Monday, April 9, 2007

Let The John Carpenter Blog-A-Thon Commence

"I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum."

Today begins The John Carpenter Effect: A Blog-A-Thon and it will continue through Wednesday. I have unleashed this Blog-A-Thon right after the opening of Grindhouse which I have argued is one endless tribute to John Carpenter. Even today as he sits back to play video games and smokes cigarettes, John Carpenter continues to influence modern entertainment with his directing, his composing, his writing, his producing, his characters, whatever.

You can post your links in the comments so I can link up to them or you can e-mail them directly to me at Title them John Carpenter or Blog A Thon. Thanks.

Now let me have it!

Karen is the first brave soul over at Voyages of the HMS Swiftsure. She gives us her take on Prince Of Darkness.

Adam Ross over at DVD Panache highlights the Decade John Carpenter was king in John Carpenter's Decade.

I offer up some suggestions to current and future horror makers in my post Today's Horror Prescription: More Carpenter.

Jim at The Moviezzz Blog gives his take on Carpenter's career with John Carpenter.

Becca at No Smoking In The Skull Cave features every homage you can think of but were afraid to ask with The Influence is Obvious: References to John Carpenter's Movies.

Robert at Nadalander gives us a look at part of Carpenter's stint in TV with Someone's Watching Me: The Elusive Masterpiece.

Rumsey over at Not Coming To A Theater Near You gives us two reviews of some Carpenter faves Big Trouble In Little China and They Live.

Toby at An Interesting Take On Film gives us his thoughts on The Thing with Paranoia and Loss of Identity: John Carpenter's The Thing.

Ogg at Oggs' Movie Thoughts makes us appreciate Prince Of Darkness all over again.

His name is Guy. He has a blog called The Short Fat Kid. And he has some thoughts on Snake et all in Everybody loves the (anti) hero.

Neil at The Bleeding Tree talks about Carpenter's influence on the one and only with The John Carpenter Effect: John and I.

Jane at Average Jane gives us her opinion on Carpenter's career with Average Jane Goes To The Movies.

Ogg is back. And he has some more thoughts on Carpenter. More specifically the oft overlooked Assault On Precinct 13.

Karl writes about The Carpenter Effect over at KGB Productions, Inc.

Keep 'em coming.


Sheamus the... said...

The Thing is my fav.

* (asterisk) said...

I love Halloween.

A bit off topic now: Can you believe they are releasing the Grindhouse flicks as two separate movies over here in the UK? I am so pissed!

PIPER said...


That's moronic. Completely defeats the purpose of the concept of the movie.

Guess you'll have to wait for the DVD to get the full effect.

Richard Gibson said...

Grindhouse - UK - I went to see 'Sunshine' on Saturday and they showed the preview for both as if they were going to be released together. Where did you hear that?

Carpenter - Blog-a-thon - good idea. I would liked to have done a double bill - maybe 'Assualt on Precinct 13' with it's inspiration 'Red River'. Good luck with it.

PIPER said...

So go and do it Richard. Give it to me. I'll take late entries if you're so moved.

It's funny Carpenter is such a Howard Hawks fan and a fan of the westerns, and I can't get into them. Seems Carpenter made it palatable for me.

Tobias said...

I think The Thing could be Carpenter's finest work besides Halloween. I also hold Prince of Darkness as his most underrated film.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I've posted my entry in the blog-a-thon. It's probably not going to shed much new light compared to everyone else's entries, but at least I gave it a shot!

Charlie said...


Just because I have been silent for awhile, do not think I have simply gone away like your beloved John Carpenter's career.


PIPER said...


Imagine my relief to see your dark cloud around here.

Good to have you back.

Karl said...

Hope I'm not too late. Just had to post something about Carpenter. He is a favorite.

Unknown said...

hey, would you be interested in a link exchange? if so, I have a dvd review blog...

my favorite is "They Live"

roddy piper is the man!

PIPER said...

Any guy titled The Mexican is alright in my book. I e-mailed you to send me the link.

Charlie said...
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Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie said...


A Dark Cloud? Tisk, tisk. Have we stooped so low that we must now resort to simple insults? I have so much more hope for you than that. Insult me at the cerebral level to gain my respect. If, however, this is to difficult for you, I will be more than happy to lower myself to that level.

The reason I have not been posting is because I have not seen “The Grindhouse” and therefore have no vantage point as to respond. I am, however, glad to know you missed me.

As it relates to your precious John Carpenter, I will try to keep my comments objective, as to not cause you to much pain and suffering.

As I have said in previous posts, Carpenter has turned into one of the biggest hacks and whores of Hollywood. Notice I didn’t say “is” I said he has become! Let me explain. A “Whore” as defined by the dictionary is, “A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain” A “Hack” as defined by the dictionary is, “A worn-out horse for hire; a jade” or “One who undertakes unpleasant or distasteful tasks for money or reward; a hireling”

Carpenter did not start this way, nor do I believe he ever wanted to end up with this as his legacy. Frankly, I believe Hollywood is to blame for much of the demise of a once great director. His films personified great “B” movies. Dark, fun and done on a shoe string budget. Halloween was made for $300,000 and to date has grossed over $125 Million. Not a bad ROI. The thing that made it great was the suspense was left to the mind rather than the screen. Carpenter trusted the audience. He did this time and time again with films such as The Fog, EFNY, Christine and Prince of Darkness. Then Hollywood changed.

Gore became king. Freddy, Jason, and guts everywhere. Hollywood lost faith in the audience. The bar was raised (or lowered however you look at it) and being scared was no longer left to the imagination. Hollywood thought we had to “see it” rather that “think it.”

John Carpenter has been off his game as a director for damn near 15 years now.

Memoirs of an Invisible Man was of course not a pleasant experience for anyone. What was started as a more serious project by Chevy Chase was turned into a hybrid no one particularly likes when he chickened out and added more comedic overtones.

Carpenter ventured into TV with Body Bags which failed to ignite as a series as originally intended.

Then in 1993 he tackles his first horror film since Prince of Darkness with In the Mouth of Madness which garners the best reviews of his career from critics, but is still a POS!

The Thing is a classic, as are Escape from New York & Prince of Darkness. Halloween was a classic. Big Trouble in Little China sucked but it was a fun little movie. But why then does he do such things as Escape from L.A. What a way to kill a franchise before it had a chance to begin.

Snake Plissken was the ultimate bad-ass anti-hero. He defined cool. There was so much potential for an Escape sequel ... and so much more money available on the budget. What we could have had was a stylish action thriller featuring some twisted & eccentric characters in a strange & disturbing locale.

Instead, Carpenter gives us a complete & inferior carbon copy of the first film. The structure and story of the film were practically identical. What a cheat.

His biggest problem is that when his heart isn't in a project, he just sleep walks thru it. When the great films left him, he started doing things for the money, rather than the genius of the film. Don’t believe me? Name ONE movie in the past 10 years he has done that is good or shows off his talents! Village of the Dammed? Escape for LA? In the Mouth of Madness? Ghosts of Mars? Vampires? Please! I still want that time back in my life. Unlike you Piper, I have tried to believe in this man, but I finally said enough.

Piper, the true credit, however goes to fans like you. You are tried and true. Not simply a band wagon fan. You have struck with this man when others have left him for dead. Much like the fan of a faltering sports team that once ruled the day and has now gone the way of mediocrity (See Dallas, Notre Dame, Green Bay, Florida State, Penn State or Nebraska), Carpenter’s time has passed, yet his ego will not allow him to see this.

You say “Carpenter is credited for shaping the way modern horror movies are made.” Well, the Commodore 64 was credited for shaping personal computers! They didn’t or wouldn’t change and where are they now? You see, just because you are at the top of your game one day doesn’t mean you will always be there. The key to true greatness is recognizing this and knowing when to leave. Carpenter, unfortunately, seemed to have missed this.


p.s. I do have to tell you how flattered I am that my earlier posts of what a hack Carpenter has become caused you to have this blog a thon just to piss me off makes me feel pretty special inside. It’s nice to know I’ve had an effect on you.

PIPER said...


I thought Dark Cloud was rather good. I could have just called you a downer.

Anyways, I'm glad you're here among us to provide an opposing view because I don't think it would be complete if we didn't share all sides of the story.

PIPER said...


I can't disagree with anything you have said except, I think that Carpenter is perfectly fine with where he is right now, whether we agree with it or not. If he wasn't, he would still be out making movies, or trying to make movies.

And you should read my post Today's Horror Prescription: More Carpenter as my answer to all that ails today's horror.

Unfortunately, he's out to make the easy money right now and I've read enough interviews to think that he doesn't mind one bit collecting checks. And honestly, I believe he thinks it's pretty funny that he is seen in this high role. Carpenter went out to make movies he liked and it found a following.

When Hollywood got involved, he stopped making movies he liked and the work started sucking.

Vampires is not as good as his past efforts but it is more like his work than In The Mouth Of Madness and Memoirs.

And hate to burst your bubble, but I didn't create the Blog A Thon for you. I created it for me. As a chance to find all the Carpenter lovers out there, and yes even the haters.