It's the Booze Talkin': When will John Carpenter direct another feature?

As a horror fan, I was completely in awe the moment that I witnessed Michael Myers terrorize Laurie Strode in the original HALLOWEEN. To me, John Carpenter will always be a master of suspense and horror. Aside from the little slice of holiday treats, he has a number of films that colored my childhood. Looking back on his career you have such classic tales as ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE FOG, THE THING, THEY LIVE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS and so much more. He even directed one of the sweetest and most charming alien flicks other than E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL with the wonderful STARMAN, which featured Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen.

Aside from being such an impressive director, he crafted some of the spookiest scores ever put to film. Lucky for us, on February 3rd he is releasing what looks to be one hell of a great listen for a dark and stormy night with the CD “Lost Themes” – you can check it out here. The title ‘Vortex’ is currently available to buy, and already I’m counting the days until I can enjoy this upcoming title. Some of my favorite film scores of all time are from Carpenter. This includes HALLOWEEN (of course) as well as THE FOG and even PRINCE OF DARKNESS. We all know the famous story of how people didn’t respond to Michael Myers’ night of terror until Mr. Carpenter added the now iconic theme. However, as much as it thrills me to have this musical trick, it would be even more of a treat to see him back in the director’s chair.

In 2001, after a number of commercial failures with GHOSTS OF MARS, VAMPIRES, ESCAPE FROM L.A. and IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, Carpenter stepped away from directing. Since this “retirement” his only directorial efforts included two episodes of the series “Masters of Horror” as well as the adequate THE WARD in 2010. The good news for fans is that according to IMDB, he is currently developing a fantasy horror film entitled DARKCHYLDE, based on the comic book character. The material sounds perfect for a filmmaker with Carpenter’s sense of imagination and atmosphere. However, I would be a hell of a lot more excited if there was a little more solid news on this particular feature. Alas, aside from a couple of images and not so recent news write-ups, this mysterious flick seems to be lingering in perpetual development hell.

At 66 years of age – his birthday is coming up on January 16 – this may certainly be a factor in his choice to not work. Yet with only one feature film in the past decade and a half, it is extremely disappointing for those of us still hoping to see his trademark style once again. While not every single feature he made was perfect, even some of his less popular entries like VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED had something fun to offer. And while THE WARD, starring the lovely Amber Heard, wasn’t quite what I was hoping for with his return, it still gave me hope that we’d see another classic Carpenter film in our future. After all, there are very few names in horror that have had such a wide variety of successful films that still hold up all these years later.

The impact and inspiration that Carpenter has imprinted on modern filmmakers is at least a reminder of what once was. One of my current favorite directors, Adam Wingard, added a little Carpenter flair to both THE GUEST and YOU’RE NEXT. You can even find traces of this classic filmmaker in the recent remake/sequel of THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. There are countless examples of the massive influence Carpenter has had on the horror genre. The mark he has left is impossible to deny. His synth score has been copied, as well as the way he creates a sense of dread with some of the simplest, and scariest, visions ever put to screen.

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but when will John Carpenter return to the director’s chair? With the tease of DARKCHYLDE looming over us and an upcoming “Lost Tracks” CD, one can only hope that we may finally get another feature film from this horror legend. While he has indicated that he has no interest in directing anymore, the promise of another Carpenter film with a Carpenter score may be nearly every horror fan’s dream come true. As I write this, the Blu-ray release of ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 reminds me of how much I miss the man. While I’m not asking for another HALLOWEEN, or THE THING, I’d be happy with anything at this point. Until then, it seems that his music is all we have in store.
Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite John Carpenter classic?
Source: AITH



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