn’t have been any more! ...Michael Myers was an absence of character. And yet all the sequels are trying to explain that. That’s silliness – it just misses the whole point of the first movie, to me."


However, Carpenter was unable to stop the studio from making sequels to his now iconic film, so he instead chose to write Halloween II and handed over directing duties to first time filmmaker Rick Rosenthal. The plan was to kill The Shape once and for all, ensuring an end to Michael Myers's reign of terror — but we all know how that turned out.

With the story of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers seemingly wrapped up for good at the end of Halloween II, Carpenter and his writing partner Debra Hill decided to take an entirely new approach for the franchise's next installment, one that would ensure that the series could live on indefinitely without fear of becoming boring or repetitive.

Instead of producing carbon copies of the same slasher film, Carpenter planned to turn Halloween into an anthology series, linking each film together solely by the date on which each of the stories were set.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch arrived first in 1982, featuring a script co-written by Carpenter and director Tommy Lee Wallace, who had worked on the first two entries of the franchise.

Eschewing the story of Michael Myers completely, Halloween III instead featured an evil corporation who used a combination of science and witchcraft to sacrifice children on Halloween night, summoning the power of the Old Gods for their own evil purposes.

In hindsight, Halloween III is now regarded as a cult classic by many, despite the presence of that commercial, but the film performed poorly at the time of its release, prompting the studio to blame Carpenter's anthology approach and the film's distinct lack of masked serial killers.

Money is everything in Hollywood, so after a brief respite, the Halloween franchise was resurrected once again, much like Myers himself. To rescue the series, producer Moustapha Akkad decided to bring back the basic slasher storyline of the original to appease audiences who left screenings of Halloween III confused by Myers's absence.

Cannon Films approached Carpenter, asking him to write and direct Halloween 4. The franchises creator immediately set to work on a script alongside Dennis Etchison, who had written the novelizations of Halloween II and Halloween III under the pen name Jack Martin.

Carpenter's original treatment of Halloween 4 took a more cerebral approach, concerning the town of Haddonfield and the psychological effect that Myers's rampage of terror had on its citizens. Naturally, the studio hated Carpenter's commendable efforts to keep the franchise fresh and ultimately decided to feature Myers as a physical being in a more conventional slasher style.

At that point, Carpenter and Hill signed all of their rights away to Akkad, ultimately making Halloween III: Season of the Witch the last film of the franchise to involve the creator of the series — until now, of course.

Unsurprisingly, Halloween 4 opened to negative reviews, but that didn't stop Akkad and his team from pumping out six more films without Carpenter's involvement.

At one point, Carpenter did briefly return to the franchise in order to direct Halloween H20, as Jamie Lee Curtis wanted to reunite the original cast and crew for her return as Laurie Strode. However, Akkad refused to pay the $10 million that Carpenter requested, believing he was owed money from the revenue of the first film. After much fighting, Carpenter finally walked away from the series that made his name

Carpenter's motivations for now returning to the Halloween franchise aren't clear, but new input from the creator of the franchise can only be a good thing for fans disappointed by Rob Zombie's failed attempt to revitalize the series.


John Carpenter Criticizes 'Friday The 13th'
It 'Doesn't Rise Above Its Cheapness'
"One springs from an organic idea and has a truly artist's eye working. And Friday the 13th, I feel, affects me as very cynical. It's very cynical moviemaking. It just doesn't rise above its cheapness. I think the reason that all these slasher movies came in the '80s was a lot of folks said 'look at that Halloween movie. It was made for peanuts, and look at the money it's made! We can make money like that. That's what the teenagers want to see.' So they just started making them, cranking them out...most of them were awful."
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Re: What the hell happened to John Carpenter?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:34 am

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