Happy birthday John Carpenter! - The true master of horror
Today is John Carpenter's 66th birthday. I plan on celebrating tonight after running errands by watching one of his classics. Now I'm not exactly sure which one it will be since I just watched Christine, Prince Of Darkness, Body Bags, and Village of the damned just this week. (What can I say? I'm a fan.) I'm sure I'm going to end up settling on They Live, but I still need to remember to buy In The Mouth Of Madness which was just released on blu-ray I believe last year.
Today I decided to post my top 5 most underrated favorite Carpenter movies. Now in the past, I believe when I first started up this blog I've made lists about Carpenter's best movies and I ended up listing nearly every single one! (sorry Ghost On Mars, you didn't make the cut) so today in honor of his birthday, I decided to make a top five favorite list of his most underated and best work in my eyes. I'm honored to have met him last year, and yes...I kept it very classy.
5). Body Bags - The Gas Station
Why it's awesome? - I remember watching Body Bags on TNT late at night growing up, and how The Gas Station, the movie's first segment always appealed to me as being the strongest entry. I feel Body Bags suffered the same fate as Creepshow 2. It should have been 5 stories. 3 is fine and good, and even worked for Tales From The Darkside, but it just seemed as though this film was lacking something. In fact this movie was a TV series pitch by Carpenter and his wife Sandy King for Showtime. Body Bags had great pacing, and classic Carpenter suspense. The amount of cameos you see in this movie is mind blowing. In fact I urge anyone to play the drinking game to this segment. Take a shot after every horror cameo. = You'll be wasted.
Just last year, around 3 in the morning, me and my friends were driving back from HorrorHound and we stopped at this lone gas station in the middle of nowhere. There I decided to start telling the story of The Gas Station by them and scared the ever living shit out of everyone in the car. I love of course dead Sam Raimi falling out of the locker, that long shot of the killer slowly walking over and trying to smash the window, and of course the awesome ending line "I forgot my credit card."
4). Village Of The Damned
Why is it awesome? - This remake I honestly enjoyed. I know a lot of people aren't huge fans of it, but I enjoyed it. With an all star cast, and beyond creepy white haired children with glowing eyes, Carpenter puts a new twist on this classic tale. With a stunning setting, haunting score, and one killer ending, I could only begin to think of what else Carpenter could remake and do the right way. My favorite parts of course is the black out at the begnning, and when the reverend is forced to kill himself via shotgun. Should have used the force on that one pal!
3) In The Mouth Of Madness
Why is it awesome? - This was one of Carpenter's truly last amazing movies to grace the silver screen. In The Mouth Of Madness is based off Carpenter's friend Stephen King, who both teamed up and made complete gold back in the 80's with Christine. In The Mouth Of Madness is a creepy, well done thriller, that has one hell of an opening. Also drink everytime you hear Sutter Cane.
2) They Live
Why is it awesome? - How this movie isn't picked apart more is honestly beyond me. This movie has so much subtext it's crazy. Now I'm sure a lot of people just think it's a dumb little sci-fi action movie, but to us horror fans it's so much more. I feel at the end of the 80's Carpenter really couldn't give two shits. He tried twice to be main stream with both The Thing and Big Trouble In Little China and failed. After the ever so awesome Prince Of Darkness, he decided to take one last stab at the decade and made this classic. With over the top...and very long fight scenes. Classic one liners, and one of the best ending shots in film history. They Live is by far one of my all time favorite movies of all time!
1) Prince Of Darkness
Why is it awesome? - After Christine, this is by far my favorite Carpenter movie. The second in his trilogy (the first being The Thing) Prince Of Darkness is the religious movie, while They Live was the political one. With an amazing cast, a great score, and one of the best stories ever put on screen. Prince Of Darkness honestly is a smartly written movie that nevr lets up, not even to the end. In fact I would say Prince Of Darkness has the best ending out of all five movies on this list. Simply stunning.