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John Carpenter Talks the Movie That Inspired His Career, Future Plans, and Halloween

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The Post Mortem Podcast with Mick Garris has launched a new season and their first guest is none other than the legendary horror director/composer John Carpenter! The two sat down for a near hour-long back-and-forth interview where Carpenter opened up about his early years, his love of all kinds of music, how he got into USC to study film, and, of course, his work in the horror genre over the years.

If you’ve never heard Carpenter in an interview, one thing you should know is that he’s pretty short in his responses. He doesn’t mince words, choosing instead to cut all the bullshit out and go straight to the core of the answer without mincing any words. It can be shocking at first but it becomes very refreshing once you realize that it’s not aggressive, it’s just honest.

That being said, when asked how many of the Halloween sequels he’s seen, Carpenter edged around the issue, not giving a concrete answer. I guess there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm for where the story went!

We’ve gathered some snippets from the podcast for you below. If you want to hear the full thing, then follow Post Mortem on Twitter and listen to the podcast on iTunes.


On which movie inspired him to go to film school:
Forbidden Planet. I saw it in beautiful widescreen. Coincidentally, that was the first movie ever that had a synthesized soundtrack. I think that has something to do with, all of it put together, my love of that sound. I still love the sounds in that movie.

When asked if he was approached to score any films, Carpenter replied:
Recently, yes. Recently I’ve gotten a couple of… As a matter of fact, I’m going to do a movie this year that they came to me and asked me to do the score on. I’m going to work with my son [Cody] and my godson [Daniel Davies] on it. That’s the fun part.

On the idea of him scoring other films in the past decades:
Sure! Are you kidding? I’d love to!

On how the Halloween rights went to Blumhouse:
It was stagnant over at Weinstein Company and it was not going anyplace. They couldn’t figure out what to do with it. The rights went back to Miramax and Tarik Akkad and they went to Jason because he’s a really successful horror producer. He worked really, really hard to get something good, to get a good director and a good story and he did! I gotta give it to him.

On how involved he is in the upcoming film:
I’m involved. Every decision. Well, not every decision. What am I saying? The script, I read the script.

Which of his films is the most “John Carpenter”:
Oh man… It’s a cross between Assault on Precinct 13 and Escape From New York. They both have the essence of me in them.

Perhaps the most tantalizing part of the interview was when Garris asked Carpenter if he’d be up for directing another movie, to which Carpenter replied, “Sure!” When pressed further to see if anything was locked down, he issued the coy response, “Maybe, maybe. I’m not gonna tell you!

Still, my favorite quote from the interview happened when Garris asked about Carpenter’s interest in directing films that were more lighthearted or casual, to which the Prince of Darkness director replied, “I live on the dark side. That’s where I belong.

Celebrate John Carpenter's Birthday With January 2016 Box of Dread

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