John Carpenter

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John Carpenter - Lost Themes II Album Review


Always something of a cult figure, film director John Carpenter's impact is frequently underestimated. One of the pivotal figures in transforming the horror genre from its Gothic high camp of the early 1970's to the visceral roller-coaster of today, he engineered a major turning point in 1978 with Halloween, in which the maniac serial killer Michael Myers set about his teenage prey with psychotic abandon, the premise a neat bridge between the voyeuristic debauchery of video nasties such as I Spit On Your Grave and the Little Green Men creature features of his youth.

John Carpenter - Lost Themes II Album Review

Operating on low budgets off the Hollywood grid necessitated resourceful approaches to the director's modus operandi, with one of the most notable cost-cutting adaptations being self-composed and produced scores and incidental pieces. Born into a musical family - his father was a violinist and lecturer - the Halloween soundtrack was composed on a Moog modular synthesiser, a collage of jarring and dissonant sounds which perfectly complemented it's anti-hero's silent menace.

His occasionally schlocky celluloid output has received a mixed public and critical reception since, but Carpenter's idiosyncratic approach to sound as a weapon - think Giorgio Moroder as an axe murderer - has continued to be a highly influential feature of his work. After Boards of Canada cited the minimalist analogue textures of the VHS creepies this inspired to have broadly informed much of 2013's Tomorrow Harvest, the following year the New Yorker released his début collection Lost Themes - a work completed in collaboration with his son Cody - to the sort of acclaim some of his cinematic flops were never afforded.

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John Carpenter - Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014 held at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center - Day 3 - Rosemont, Illinois, United States - Saturday 23rd August 2014

John Carpenter
John Carpenter
John Carpenter

Netflix To Erase A Huge Chunk Of It's Library In The New Year


Netflix John Carpenter

No longer will you be able to see such instant classics as Foxy Brown, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Stop! Or My Mum Will Shoot or Troll II on Netflix by 4 January at the latest, as the popular streaming service looks to let some of it's rooster dry up as a number of licensing contracts run out.

Netflix
Hey Netflix! Maybe if you changed your interface then we wouldn't have to wait until now to watch Troll II

On a serious note, there are actually some notable casualties in the content shake up, with some genuinely great films heading for the scrap heap. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich and Desperado are three cult classics that must still generate a great deal of interest in the site. Meanwhile Oscar-winners like As Good As It Gets, Born on the Fourth of July and the original True Grit will probably see a renewed interest on torrent sites and unlicensed streaming sites. As for television, a number of seasons of Saturday Night Live and all of Mr Bean will also be heading for the scrap heap.

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The Ward Trailer


Kristen is a young and beautiful girl who's just been institutionalised in a hospital for the mentally unstable. It's 1960 and she has no idea of why she's become a patient, her memory of life before whatever drove her to be seen as unbalanced totally escapes her and the doctors don't appear to be shedding much light on her situation either.

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Halloween (1978) Review


Excellent
Considered by many to be a modern horror classic, Halloween succeeds through simplicity. This thriller -- a veritable kickoff for 25-plus years of slasher films -- works because director John Carpenter keeps the story neat and the presentation basic. It's an approach that gives Halloween an easy, no-frills realism, and a likable indie style that shines through even today. Carpenter and co-writer/producer Debra Hill turn a few suburban streets into a house of horrors for some unsuspecting teenagers -- with no special effects and very few cheap thrills.

A 19-year-old Jamie Lee Curtis makes her film debut as Laurie Strode, a bookish, anti-social highschooler unaware that while she babysits on Halloween night, a psychotic maniac lurks in the neighborhood. The strong, silent type, this hulking being quietly walks the town in which he killed his sister 15 years earlier, back for more after a hospital escape. Meanwhile, his horrified doctor (the ominous Donald Pleasance) waits, as single-mindedly obsessed as the killer he's chasing.

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Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall Of The Slasher Film Review


Good
All good things deserve a documentary about them, so why not the slasher film?

This Starz-produced documentary (which oddly has no director credited) gives a dutiful breakdown of the slasher flick's birth, death, rebirth, redeath, and so on until we reach the present day. As you might expect, progenitors Halloween and Friday the 13th get the bulk of screen time, with a goodly amount of footage devoted to interviews with the cast and crew (no Jamie Lee, alas). Every angle is covered, from special effects to script, but the film mostly focuses on the cultural impact of the slasher movie: Kids loved 'em, critics vilified them, and parents weren't happy at all when Santa Claus started killing people.

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Assault On Precinct 13 (1976) Review


Very Good
John Carpenter's third movie (2 years before Halloween), and one of his best, in a career that's filled with mostly downs. This low-budget shoot-em-up has L.A. gang-bangers taking a blood oath to kill a guy secreted inside a nearly vacant police station, and watching the people within resist the siege for 90 minutes is an awful lot of fun. Reportedly a remake of Rio Bravo. DVD features commentary by Carpenter.

Escape From New York Review


Excellent
The idea of Manhattan being transformed into a maximum security prison isn't much of a stretch. Many New Yorkers already feel as though they're in jail every day, surrounded by monolithic skyscraper walls. John Carpenter imaginatively stretched that premise in his cult classic, Escape from New York. In his alternate version of 1997, the Big Apple is a cityscape jail. The rules are simple. Once the inmates are shipped in, they don't get out. The bridges are mined. The waterways are watched over by sweeping helicopters. The police force, like an army, is encamped on Liberty Island and the outer boroughs.

That's exciting enough, but Carpenter also calculates in a ticking time bomb narrative device. Air Force One is hijacked by some socialist radicals who crash-land the plane into the heart of "this inhuman dungeon of [an] imperialist prison." The President (Donald Pleasence) manages to escape in a safety pod, only to be captured by none other than the leader of a ferocious band of gypsies who control the island, the self-proclaimed Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes).

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Eyes Of Laura Mars Review


Good
Vaguely supernatural thrillers were a dime a dozen in the 1970s -- this one's about a controversial photographer (Faye Dunaway) who inexplicably begins having visions where she sees through the eyes of the local serial killer. Naturally she witnesses a bunch of murders, no one believes her, and soon he starts stalking her directly. While all eyes are on the creepy driver (Brad Dourif), any one of a half-dozen supporting actors could be The One. Absurd, yes, but it's got a certain '70s vibe that you usually only get from Gene Hackman and/or Clint Eastwood vehicles.

Silent Predators Review


Terrible
Stop me if you've heard this one before: otherwise docile creature goes nuts and marauds its way across a small town. Local law enforcement figures out how to fight the beasts, successfully saving the townsfolk and falling in love along the way.

From sharks to ants to piranha, what animal hasn't been put on the "man-eater" list? In Silent Predators, it's the humble snake -- which you'll know right off because there's a big picture of a snake on the cover of the video! Yikes! As the box says, "The hunt is on. You're the prey." Probably won't get any sleep after this one!

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Halloween II Review


Weak
It took three years to get it to screen, but Halloween #2 picks up immediately where Halloween #1 left off. Michael Myers chases Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) through the hospital where she has been recently interred, while Donald Pleasence grumbles about druids. Absolutely awful, with no trace of the original's terror. (Side note: Curtis, playing a teenager, is 23 years old at the time.)
John Carpenter

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John Carpenter

Date of birth

16th January, 1948

Occupation

Filmmaker

Sex

Male

Height

1.83




John Carpenter Movies

The Ward Trailer

The Ward Trailer

Kristen is a young and beautiful girl who's just been institutionalised in a hospital for...

Ghosts of Mars Movie Review

Ghosts of Mars Movie Review

America loves convenience. After all, we're the culture that invented the cell phone, the...

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