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#1 Posted by wrecks (2659 posts) -

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#2 Posted by wrecks (2659 posts) -

Inspired by the Tarantino Poll.

John Carpenter was insanly prolific during the 80s and early 90s. Having grown up in the 80s, his films hold a special place in my heart. His later films had a sudden drop in quality and vision, yet still have that signature JC style. The fact that he also scored many of his films places him in the pantheon of great directors for me and I have always been disaponted that he never got his mojo back.

I'm not asking about his best film which is clearly The Thing. I'm curious as to your favorite. For some that might also be The Thing. For me it is Escape From New York. Something about the bleak post-apoc vibe, Snake, The Duke, Brain, Cabbie, Maggie, Hauk, all just hit me in the right spot.

I'm leaving out his made for TV movies and just sticking to theatrical releases.

So what's yours?

Avatar image for roomrunner
#3 Posted by Roomrunner (1602 posts) -

Almost wanted to pick The Ward to be a dick.

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#4 Posted by stonepawfox (237 posts) -

I never get tired of watching The Thing. I have a soft spot for They Live but most of it is pretty dull.

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#5 Posted by Redbullet685 (6455 posts) -

The Thing. Just re-watched it the other day and I still love that movie so much. Those effects are still some of the best.

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#6 Posted by D0tti (803 posts) -

The Thing without any doubt. Love Escape from New York aswell though.

Avatar image for seppli
#7 Edited by Seppli (11232 posts) -

Wanted to pick "They Live", but ended up picking "The Thing" (due to acute sleepiness) - however, not a bad choice. And aren't there a couple of his flicks missing, like "Eastern Promises"?

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#8 Posted by JJOR64 (19686 posts) -


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#9 Edited by wrecks (2659 posts) -

@Seppli: You're thinking of David Cronenberg

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#10 Posted by Veektarius (6152 posts) -

@Seppli: Is there an Eastern Promises that wasn't directed by Kronenberg?

I picked Big Trouble in Little China. Very fun movie. James Hong's best performance.

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#11 Posted by leinad44 (620 posts) -

Ghosts of Mars.......Nah its The Thing. I really like They Live, Escape from New York, Halloween and Prince of Darkness too though. The Thing is just one of the most well executed horror films I've scene. Some of the best practical effects out there.

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#12 Posted by Seppli (11232 posts) -

@Veektarius said:

@Seppli: Is there an Eastern Promises that wasn't directed by Kronenberg?

I picked Big Trouble in Little China. Very fun movie. James Hong's best performance.

Oh man, I'm getting Cronenberg and Carpenter mixed up in my head again. My bad.

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#13 Posted by bananaz (272 posts) -

The Thing was genius. But In the Mouth of Madness is a close second for me, personally. I love that movie, man.

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#14 Posted by koolaid (1410 posts) -

Easy question. The Thing is the best.

But Big Trouble is so great for such different reasons, its hard to pick one over the other.

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#15 Posted by GunstarRed (6044 posts) -

I'm a big Carpenter fan, like LOVE John Carpenter, I even see worth in both Ghosts of Mars and Escape from LA, but this is a hard question. The Thing is his best movie from one angle, buuuuut Big Trouble, The Fog, They Live... Escape from New York...fuck!

The Thing, NY... No, Big Trouble.

Fuck you question, I'm going with The Ward.

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#16 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (703 posts) -

I always enjoy watching the Thing. One of my favorite movies.

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#17 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2485 posts) -

Big Trouble In Little China, love that film for its silliness.

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#18 Posted by GunstarRed (6044 posts) -

@wrecks: Did you ever see the two episodes of that Horror TV show he did, the one about Satan's Baby with Ron Perlman was rubbish, but Cigarette Burns was great, Carpenter at his goriest. It even had Daryl from The Walking Dead in it.

It's a real shame about The Ward though, just boring.

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#19 Posted by PSNgamesun (444 posts) -

The Thing is a fucking masterpiece so yeah I choose the thing. I would follow that with Big Trouble Little China, its basically part of my child hood so yeah I love that movie too.

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#20 Posted by wrecks (2659 posts) -

@GunstarRed: I did! I remember hoping that those would be a jumping off point for him to really get back into filmmaking. Alas, not to be.

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#21 Posted by gaminghooligan (1821 posts) -

The Thing. However I am an unapologetic fan of Ghosts of Mars. Perfect movie to kick back, drink some beers, and watch. Also I have framed posters for Escape from NY and Assault on Precinct 13 in my apartment so I have to show some love for them as well.

Avatar image for joshthebear
#22 Posted by joshthebear (2704 posts) -
  1. The Thing
  2. Big Trouble In Little China
  3. They Live
  4. Escape From New York
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#23 Posted by ArtisanBreads (8307 posts) -

Glad to see The Thing so far ahead. Faith in humanity.

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#24 Posted by CptBedlam (4514 posts) -

@gaminghooligan said:

The Thing. However I am an unapologetic fan of Ghosts of Mars. Perfect movie to kick back, drink some beers, and watch.

That's what Vampires is for me. Love the soundtrack. It's not a particularly well made movie but I have a soft spot for it.

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#25 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4714 posts) -

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#26 Edited by graf1k (622 posts) -

I love Escape from New York, I really love They Live and I really, REALLY love Big Trouble in Little China. But I FUCKING LOVE The Thing. The practical effects and make up are some of the most hideous, heinous shit I've ever seen and that cast. THAT CAST. I mean yeah, Kurt Russell, but also Keith Motherfucking David, Wilfred Brimley, TK Carter, POTUS from Clear and Present Danger (Whenever I see that dude's face I just hear Harrison Ford saying "No, how dare YOU sir!") and the fucking dude from The Warriors that gets thrown in front of a subway car like 20 minutes in as Windows.

Vampires was kind of shit but James Woods made it kind of okay. Ghosts of Mars SUUUUUUUUUUCKED!

Avatar image for subjugation
#27 Posted by Subjugation (4966 posts) -

I'm not even here to comment on the thread. I just wanted to thank OP for creating the Bombcast Watitng Room. Thank you OP.

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#28 Posted by Patchcoat (293 posts) -
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#29 Posted by fox01313 (5226 posts) -

Too many to pick from here between Big Trouble in Little China, They Live, Halloween, In the Mouth of Madness, the Thing & Prince of Darkness. These all win to me as he's been a great filmmaker & even funnier while on some of the commentaries I've listened to like the one on Christine, movie itself wasn't great but the dvd commentary with him made it 100% better.

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#30 Posted by wrecks (2659 posts) -

@Subjugation: You are most welcome :)

Kinda going how I thought it would and The Thing does deserve the love. Really, JC is the quintessential 80s director. All the films perfectly fit the time. You could make arguements for Spielberg and John Hughes, but you would be wrong.

I've been trying to arange my favs. Hard to do, so many great flicks. Here's my Top 5:

1. Escape From New York

2. The Thing

3. Big Trouble in Little China

4. Prince of Darkness

5. They Live

Also... relevant:

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#31 Posted by vilhelmnielsen (1770 posts) -

I mean, The Thing is one of the greatest horror movies ever made. That's it.

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#32 Posted by Kevin_Cogneto (1675 posts) -

No question, The Thing is John Carpenter's best movie. But Big Trouble in Little China is my favorite.

Avatar image for theht
#33 Edited by TheHT (14420 posts) -

escape from la. though i saw big trouble last night and that was something special.

that's right, i said L.A.

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#34 Edited by DarkTravesty (333 posts) -

the thing, they live and big trouble in little china.

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#35 Posted by Daneian (1308 posts) -

The Thing, Bug Trouble, and BOTH Escape movies.

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#36 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (578 posts) -

The Thing stands as his best, and my favorite, followed closely by They Live. Last year, around Halloween I think, I embarked on a quest to see all of his movies that I hadn't seen before. I was kind of surprised by some of my reactions. I really expected to like Ghosts of Mars and Starman but walked away feeling a bit meh. I was downright shocked that I enjoyed Memoirs of an Invisible Man so much and did a 180 on my opinion of In the Mouth of Madness. Looking at the list I now realize that there are a shitload of his movies that I love.

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#37 Posted by oraknabo (1733 posts) -

How is the Ward ahead of Assault on Precinct 13? That's one of his top 5.

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#38 Posted by thomasnash (1056 posts) -

I can't claim to have seen all (or even half) of these movies. I picked Escape from NY because it is probably the one I am most likely to be like "oh I have to watch that" if it's on tv, and I have fond memoriesof watching it with my dad when I was younger.

Most of these films I've watched with my girlfriend, which gives me a certain amount of perspective on some of these, I think, because she really isn't a fan. I love the Thing for its FX and it's tension but I have to admit from long conversations with her that it's pacing is kind of off and there's too many characters who aren't really developed. Still love it though.

I think if I was being really honest with myself I would say that his most successful (in a non-commercial sense) film is Halloween. All that John Carpenter stuff just really comes together in that movie.

As an aside, I absolutely love John Carpenter's soundtracks. People talk a lot about the influence Vangelis had on electronic music with his Blade Runner soundtrack, but when I listen to Kuedo or something I hear just as much john carpenter in there as vangelis. I have to admit though, if you took away his kickass soundtracks, the Escape movies at the very least wouldn't hold up half as well.

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#39 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2045 posts) -

Well, my favorite is The Thing (one of my favorite movies of all time, in fact) followed closely by Escape From New York. Big Trouble is pretty good too.

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#40 Posted by butano (1997 posts) -

Out of the 3 I've seen, I think I enjoyed They Live the most. The Thing was fine, but I generally don't like horror movies.

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#41 Posted by Vonocourt (2193 posts) -
  1. The Thing
  2. They Live
  3. Big Trouble

Safe picks, but whatever.

Avatar image for spike_kojima
#42 Posted by Spike_Kojima (59 posts) -

Christine is a film i saw as a child, killer cars haunted my nightmares. A close second is Escape from New York, That soundtrack ,amongst other things, is fantastic.

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I follow him on twitter, he sometimes talks about video games he plays.

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#43 Posted by Stonyman65 (3646 posts) -

Big Trouble in Little China is the greatest movie ever made.

Escape From New York and The Thing are awesome too!

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#44 Posted by probablytuna (4968 posts) -

How could anyone not pick The Thing? Easily one of the best movies ever made.

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#45 Posted by wrecks (2659 posts) -

So crazy that they are talking all about Carpenter movies on the Bombcast this week. Really, I must be psychic.

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#46 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3413 posts) -


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#47 Posted by Dr_Ventum (72 posts) -

The Thing is one of the greatest horror movies I've ever seen.

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#48 Posted by Discoman (190 posts) -

1. The Thing

2. Escape From New York

3. Big Trouble in Little China

Avatar image for jrinswand
#49 Posted by Jrinswand (1745 posts) -
  1. The Thing
  2. The Fog
  3. They Live
  4. Starman
  5. Escape From New York

These are the only good John Carpenter movies. Halloween is terrible, but even that craptastic film is better than Big Trouble in Little China.

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#50 Posted by eskimo (502 posts) -

Don't make me choose!

They've all got this awesome feel to them. There was some adventure game that came out a few years ago that gave me a heavy fog vibe, so I loved it.

MAN! Such great American Horror, in the tradition of Lovecraft, Poe, King and co.