Order In The Universe: The Films of John Carpenter
Robert C. Cumbow
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
An obscure independent filmmaker until Halloween (1978), John Carpenter has been applauded for his classic sense of compositions, yet reviled for his "B-film" sensibility. This second edition of the first book-length analysis finds in Carpenter's films a vision of a profound but unexpected order in the universe. The author analyzes Carpenter's early independent work, his made-for-television movies, his big Hollywood films (The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, Stephen King's Christine, Starman), his more recent independent work (Big Trouble in Little China, Prince of Darkness, They Live), and his contributions to films he did not direct. This edition fully updates the 1990 edition with attention to the films made since that date. With a chronology of Carpenter's career, a detailed filmography, photos, brief plot synopses, and a thorough index, this volume will be treasured by film scholars and fans alike.
locust's point of view. It just zooms in at him and he screams. I used to see that hundreds of times in old Fifties monster movies. Here it came ... waaaugghhhh! ... and you screamed. Then there was Jaws, which at the beginning of the film took the shark's point of view coming up, which I thought was odd, but it seemed to work for everybody. Then there was Grizzly. Grizzly was a ripoff of Jaws, and they didn't have the bear for a long time, so they used a hand held camera walking through the
Madison Square Garden as an imperious Duke looks on. The improbability of the Duke's risking Snake when he needs him, or of a gladiatorial diversion being indulged in just when time is of the essence to everyone, is exactly the kind of inconsistency that never seemed to bother the makers of the cliff-hangers. (This scene, by the way, is just one of many debts that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome owes to Escape from New York.) Another point scored off old programmers is the use of technological
which I find enormously overused, and it doesn't mean anything anymore. It doesn't mean anything. Everybody has a "Film By" credit. My dog does. In independent studio work, often you're out for a different purpose, and you can take more chances because you have less money at risk. Whereas, when you're making a big studio film, even a medium one, you're talking about 12 to 15 million dollars—well, the risks have to stop because you need to make money back. It's just a fact of life in Hollywood.
projects with which he is more commonly associated. Both, therefore, are subject to the deceptively simple accusation of not being true Carpenter films. Nevertheless, Carpenter found in each project a thematic connection to the thread that ties up his more personal body of work: the recognition and reluctant acceptance of an order different from what was expected. Interestingly, both films center on protagonists who live outside the rest of humanity, who struggle to cope with a body that,
Jordan R., Interview, "Riding High on Horror," Cinefantastique 10:1, Summer 1980, p. 9. 3. Cited in Sobchak, Vivian Carol, The Limits of Infinity: The American Science Fiction Film, New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1980, p. 165. Page 19 4 There Are No Heroes Any More. Assault on Precinct 13 Assault on Precinct 13 came up very quickly. An investor from Philadelphia had some money and said, "Let's make a movie." And so, I said, "Let's go," and I wrote the script in eight days. I wanted to