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The John Carpenter (Email) Interview

One of horror's most treasured directors took a few minutes to answer some questions. Wait, what?

If you happen to follow film director John Carpenter on Twitter (@TheHorrorMaster), you know the man responsible for The Thing, They Live, Halloween and countless other classics is also a big game player.

We’re not even talking exclusively horror, either. I mean, look at this:

After seeing Carpenter's tweet about Rayman Legends, it seemed worth a shot to get in touch. Just shouting over Twitter didn’t seem like a productive way of communicating, so a little Internet sleuthing lead me to www.theofficialjohncarpenter.com. It’s a website that doesn’t appear to have been touched in a long time.

If you've never seen The Thing, change that immediately. But don't be tempted to watch the awful, insulting remake/prequel.

Hidden within the site, though, was a link to a “webmaster.” I didn’t know websites in 2013 still had webmasters, and so I figured whatever email this was connected to would bounce back immediately. But, no, it didn’t. In reality, a few days later, I was asked to send over five questions for Carpenter.

How could I say no?

I didn’t, of course. And while Carpenter's answers are short, it’s a dream to say I’m running an interview, however brief, with the man responsible for some of my favorite cinematic horrors over the years.

This is crazy, you guys.

Giant Bomb: You talk about video games on your Twitter account all the time. Have you always been interested in video games? What are some of your favorites?

John Carpenter: My son got me interested in console video games. The first game I remember playing obsessively was Sonic the Hedgehog. Man it was hard; no checkpoints. I kept dying over and over again. Hand-eye coordination was impaired at the time. Over the years I've improved. I have many favorite games. Borderlands 2 is spectacular. I love BioShock, the Dead Space series, The Last of Us...

GB: When playing a horror video game, do you find yourself trying to deconstruct how it works? Which games have been the most effective at scaring you?

Carpenter: I enjoy the Silent Hill series. And no, I don't think about the mechanics of horror games. I just immerse myself.

GB: Having briefly dabbled in making video games with F.E.A.R. 3, have you given any thought to making your own horror video game eventually?

Carpenter: I'd love to work on an original video game. Maybe the opportunity will present itself.

GB: Do you think modern horror movies have anything to learn from horror video games? What about the other way around?

Carpenter: Video games and movies are different art forms. They share details in common, but not necessarily structure.

GB: The Thing was adapted into a pretty great video game. Have you played that one, and do you think any of your other films might have worked, too?

Carpenter: I am a character in The Thing video game. Unfortunately, I die. I think Big Trouble in Little China would make a great game.

GB: Thanks for your time.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
167 Comments
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Posted by Borp

Holy shit!

Posted by Ronald

Now, to hassle Carpenter until he agrees to a five hour Interview Dumptruck. Get on this, Klepek!

Posted by SargeMcD

Scooooooooooooooops! You got another awesome article. Well done!

Posted by SarcasticMudcrab

This guy has made me change my underpants more than my mum

Posted by seismicshock

I would say Assault on Precinct 13 would make a pretty good video game, one of my favorite movies of his too

Edited by ZatoJawed

This is awesome Patrick!

Edited by TheManWithNoPlan

Wow. I didn't expect this. Pretty awesome scoops! It's also pretty cool to hear that John Carpenter is a gamer.

Edited by Fistfulofmetal

Congrats on getting this interview. Too bad it's short but still, pretty awesome.

Posted by Phatmac

Wish this interview was longer! Oh well.

Posted by VarrosAnon

Whoa, god, no, The Thing was NOT a good game.

But this is pretty great. Silent Hill is the PERFECT series for John Carpenter to say he enjoys.

Posted by CommonReason

Well this was a nice surprise this morning. Thanks Patrick.

Posted by jillsandwich

Saints Row IV is the fucking best, you guys. You know what I'm talking about.

Edited by Atwa

I would want to know if he had any opinion on Amnesia.

Posted by Lane_

Nice interview from a person one would not expect to be so much associated to video games.

Posted by Veektarius

What is he even doing these days?

Edited by IzunaDrop

I think Big Trouble in Little China would make a great game.

Patrick, this could be a bigger career highlight for you than the Infinity Ward car park stakeout. :) Great questions and while concise, the interviewee responded genuinely. What a guy. I imagine many of the makers of Silent Hill, Bioshock, Dead Space and The Last of Us would read his praise and consider that one of their career highlights. To me, this ranks among your finest work.

Posted by Fear_the_Booboo

@varrosanon: What? It wasn't perfect but I remember it being pretty good at the time, no?

I dunno anymore.

Posted by buzz_clik
Moderator
Posted by Dimi3je

I wonder what kind of games would Alfred Hitchcock play?

Edited by avantegardener

Hopefully he took a view minutes to tell us why James Wood looks so shit in a leather jacket... Oh and wow, pretty hot scoop, Scoops.

Posted by CharAznable

This makes me like him even more. Good detective work tracking him down, Patrick.

Posted by EveretteScott

I think Big Trouble in Little China would make a great game.

@patrickklepek Carpenter's right: Big Trouble in Little China would make a great game. Unfortunately, this isn't it.

Sleeping Dogs is ALMOST it, especially with that one dlc. Sleeping Dogs total conversion mod, i'd fund it.

Posted by jvalenti57

Carpenter has made some of my favorite movies of all time. Good on you Patrick for getting the email interview!

Posted by DonutFever

Patrick Klepek, Ace Detective.

Posted by HalfDane1975

Cool.

Posted by Rmack

Awesome.

Edited by Snail

Patrick, I kinda love you right now. You brought John Carpenter to Giant Bomb. This is crazy.

This is like some sort of Giant Bomb fanfiction.

"...and then one stormy, Tuesday afternoon, as the skies lay laden in cascades of bible back clouds, Patrick saw a peculiar e-mail in his inbox. A lightning and an instant thunderclash punctuated the moment. The webmaster was real, and he had invited him to intverview the master of horror."

This is one thing I did not expect.

Holy shit.

Posted by johncallahan

This is so awesome. I truly do wish it was longer. Still though, as short as it is I'm still so stoked you managed to do this.

Edited by SixtyXCelph

I would LOVE to see a Big Trouble in Little China video game. Good gods!

Edited by Sferics

Pretty cool.

Posted by Thiago123

What Patrick said as he was posting this story:

"I have come to chew bubble gum and talk to John Carpenter. And I'm all out of bubble gum."

And yes, find out if he's played Amnesia.............

Posted by porjos

"Carpenter: I'd love to work on an original video game. Maybe the opportunity will present itself."

If only....this got me so excited for something that will probably never happen.

Edited by Rrang

Patrick was involved with FEAR 3? Or did I misread something...?

Posted by mrfluke

"And no, I don't think about the mechanics of horror games. I just immerse myself."

awesome. thats how it should be.

nice work.

Posted by GValo

@rrang said:

Patrick was involved with FEAR 3? Or did I misread something...?

Carpenter directed some of the cut scenes in the game, I believe.

Posted by rasko_the_brave

Great Scoop!

Posted by Rrang

@gvalo said:

@rrang said:

Patrick was involved with FEAR 3? Or did I misread something...?

Carpenter directed some of the cut scenes in the game, I believe.

Duhhhh, I read it wrong. He was talking about Carpenter, not him, haha!

Edited by Nyhus

This is so cool. Even though some of Carpenters movies have been a little disappointing, others are masterpieces of horror, and im a big fan. Please, Kleptack, dig deeper into this.

Posted by Ramone

They Live and The Thing are some of my favourite movies of all time so it's awesome to see that the dude that made them is into stuff like The Last of Us and Dead Space.

Edited by WickedFather

@dimi3je said:

I wonder what kind of games would Alfred Hitchcock play?

GTA. Cinematic camera only, talking out a monologue about what makes a man do the things he does. A woman. And what would a man do for a woman? Anything. Even.... murder?

Posted by BR_Interloper

The Thing is one of my favorite movies of all-time; the man is right, if you haven't seen it yet, remedy that IMMEDIATELY.

Great interview!

Posted by Castiel

Well that was cool. I didn't know that Carpenter was a gamer.

Edited by RonGalaxy

Did you guys know carpenter is interested in making a dead space film?

Also, carpenter is a national treasure; he was the master of taking B movie concepts and turning them into great films. I know, he hasnt been at top form in a long time, but he's also the dude who directed Halloween, The Thing, Escape From NY (my personal favorite of his), Big Trouble in Little China, They Live. Such a weird, yet awesome filmography that dude has.

Also http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a522011/the-thing-john-carpenter-open-to-making-original-video-game.html

Im gonna keep an eye on google news to see how many other articles come from this one :)

Posted by Deusx

Oh wow, nicely done Patrick!

Posted by Vanick

Very cool. The Thing is one of my favorite movies.

Edited by Whark

I enjoyed this. Short, to the point, interesting info.

Posted by Counterclockwork87

Typo, "I didn’t, of course. And while Carpetner’s answers are short"

Spelled Carpenter wrong there.

Posted by tonnous24

The Thing remake was fine.

Posted by OneKillWonder_

I can't stress enough how fucking cool this is. Nice work, Patrick! I'd heard that he plays games, but to see him talk about liking some of what I consider my favorites too is somehow really awesome.

That prequel to the The Thing isn't that bad, though. It has its moments.

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