Prep for the Assault on Precinct 13 Blu-ray Release by Counting Down the Top 10 John Carpenter Films
The Fog (1980)
Carpenter reunited with Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Nancy Loomis and Charles Cyphers in creating The Fog, an eerie and stylistic tale of a California fishing town which becomes terrorized by a fog containing the ghosts of deceased sailors. Carpenter builds tension masterfully throughout this film, culminating in a fantastic climax. The Fog performed marvelously at the box office, bringing in over $20 million on a $1 million budget. However, upon seeing the original cut of the film, the director was so dissatisfied that he went back and shot a large amount of new footage to improve The Fog. Nearly one third of the movie we now have was the material Carpenter went back and reshot. Good call!
When two horror heavyweights get together, what do you get? In the case of the blending of John Carpenter and Stephen King, we got Christine, the story of a murderous haunted hot rod. With King’s story and Carpenter’s vision, Christine became a memorable horror film and one of the better adaptations of King’s work, which doesn’t always translate to the screen all that smoothly. It is a chilling idea… the thought of a vengeful car. And Carpenter did a great job bringing that across to the viewers. The power of a Plymouth Fury and what it can do to the delicate human frame and how terrorizing it can be to be chased down by such a machine.
They Live (1988)
Based on the book Eight O’Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson, this film was like an Orwellian version of the sci-fi television show “V.” Starring Rowdy Roddy Piper, Keith David and Meg Foster, They Live not only gave us a great story with references to the power of marketing and commercialism, but it also gave us one of the greatest lines of dialogue of the 80’s, when Piper’s character, Nada, said “…I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I am all out of bubblegum.” That’s the Hot Rod for ya!