Do You Read Sutter Cane? John Carpenter’s Top Five!
After reading this particular and wonderful post I felt inspired to make my own trimmed-down version of John Carpenter’s best; keep in mind, however, that this list is purely subjective. I’ll keep the introduction short and sweet this time – enjoy!
05. They Live
They Live is as entreating as it is deep. While one is laughing at the clearly absurd yet clever jokes of Roddy Piper they’re also being exposed to incredibly potent commentary about the system we’re amidst and how it invisibly controls our lives more prominently than most of us would like to realize. A unique piece in John Carpenter’s filmography that is a pleasure to view again and again.
04. The Thing
If I were attempting to make an objective list I think I’d have to put The Thing at either number one or two but, as for my tastes, it rests comfortably at position four here. What is there to be said that hasn’t been said already (this probably won’t be the last time I say this)? The Thing is perhaps the most iconic sci-fi horror film other than Alien and the prosthetic effects found throughout its duration are the best of the best. The entire cast pulls out an incredibly spirited and inspired performance that will have you quivering in your seat as they’re testing each other’s blood and coming closer and closer to the essence of the horrifying and ambiguous “the thing” …
What is there to be said about Halloween that hasn’t been said already (I told you)? This gorgeous little picture reinvented the slasher genre, has inspired hundreds upon hundreds of films and has yet to be dethroned. If you haven’t seen Halloween and are reading this blog then you’re either here by mistake or are in dire need of a trip to the video store. Not only an essential John Carpenter film but an essential piece of horror all together.
02. In The Mouth Of Madness
I am so excited that this puppy is finally coming to blu-ray. In The Mouth Of Madness is generally not regarded as one of Carpenter’s best films but the movie’s Lovecraftian atmosphere is one of the most profound I have ever experienced in cinema and it’s done perfectly right. John Carpenter, instead of choosing a Lovecraft story to base In The Mouth Of Madness on, decided instead of create a Lovecraftian tale of his own using a variety of Lovecraft’s inklings towards New England, unfathomable terror and, of course, atmosphere. I know In The Mouth Of Madness isn’t as accomplished as Halloween or The Thing but I adore it wholeheartedly and could easily watch it every month without tiring of it.
01. The Fog
Ah, yes, The Fog. John Carpenter’s The Fog was the first horror film I ever saw when I was six or seven on a camping trip and, as they say, the rest is history. I can still remember feeling the pangs of terror in my heart as the rain fell on my family’s pop-up camper and laying awake in bed wondering if there’d be a few ominous knocks on the door. Nostalgia aside, The Fog is Carpenter at his most eerie and atmospheric, the frames of The Fog almost having a hypnotic quality to them. Did I mention the score? The Carpenter-penned soundtrack is gorgeous and chockfull of eeriness. Like In The Mouth Of Madness, I realize that The Fog isn’t John Carpenter’s best work but it has been my favorite picture of his for as long as I can remember and, to this day, I get immense joy traveling through the isolated, ghostly seaside of Antonio Bay. A masterpiece and forever a favorite!