John Carpenter is one of my favourite directors, his films are boyish fun. I will blog about Halloween, In the Mouth of Madness, Escape from New York, Assault on Precinct 13, The Thing, They Live, and even, Ghosts of Mars and Vampires later. My first blogpost about JC is going to focus on The Fog from 1980.
This came after the success of Halloween and John had a larger budget and a chance to reshoot when the film wasn’t scary enough after the first cut. It’s also one of the great films of the past with a parallel narrative going on all the way through.
It’s essentially an old fashioned ghost story, kicked off in the first scene by the great John Houseman.
What really attracts me to this film is the photography, old fashioned effects and the atmosphere that JC builds seemingly effortlessly.
Of course, a Hollywood bankrupt at the ideas bank remade the film in 2005, needless to say I’ve never watched that version and it wasn’t well received.
Over the last few years I’ve bought a lot of vintage Fangoria magazines from eBay which feature interviews with JC. It’s clear he was a bright and self-aware filmmaker. He’s still a young man, but it seems he’s turned his back on the movies, still rich from the profits made by Halloween and the constant reboots of his work. I personally would like to see John make a few more pictures, but Hollywood has changed, for the worse!
So, 80 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.