Monday, November 17, 2008

John Carpenter...

John Carpenter is a legend. We use that term a lot when describing people of great talent who achieve beyond a normal person's means. Not only a gifted director, he usually does the music score for his films as well. Writing, directing, musically gifted, and a pioneer are what sets this film director apart from the pack. I've listed several of my favorite Carpenter movies along with a description of what each movie is about in this post. I highly recommend watching every one of these gems. For entertainment value, you will not find any better movies. This is just a small tribute to a very talented man.

Halloween (1978)

The first flick in the trilogy from director John Carpenter, Halloween almost single-handedly invented the 1980s slasher genre. Escaped lunatic Michael Myers (no, not the Austin Powers actor) goes on a murderous baby-sitter-slaying rampage on Halloween. Only baby sitter Jamie Lee Curtis (the quintessential scream queen) and psychiatrist Donald Pleasence can stop him.

The one that got him noticed... Halloween is a true classic. I believe it was made on a budget of $300,000 and grossed over 50 million! Carpenter was able to do anything he wanted at that point. Originally titled The Babysitter Murders , the name was changed when the release date was set for October 31st.

Vampires (1998)
Jack Crow (James Woods) leads a team of vampire hunters in director John Carpenter's Western-themed movie about bloodthirsty ghouls. Jack and his sidekick, Montoya (Daniel Baldwin), destroy a nest of vampires, but as they head off to celebrate, they're set upon by master vampire Jan Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith). Joined by Katrina (Sheryl Lee) and Father Guiteau (Tim Guinee), the two learn the archvillian's plans and set out to bring Valek to heel.

This is one of my VERY favorite John Carpenter movies! Of course I love vampires, but James Woods is a great actor and plays the smart-ass vampire killer to a tee! If you haven't seen this movie, you really should!

They Live
In this consumer culture parody, professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper plays an unemployed working stiff who finds a pair of sunglasses that let him see the world as it truly is. Billboards carry subliminal messages such as "Submit to Authority," and yuppies are aliens bent on subduing the human race. Before you can say, "Die, yuppie scum!" Piper grabs a gun and starts blasting.

I love this movie! I'm really not a fan of campy horror, but Roddy Piper kicks butt in this movie. He was one of my favorite "wrestlers" back in the day because he was a "bad" good guy. This movie is full of action and IMO, the entertainment value is high!

Big Trouble in Little China
To end a curse that has made him immortal, a 2,000-year-old magician must marry a woman with green eyes. He chooses the fiancee of Jack Burton's (Kurt Russell) best friend. Taking it upon himself to save the day, Jack embarks on a rescue attempt with Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall) at his side that takes them under San Francisco's Chinatown into a dark world filled with supernatural creatures and spectacular action.

A venture away from horror with Kurt Russell. A very good "fantasy" movie!

Escape from New York
Soaring crime rates cause the United States to turn the city of New York into a maximum-security prison. Unfortunately for the president of the United States (Donald Pleasence), that's precisely where he lands when he's forced to bail out of a crashing Air Force One. Condemned criminal and former war hero Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) rescues the chief executive -- but the president must promise to grant Plissken his freedom in return.

Another venture away from the horror genre. Kurt Russell brings back the Snake character to save the President of the United States. I really like this movie!

In the Mouth of Madness
When popular horror writer Sutter Cane (J├╝rgen Prochnow) goes missing, his publisher hires investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) to find him. Trent tracks Cane to a small New England town: the supposedly fictional Hobb's End, which is filled with nightmare scenes right out of the author's books -- from murders to monstrous transformations. Have Cane's fans gone psychotic and begun imitating his writings, or are his "novels" really nonfiction?

This movie was not met with critical acclaim, but I really enjoyed it!

My belief that people are inherently full of it is so eloquently expressed by Maxine!

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