18 Shots From 18 John Carpenter Films


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, Through the Shattered Lens wishes a happy 72nd birthday to one of the patron saints of the movies, John Carpenter!  Though often criminally underrated, John Carpenter is one of the most important filmmakers in modern film.

Every sci-fi spoof that you’ve seen owes a debt to Dark Star.  For that matter, so do quite a few serious sci-fi films, like Alien.

Every horror film owes a debt to Carpenter’s direction of Halloween.

How many apocalyptic, dystopian films have been influenced by Escape From New York?  While today it’s somewhat of a cliché for people to say that they have to escape from New York, John Carpenter imagined it long before Bill De Blasio made it into a reality.

Prince of Darkness and In The Mouth of Madness are two of the only films to capture the feelings of existential dread and the ominous atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft’s most effective stories.

They Live may have been critically dismissed when it was released but today, many see it as being a work of prophecy.

“I wanted a vanilla twist.”  With Assault on Precinct 13, John Carpenter taught viewers that sometimes, it’s better to just take whatever ice cream you can get.

Meanwhile, films like The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, The Fog, and others continue to find new fans every day.

Christopher Nolan may have Hans Zimmer but John Carpenter needs only himself to create a memorable musical score!

Even a film like Carpenter’s remake of Village of the Damned has a few undeniably effective moments!

Our point is that John Carpenter is one of the best around and, today, on his birthday, we’re going to honor him.  It’s not just 4 shots from 4 films for John Carpenter!  Instead, it’s time for….

18 Shots From 18 John Carpenter Films

Dark Star (1974, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Douglas Knapp)

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, dir by John Carpenter. DP: Douglas Knapp)

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

The Fog (1980, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

Escape From New York (1981, directed by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

The Thing (1982, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

Christine (1983, dir. John Carpenter, DP: Donald M. Morgan)

Starman (1984, dir by John Carpenter. DP: Donald M. Morgan)

Big Trouble in Little China (1986, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

Prince of Darkness (1987, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

They Live (1988, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992, dir by John Carpenter, DP: William A. Fraker)

In The Mouth of Madness (1994, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Village of the Damned (1995, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Escape From L.A. (1996, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Vampires (1998, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Ghosts of Mars (2001, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

The Ward (2010, dir by John Carpetner, DP: Yaron Orbach)

Song of the Day: Desolation by Ennio Morricone


For today’s song of the day comes from Ennio Morricone’s score for John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing.  Desolation is an aptly named composition because this song capture the feel of isolation and paranoia that has made Carpenter’s film a classic.

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)
  10. The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  11. The Main Theme From The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  12. Regan’s Theme (The Exorcist II: The Heretic)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Horror Remakes (Evil Dead, Maniac, The Fly, The Thing)


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Been awhile since I did one of these. Time to get back on the horse, so to speak.

Today’s edition of “4 Shots From 4 Films” is all about horror remakes. Not just any horror remakes since those are as common as the cold. I’m talking about horror remakes that are good to great. Sometimes, the remake even surpasses the original.

4 Shot From 4 Films

Evil Dead

Maniac

The Fly

The Thing

 

4 Shots From 4 John Carpenter Films: The Fog, The Thing, In The Mouth of Madness, The Ward


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, we pay homage to one of the most important horror directors of all time with….

4 Shots From 4 John Carpenter Films

The Fog (1980, dir by John Carpenter)

The Thing (1982, dir by John Carpenter)

In The Mouth of Madness (1994, dir by John Carpenter)

The Ward (2010, dir by John Carpenter)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special John Carpenter Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

This October, I am going to be using our 4 Shots From 4 Films feature to pay tribute to some of my favorite horror directors, in alphabetical order!  That’s right, we’re going from Argento to Zombie in one month!

Today’s director is the man who put Halloween on the map and a personal favorite of TSL editor-in-cheif Arleigh Sandoc’s, John Carpenter!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Halloween (1977, dir by John Carpenter)

The Fog (1980, dir by John Carpenter)

The Thing (1982, dir by John Carpenter)

Christine (1983, dir by John Carpenter)

Horror Scenes I Love: In the Mouth of Madness


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John Carpenter’s contribution and influence in horror and genre filmmaking could never be disputed. This man’s films, especially his work from the 70’s and early 80’s have made him one of the undisputed masters of horror (joined by such contemporaries as Wes Craven and George A. Romero). While his worked had become so-so at the tail-end of the 1990’s and quite sparse during the 2000’s his name still evokes excitement whenever something new comes out where he’s intimately involved in it’s creation (these days a series of synth-electronic albums).

It was during the mid-1990’s that we saw a John Carpenter already tiring of constantly fighting the Hollywood system, yet still game enough to come up with some very underrated and underappreciated horror and genre films. One such film was 1995’s In the Mouth of Madness. This was a film that didn’t so well in the box office yet has become a cult horror classic since. Part of his unofficial Apocalypse Trilogy (The Thing and Prince of Darkness the other two), In the Mouth of Madness combined Lovecraftian eldritch horror with the horror of the mundane that made Stephen King so popular with the masses.

This scene early in the film just showcases not just Carpenter’s masterful camera and editing work, but was ahead of its time in exploring the toxic nature of fandoms and groupthink. In 1995 such a concept might have been relegated to B-movie horror, but in 2016 it’s become synonymous with such everyday occurrences and topics as Gamergate, Tea Party and Trump supporters to SJW crusaders, Marvel vs. DC and Democrats and Republicans. Everyone believes their group to be the only righteous in whatever argument they happen to be part of and everyone else must be silenced (and in the scene below silenced equates to death).

John Carpenter might have turned into that old and cantankerous, albeit cool, dude who couldn’t care less what you thought of him, but it seems that he saw what was happening today as far back as the 1990’s.

Harbinger Down Goes International


HarbingerDown

Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo are just a couple of ways the general public have been able to crowdfund things they really like. Crowdfunding has even entered film production with a film set for release being one of my more anticipated films of 2015.

Harbinger Down is the brainchild of Practical FX artists Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. As more and more studios begin to rely heavily on CGI-effects for their films the practical effects and make-up FX industry has taken a major hit. We’ve already seen practical effects master Rick Baker announce his retirement from the industry and many smaller effects studios either close shop or sold to larger studios.

The film by Gillis and Woodruff, Jr. looks to bring back practical effects as not just a viable option for films looking to create fantastical creatures and effects, but also show that practical effects is an art form that lends a certain level of realism to those very fantastical ideas.

From the look of the trailer it looks like Harbinger Down takes some inspiration from two classic scifi horror films of the past with Alien and John Carpenter’s The Thing. With legendary genre veteran Lance Henriksen headlining the ensemble cast, Harbinger Down is something genre fans deserve.

Hottie of the Day: Mary Elizabeth Winstead


MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD

With this being horror-theme month here at Through the Shattered Lens I thought it was time for another “Hottie of the Day” entry and one who has some experience atbeing a scream queen in horror films these past couple years.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is better known for the role (perfectly cast and played) of Ramona Flowers in Edgar Wright’s wright’s film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, but she has done quite a bit of work in the horror genre. One of her earliest films was as the lead in Final Destination 3. Then she has followed that up with roles in Quentin Tarantino’s half of Grindhouse as a naive young actress being stalked by Kurt Russell’s psychotic stuntman in Death Proof. Her last couple films have also been in the field of horror as she had major roles in both The Thing prequel and the fantasy horror mash-up this past summer with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Ms. Winstead has become a favorite of genre fans and not just for her All-American girl-next-door look, but for the fact that she has talent as an actress and makes the most of every role she plays even in films that critically fails. Of late her work has gotten her noticed as a contender for the end of the year awards for best performance in a film with her performance as Kate Hannah in the comedy-drama Smashed.

Whether she wins awards later this year or not, here’s to hoping that she doesn’t stop doing genre projects while moving on towards more serious work.

PAST HOTTIES

Poll: Which Films Are You Most Looking Forward To Seeing In November?


Last month, at this time, we asked you which four films you were most looking forward to seeing in the month of October.  The results are in and it appears that October is going to be all about The Thing, Footloose, The Rum Diary, The Skin I Live In, and The Ides of March.  Thank you to everyone who voted.

Here’s November’s poll.  As always, you can vote for up to four films and write-ins are accepted.  So, let us know — which films are you looking forward to seeing in November?

Trailer: The Thing (prequel) Red Band


One of the films which I’m looking forward to with some trepidation, but also some excitement is the prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing that was released in 1982. This prequel will show the initial unearthing of the “Thing” from the Antarctic ice by Norwegian researchers from the 1982 film (shown only as video recordings) and how it got loose and destroyed the Norwegian Camp.

Dutch filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. was the one picked to direct the film with Mary Elizabeth Winstead (known by many as Ramona from Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) taking the lead role. Many fans of the Carpenter film feel this prequel should never have been made. As a hardcore of the Carpenter film I can’t say that I agree with the decision to create this prequel, but I also won’t say that I’m not looking forward to it.

There had always been noise to create a sequel to Carpenter’s classic and at times even the master himself was involved in trying to get it done. This prequel became the final stab at continuing the story first started by Carpenter and I’m interested in how this new cast and crew will tell a story only hinted at in the original film.

The Thing is set for an October 14, 2011 release date.