Special Sub-Topic: John Carpenter Movies
|"Okay, so this alien hijacks Voyager and comes to Earth because it's interested. When it gets here, it clones a widow's dead husband - there can be romantic tension there. It meets up with its spaceship after a thrilling chase for most of the movie. It's funny 'cause it's a culture clash - remember that show 'Perfect Strangers'? But this time, it's an alien and a widow! We can call it _______."|
Starman. This movie starred Karen Allen and Jeff Bridges, and was one of Carpenter's lighter movies, along with his 'Elvis: The Movie' and 'Memoirs of an Invisible Man'. Jeff Bridge's Best Actor Oscar nomination was the only Oscar nomination ever received by ANY John Carpenter movie.
|"Okay, so these guys kidnap this trucker's friend's girlfriend. When they try to get her back, they get unwittingly caught up in an ancient Chinese war between good and evil. There'll be sorcerers, ninjas with superpowers, crazy monsters, lots of explosions and lightning, and a prophecy - people love prophecies! We could call it _______."|
Big Trouble in Little China. This was Kurt Russell's second movie with Carpenter (the first being the TV movie 'Elvis: The Movie', in which he played Elvis). Victor Wong, the actor who played Egg Shen has played the old Chinese man in dozens of other movies, including the '3 Ninjas' movies and 'The Golden Child' starring Eddie Murphy. He was also in Carpenter's 'Prince of Darkness'.
|"Okay, so aliens have already taken over Earth (it doesn't matter how, that's not the point of the movie). Anyway, they keep subliminally telling us stuff like 'sleep', 'submit' and 'marry and reproduce'. It's scary 'cause it's just like real life! Oh yeah, and you can only read the subliminal messages with this special pair of sunglasses. We could call it _______."|
They Live. Rowdy Roddy Piper's character doesn't have a name, and is never referred to by name by any of the other characters in the movie. This is much like Edward Norton's character in the movie 'Fight Club', whose real name is never revealed. Piper is listed in the credits for 'They Live' as Nada (which means 'nothing' in Spanish) and Norton's character in 'Fight Club' is listed as Narrator.
|"Okay, so picture it: in the future, there's some big crime-ridden city - the government walled it off and put all the criminals in there 'cause of our overcrowded prison system. It's like a commentary on society or something. Anyway, someone important like the President gets kidnapped inside the big city prison somehow, and the government has to hire this supercriminal guy to get him out! It'll be intense! We could call it _______."|
Escape from NY. This movie stars Kurt Russell again (as do four others). This time, Kurt Russell plays the supercriminal, Snake Plisskin, and Donald Pleasance (another Carpenter Favorite) plays the President. He also stars in Carpenter's 'Halloween' with Jamie Lee Curtis and 'Prince of Darkness' with Victor Wong.
|"Okay, so there's this guy, and way back in the dark ages or something, he had a 'reverse exorcism' done. It's like a regular exorcism, but they put a demon INTO you! Cool concept, huh? But they never finished it, so these guys have to hunt him down before he can find some artifact or something that he needs to finish the reverse exorcism. We could call it _______."|
Vampires. Dolph Lundgren was originally set to star in this movie, and John Carpenter wasn't supposed to direct, but instead the Studio decided on Cameron and James Woods. Woods and Daniel Baldwin made a great team as the head vampire hunters, and the way the vampires were incinerated by the sun makes the movie totally worth seeing.
|"Okay, so there's this alien pretending to be a dog, you know, 'cause it's a shapeshifter. And this group of scientists takes it in and it starts making them all crazy 'cause it keeps changing shape and no one can figure out who the alien is. Oh yeah, and we could have it be in some really remote area like the desert or Antarctica or something. We could call it _______."|
The Thing. This is a seriously creepy movie, and one of my favorites (that once again stars - Kurt Russell). This movie was a remake of 'The Thing from Another World', directed by Christian Nyby, and was adapted more faithfully than the original movie, both from a short story entitled 'Who Goes There?' by John W. Campbell, Jr.
|"Okay, so follow me here - this writer disappears into a town he wrote into existence. The publishers send this investigator guy to find him, 'cause they need his next book - they've already contracted it to movie producers and bookstores. When the guy finds the writer (in the town that doesn't really exist) he finds out that the entire world is a figment of this guy's imagination and that the end of the book is that the world will go insane! We could even make him watch this movie (the one I'm pitching to you now) in a movie theater (in the movie), so it looks like it's real life - it'll creep the audience out! We could call it _______."|
In the Mouth of Madness. Sam Neill brilliantly plays the skeptic in this movie, which as it turns out, is about itself. He thinks it's a publicity stunt to drum up excitement for the book and subsequent movie by the author Sutter Cane (an homage to Stephen King) but it turns out to actually be the horrifying scenario in the book and movie. The title of the book and movie in 'In the Mouth of Madness' is: 'In the Mouth of Madness'.
|"Okay, so there's this super powerful thing that was destroying the Earth, so these guys trapped it underground. This professor finds it and he brings a group of college students on an internship to study it. The whole time, they all keep having this dream. It'll turn out that the dream is a radio from the future trying to send a message to the past telling them not to release the thing, 'cause in the future, these same college students had let it out and it already destroyed Earth. We could call it _______."|
Prince of Darkness. The future has already been decimated by the thing underground (the Prince of Darkness - who is actually under a church), and the last people alive are using a special radio transmitter to send a warning back through time to the characters in the movie. The college students all experience it as half of a recurring dream, however, and they don't get the last half of the warning until they've already released the Prince of Darkness.
|"Okay, so there's this demolition crew out in space that blows up planets (instead of knocking down buildings) and they've got these 'smart' bombs. (They're actually intelligent). Something goes wrong and one gets stuck on the ship when they try to launch it. Anyway, they talk to it, trying to convince it not to blow them all up. It's funny 'cause it's a culture clash - remember that show 'Perfect Strangers'? But this time, it's humans and a bomb! We can throw some other funny stuff in there, too. We can call it _______."|
Dark Star. This was Carpenter's first feature film, and was written by Dan O'Bannon (who also wrote 'Alien'). O'Bannon starred in this movie as Sgt. Pinback, who had an alien pet that looked suspiciously like a beach ball (it was very low budget).
|"Okay, so there's this mining accident and this mist comes out of the mine and people breathe it in and it makes them into zombies. Not regular zombies, though - fast, insane, blade-wielding zombies! The problem is, when you kill one of these zombies, the mist comes out of them and comes after you so you can breathe it in and become a zombie! It'll be scary - we can call it _______."|
Ghosts of Mars. Natasha Henstridge replaced Courtney Love at the last minute when Courtney injured her foot. She then was so exhausted after just coming off of two other movie shoots that production on 'Ghosts of Mars' had to be shut down for two weeks.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction