By now I think many of you are familiar with my Top 5 lists which I have decided to branch into a series on different directors. To kick it all off I could think of no one better than John Carpenter.
Honourable Mention: Starman.
This touching Sci-Fi love story starring Jeff Bridges & Karen Allen is a classic 80’s film with Bridges as the titular visitor from the stars stranded on our planet and Allen as his human love interest. Holds a special place in my affections when I’m on a nostalgia binge.
5: The Fog
A oft forgotten but undoubted horror classic from 1980 saw Carpenter bring us terror in the form of inclement weather with added undead pirates to boot. Reuniting with his scream queen Jamie Leigh Curtis, this is Carpenter on point. Don’t get it mixed with the so-so 00’s remake, this is the real deal.
4: Eacape From New York.
This slice of post apocalyptic popcorn perfection introduced the world to one of Carpenter’s coolest, most bad-ass creations, Snake Plissken played masterfully by Carpenter stalwart Kurt Russell. With only 24hrs to save the president from a dystopian New York, this is what the term big dumb fun was invented for.
3: Big Trouble In Little China.
Continuing their fruitful cinematic partnership Carpenter & Russell were reunited in this gonzo slice of neon tinged mid-80’s madness. Martial arts, exploding thunder gods, floating blob things and quotes to die for. Class.
I have recently had my say on this film, and its position on this list is pretty self evident. This is the Daddy of slasher flicks, the progenitor for many tropes of the genre still used to this day, and still the film that did it the best. Peerless, many would replicate, few would even come close.
1: The Thing.
Coming a year after their team up in Escape From New York, Carpenter & Russell were reunited again for this remake of the 1951 movie ‘The Thing From Another World’. Featuring the memorably grotesque effects work of Rob Bottin, another awesome Carpenter synth score (i say that, it was actually Ennio Morricone), quotes galore and one of the greatest open ended film climax’s ever. Who said remakes were nothing but trash?