John Carpenter is a master of horror and sci-fi films – and of brevity.
The iconic filmmaker is responsible for such classics as Halloween, the thing and Kurt Russell’s couple escape Movies like to talk about his work. He’s just straight to the point — with a dash of witty, dry jokes thrown in for a good helping.
the Hollywood reporter caught up with the acclaimed director and composer to chat mostly about his 1996 film, Escape from LA (The Paramount film will be released in 4K on February 22nd). But the conversation naturally shifted to his other topics, including the sequel he wants to make Halloween franchise is more popular than ever (like last year’s Halloween kills grossing $131.6 million worldwide) and his thoughts on the cinema experience versus streaming.
But the conversation started with escape fRome L.A An entertaining, over-the-top chapter from Snake Plissken (Russell) that was largely panned by critics and box office bombed. However, it has since developed a cult following. Carpenter argues that it is superior Escape from New York (1981) and reflects on his initial struggle for an audience.
escape Of L.A was something of a critics’ punching bag when it was released. Why do you think it missed the mark? It’s a great movie. And erasing technology sounds pretty awesome at times.
Nihilism is best viewed from a distance I think. (laughs.) That’s one of the things I’ve been criticized for, the abolition of technology. I do not know. People can enjoy something like this remotely. When the film was released, he was against it independence Daywho was up and bright and happy. It was fun – although a lot of people got killed doing it – it was fun.
In the past you have said you feel superior to him escape Of New York. Still accurate?
Sure, in a way. Escape FRome New York had Donald Pleasence as President of the United States, which I thought was great. but Escape FRome L.A has Peter Fonda and Kurt Russell surfing. It doesn’t get much better.
I interviewed Bruce Campbell for a celebration feature last year Escape Friom L.A Turns 25. He told me that you and Kurt have a laid back but strictly business set. He enjoyed it very much. Why is that important?
Because you make actors say nice things about you. Well, it’s just more fun to work that way. Everyone is so nervous. The pressure is on, so why add anything else?
Karen Allen told me in a previous interview that she wished there had been a sequel starman (1984). thoughts of hearing this?
It’s very sweet of Karen to say that. I spoke to Jeff [Bridges] also about it. They did [ABC] TV series based on it.
the Halloween Franchise is more popular than ever. How does it make you feel knowing that you and Deborah Hill created such an iconic character in Michael Myers that fans can’t get enough of?
I feel fabulous about it. It’s also fabulous when I look up from my couch and a check comes in the mail. I feel extremely happy.
I watched Netflix Texas chainsaw massacre this morning in part for this chat. I know it’s not your franchise, but you’re a living horror legend. And it gave me two questions. Firstly, is there a better experience to see a horror movie at the cinema?
Yes, it’s more fun. But it can work in the privacy of your home. Depends on how good the movie is. How was the movie?
I loved it! Great story. Brutal Killings. Which actually leads me to my second question: is there such a thing as too much gore in horror, or is it possible?
Everything goes. To each his own. Halloween kills, the second part of this modern trilogy, was extremely gory. But it worked for the audience. they loved it. Imagine that.
Finally circle back to escape Of L.A Is there another picture from your classics that you would have liked to see continued?
I would like to do a sequel the thing, or a sequel, something like that. But I do not know. See? There are many things in this world that I don’t know.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.