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Interview – Catching Up with John Carpenter

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Interview - Catching Up with John CarpenterHe’s one of the film world’s most undisputed masters of horror with a catalog of work that delivers classic after classic. That’s why whenever we get a chance to talk with legendary director John Carpenter, we’re on it like a dog on a bone.

Recently John took a few minutes to chat about his career, his opinion of the genre today, and what he’s been up to in his spare time…

Of all my movies, I’ve always had a special fondness for The Thing. Dark and fierce, it was perhaps too much of a downer for audiences at the time. Appreciation for it has grown over the years, which makes me very happy.

Everyone has their favorite John Carpenter movie, but ask around and the usual consensus is the Kurt Russell-starring remake of The Thing From Another World, which just hit its 30th anniversary. Quite recently the remake emerged with Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr.’s take on the now classic story, sparking polarizing views across audiences. Asked of his feelings on the remake, Carpenter is very much to the point: “I’m happiest when one of my movies get remade that requires the remaker to pay me cash money…

Many wise audiences nowadays tend to look at the ongoing remake fever to be the result of a financially tentative film industry, but does he agree? “First of all, there’s no such thing as a cheap buck. Filmmaking is backbreaking work. Directors, casts, and crews earn every cent of their salaries, regardless of the movie they’re making. Secondly, homage is a tricky thing. Best to find something new in the material.

It doesn’t take long for me to start to reveal the awkward, hideous fan-boy beneath the journalistic veneer, prodding Carpenter for any whispers of a Big Trouble in Little China remake: “No whispers of remakes of Big Trouble in Little China. Only gurgles.

Known to be an avid gamer, I ask what he’s playing at the moment: “I’m replaying old games, waiting around for Borderlands 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Revolution.” And the films out there now that have impressed him the most? “I liked The Ides of March, Moneyball, the Sherlock Holmes movie. No comment on the bad ones…

Sure, I can admit — fan-boy an’ all — that it seems Carpenter has really lost his way as of late, losing the old magic found way back in Memoirs of an Invisible Man — fuck, I totally forgot that even existed! Others may be more inclined to point an accusative finger or two at the commercial failures that were Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from LA, both of which in my opinion fucking rocked balls. If you really want to start playing the blame game, you may want to lean toward the ill-fated Ghosts of Mars. That’s right — I even enjoyed Vampires, albeit largely on account of the near psychotic, electric performance of one Mr. James Woods.

So, 2011 saw the return of Carpenter to the big screen with what was largely seen as a disappointing effort, The Ward. In an attempt to get to the bottom of the steady decline in his critical reception, I ask him about studio interference, to which he replies, “Studio interference is always the same, year after year.”

To the future then… What does he think of the state of horror cinema today? Where does he see horror taking its next step? “Common wisdom has it that horror is bloodier, more violent, more savage than older movies. But much of the thematic material in modern horror seems thin, generic. And post-modern irony destroys impact.”

As always, many thanks to John for taking the time out to have a word with us.

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 140 – Pet Sematary 2

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Ahoy there, fuckos! This week’s episode is brought to you by none other than Chris Franco! That’s right, it’s a Chris pick! So you know what that means, we’re cranking the cheese factor up to eleven! This week we’ve got $5 Furlongs, naked women with dog heads, and accents that are more forced than a Bill Cosby sexual encounter! That’s right, we watched  Pet Sematary 2 so you don’t have to!

Ever wonder which of us knows more lyrics to Ice, Ice, Baby? Well, Patreon found out, but perhaps there’s more singing in the actual episode. Download to find out!

Sometimes, dumb is better. It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 140!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Night of the Living Dead 4K and The Silence of the Lambs Come to the Criterion Collection

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It’s been a long time coming for these two classics, especially Night of the Living Dead after the ridiculously bad transfer put out by Mill Creek Entertainment, whose transfer was supposedly remastered from a new 2K scan. I swear I thought it was some kind of a joke when I first put it on to watch. In any event…

IndieWire is reporting that horror classics Night of the Living Dead and The Silence of the Lambs will be added to the 2018 Criterion Collection, a hallmark label for home video cinephiles.

According to the site, Criterion will release a new 4K digital restoration of The Silence of the Lambs, which has been approved by the movie’s cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. Included on the DVD and Blu-ray sets are 35 minutes of deleted scenes and audio commentary from 1994 featuring the late Jonathan Demme (director), stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas.

Night of the Living Dead will also be released in 4K with never-before-seen 16mm dailies included as a bonus feature(!).

These will be added in February of 2018 so make sure you save up some cash after the holidays!

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DIS Review – Not for the Faint of Heart!

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Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lori Jo Hendrix, Peter Gonzales Falcon

Directed by Adrian Corona


I’ve made this claim many a time on this website before, and in the company of film friends as well: Bill Oberst Jr. is one of those actors that can literally be thrust into ANY role, and deliver a performance with so much harnessed electricity that you couldn’t believe that it was possible. I was the lucky recipient chosen to get a look at his latest project, titled DIS, and I think that I can honestly say – this is the stuff that nightmares are constructed of.

Directed by Adrian Corona, this 60-minute dive into the black depths of hell, and in actuality DIS is located between circles # 6 and 9 in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and trust me when I tell you – there’s not a shred of comedic relief in this demented presentation. Oberst Jr plays an ex-soldier named Ariel, and his seemingly harmless jaunt through the woods will become anything but that, and judging from the film’s opening scenes, you are meant to feel as uncomfortable about this watch as any you might have checked out in recent memory.

Perversion is the norm here, and lord help you if you’re caught where you shouldn’t be…my skin’s crawling just thinking about what I saw. Ariel’s travels are basically dialogue-free, but it only adds to the infinite levels of creepiness – you can tell he’s being stalked, and the distance between he and the horrors that await are closing in rather quickly.

Visually by itself, this hour-long chiller can sell tickets without any assistance – hollowed-out buildings and long sweeping shots of a silent forest give the movie that look of complete desolation. Sliced up into three acts, the film wastes no time in setting up the story of a killer needing fresh blood to appease his Mandrake garden – seriously guys, I can’t type as much flashy stuff as there needs to be in order to describe this innately disturbing production.

If you’re one of those types who tends to shy away from the graphic side of things, then I’d HIGHLY advise you to keep your TV tuned to the Hallmark Channel for some holiday entertainment, because this one registers high on the “I can’t believe someone thought of this” meter. So the quick recap is this: Oberst Jr in a standout performance, visual excellence, and an unshakable sense of debasement on a cellular level – keep the kiddies out of the living room with this one. Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended, and one that I’ll throw down as a top 5 for me in 2017.

  • Film
4.5

Summary

Director Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended!

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User Rating 2.92 (12 votes)
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