Even though I'd known about this for a couple of weeks, I didn't had the leisure time to re-watch any of John Carpenter's movies, so I had to cheat and visit IMDB to get a nice, solid list of the ones I've seen. It turns out that I'm more of a Carpenter connoisseur than I thought!
Here are my top-of-mind impressions of the John Carpenter movies in my viewing past:
- Halloween (1978) - Since I was only eleven when this came out and I had very protective parents, it was a while before I caught up with the rest of the world and got the Michael Myers experience firsthand. However, I have since seen the movie a couple of times and feel that it truly deserves its place in horror movie history. It's suspenseful and creepy and mercifully free of gore.
- Escape from New York (1981) - Love it! Any movie featuring an eye patch-clad character named Snake Plissken is okay by me! Yes, it contains more Ernest Borgnine than any movie needs, but that's just nitpicking.
- The Thing (1982) - Compared to the 1951 version with its Giant Carrot Monster, this is the scariest movie ever made. It IS really creepy and does a great job playing off the paranoia of the isolated crew who suddenly can't trust each other. The inside-out dog is something I'll never be able to un-see.
- Christine (1983) - Not one of Carpenter's best, but considering that most of Stephen King's work is practically unfilmable, a valiant effort.
- Starman (1984) - A young Jeff Bridges naked! I have a soft spot for this movie that it may or may not deserve. I think I saw it two or three times when it came out. I just can't resist science fiction.
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986) - Another classic! A big, colorful, goofy action movie with a ridiculously over-the-top plot and lots of Kurt Russell with bare, muscular arms. What's not to like?
- Prince of Darkness (1987) - Crazy street person played by Alice Cooper dissolves into a huge mass of cockroaches. Need I say more?
- They Live (1988) - "Rowdy" Roddy Piper modulates the shouting somewhat to play the hero who finds special sunglasses that reveal which of his fellow citizens are evil aliens and which are human. Source of the best cheesy movie line ever (sorry, Bruce Campbell), "I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum."
- In the Mouth of Madness (1995) - Eh.
I'm thinking a day-long John Carpenter '80s-fest is in order to wrap up this blog-a-thon. Who's with me?