John Carpenter: He Lives!
We give endless shout-outs to 80s directors such as John Hughes and Oliver Stone. But there's one more genius who deserves more time in the spotlight, and today is his day: Horror master John Carpenter turns 59 years old Tuesday.
Never one to be pigeon-holed, Carpenter has served in many capacities in the film biz: director, writer, producer, actor ... even composer. (The theme for "Halloween" is a Carpenter creation). Think you know a little something about Mr. Carpenter? Here are some quickie trivia hits:
- Carpenter often acts in his own films (including The Fog and Starman) under the name "Rip Haight."
- Actor Kurt Russell is a regular in Carpenter's films, appearing in five movies (Escape from NY, Escape from LA, Big Trouble is Little China, The Thing, Elvis). Why the attraction? In 1996, Carpenter told Smoke magazine: "Friendship aside, and aside from the fact he’s so damned agreeable, he’s trained, the kind of training a lot of actors never get. To him, being in front of a camera is second nature."
- He had a chance to direct Fatal Attraction, but passed on it. "That was a journey I couldn't be bothered to go on," he reportedly explained.
- With the exception of Escape from L.A., Carpenter won't make sequels to his films. (The Halloween sequels were neither written or directed by Carpenter.)
And while he may always be best known for 1978's Halloween, some of his best flick were in the 80s.
Top 5 John Carpenter films of the 80s:
5. They Live (1988): "You... you look like your face fell in the cheese dip back in 1957."
4. Starman (1984): "Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst."
3. The Fog (1980): "You are weird. Thank God you're weird. The last one was so normal, it was disgusting."
2. Christine (1983): "Whoa, whoa. You better watch what you say about my car. She's real sensitive."
1. Escape from New York (1981): "Call me Snake."