Dear streaming friends, the scary time has come, Halloween. The opportunity to finally turn our darkest side out again and prove our creativity through our costume selection and our self-carved Halloween pumpkin at the hottest horror party in town. Oh, you don’t feel like partying? Or do you just want to warm up for the event? For example, with the scariest horror films in film history? How sad that the leading streaming services didn’t think along. Unfortunately, they don’t present the greatest cult movies of horror now. Therefore, it still makes perfect sense to be able to fall back on a Blu-Ray player and a collection of the greatest cult films for the special moments in life. At least with the latter, we can help. For this Halloween, we are giving away an ingenious collection of the best films by the master of horror, John Carpenter.
JOHN CARPENTER’S LEGACY
Today, films overwhelm us with special effects. We often experience everything down to the last detail. Completely unnecessary, at least when it comes to the horror genre.
Because, already in the early 80s, John Carpenter showed how clever and emotional B-Movies can shock an international audience. In that way, he fascinated us for over 40 years.
On the one hand, this was due to the unique imagery of his films. With this, John Carpenter had by no means reinvented the wheel. However, he introduced the stylish cinematography of big blockbusters like Chinatown with Jack Nicholson to the horror genre.
On the other hand, like Alfred Hitchcock, Carpenter fascinated us with simple and, therefore, understandable stories. Thus, they played profoundly and sensitively with our fears and emotions. Certainly, many people were no longer motivated to go outside in the foggy dark after they watched Carpenter’s The Fog.
Of course, music also plays an essential role in all Carpenter productions. The film world must be thankful that John Carpenter initially had little financial means to produce his films. Therefore, he sat down at the synthesizer himself.
In this way, Carpenter created charismatic, unforgettable scores that, despite – or perhaps because of – their rather simple compositions, are comparable to great soundtracks such as those from Ennio Morricone or Hans Zimmer. Either way, John Carpenter’s signature arrangements are timeless.
Ultimately, however, John Carpenter did something that Grandmaster Hitchcock failed to do. Something that makes his films timeless and, moreover, incredibly personal. In front of and behind the camera, he brought people together as a creative family.
None of the involved talents probably worked in John Carpenter’s productions just for sheer money but to realize a common vision.
Interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis about Halloween Ends prove that fact. Throughout her film career, she always longed for her Halloween film family. Therefore, the many Halloween sequels have not only a commercial but an emotional, very personal background.
Of course, this is also because it was clear from the outset that Michael Myers is literally immortal.
THE JOHN CARPENTER 4K COLLECTION
However, John Carpenter didn’t just make the boogeyman with the unmistakable mask a cult figure. He also gave us those films that we are now offering you as a gift in a 4K Blu-Ray collector’s box. So, fans can enjoy it in the best resolution. The box contains the following movies.
That Jamie Lee Curtis, like her mother Janet Leigh once in Psycho (1960), can shock and captivate the audience with her screams was already recognized by John Carpenter during the production of Halloween in 1978. So, he brought both together and produced with Jamie and Janet as well as his film family The Fog in 1980. Although this film isn’t known to everyone, it’s one of Carpenter’s absolute masterpieces.
Hardly any horror film before or since has spread such tension and atmosphere as The Fog. The souls of misguided sailors hide in the dense fog. They now seek revenge on the descendants of the Antonio Bay residents who misguided them onto the reefs of the Northern California coast. These honorable gentlemen did not want the leprous sailors in their city. But what they wanted was their gold. With this gold, Antonio Bay came to great wealth. Until now, as the sailors return in the mysterious fog.
John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness
Things get darker in this film. A group of scientists tries to unravel the secret of an ancient artifact. The team assumes that the glass pillar is holding the real Satan prisoner.
As in Halloween, John Carpenter relied on the brilliant and haunting acting of Donald Pleasence in Prince of Darkness. This time Pleasence appears as a priest, but again under the same name as in the Halloween films.
In addition, the short cameo of dark rocker Alice Cooper, who also contributed a song to the film, made the Prince of Darkness cult. Moreover, the film is also special since it offers the longest prologue in film history.
John Carpenter’s They Live
John Carpenter often combined horror with science fiction. It worked particularly well with They Live. Behind the alien invasion is a social criticism that is still relevant today.
In short: John Nada (Roddy Piper) is a simple worker. By chance, he discovers that extraterrestrials want to subjugate the world population in cooperation with a human elite. They succeed in doing this by means of hidden messages on advertising posters and other media.
Only a little resistance movement stands up to the power-hungry beings. With special sunglasses and contact lenses, the rebels can identify the aliens. Of course, they don’t like it at all. The rebel’s aim is to destroy the alien transmitter that allows them to deceive and enslave humans.
Misleading advertising, manipulation, and influence… does that seem familiar to you in times of so-called social media? Perhaps John Carpenter foresaw this development back in 1988. In any case, They Live is not just a sci-fi horror spectacle worth seeing, which was later even filmed as a series.
Rather, it is a slap in the face to all those who allow themselves to be controlled by an elite or abused for their purposes, for a little money, a few followers or whatever.
Escape from New York
Aside from Michael Myers, John Carpenter created another ingenious cult figure, Snake Plissken. Together with Debra Hill and Kurt Russel, he created what became probably the coolest anti-hero in film history. Although well-trained for combat, Snake Plissken isn’t in the mood for action at all.
However, the mission to free the President of the United States of America from rebel hands promises him hope of freedom. After Plissken was betrayed by his country’s government, despite his services to his nation, and lost his eye and even his parents as a result, he walked illegal paths. This eventually led to imprisonment.
Now, he has no other choice. Not only is he promised freedom. But a detonator is injected into his body that will explode in a few hours unless he gets the President safely back to safe territory.
Until then, Snake Plissken meets all sorts of strange characters as well as old friends. For example, Donald Pleasence is back as the President of the United States. We also see Harry Dean Stanton as Brain, Ernest Borgnine as Cabbie and Lee Van Cleef as Hauk.
John Carpenter’s ex-wife, Adrienne Barbeau, also makes an appearance. She also has fascinated us in The Fog and The Thing. In Escape from New York we see her as Brain’s friend Maggie.
WIN the John Carpenter 4K Collection
No question; these John Carpenter films should not be missing in any good video collection. That’s why we’re offering – at this Halloween weekend – the great opportunity to win one of these exclusive film boxes of sophisticated horror. Just fill out the form. Much luck!
The winners will be informed by e-mail, and legal recourse is excluded. The competition is only valid in Central Europe. Last date for entries: November 4, 2022.
Text: Marco Kokkot | VALEUR MEDIA
Images: StudioCanal. All Rights Reserved.