Giant Bomb's 2014 John Carpenter Interview

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patrickklepek

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Edited By patrickklepek

When I was putting together Shocktober last year, the idea of legendary horror director John Carpenter giving me a few minutes of his time seemed ridiculous. But I sent off an email, and forgot about it. Then, for whatever reason, Carpenter actually got back to me, and he's been featured on the site a few times now.

No Caption Provided

Fortunately for everyone, 2014 is no different. Though Carpenter is a man of few words, I'll take any words from the director who's brought me some of my favorite films over the years.

If you're wondering why Carpenter might be featured on Giant Bomb, that's a good question. One, we do what we want. Two, Carpenter has talked publicly about his love for video games many times in the past. He even submitted a top ten list for our game of the year feature last year, naming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag his favorite of 2013. If we're lucky, he'll be back for another round at the end of the year.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. As Shocktober 2014 nears an end, here's what Carpenter had to say.

Giant Bomb:Can you share what video games have you been playing this year? What have been some of your favorites, and why?

John Carpenter: I’m addicted to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel just like I was Borderlands 2 and its add-ons. Murdered was an interesting game. I was somewhat disappointed by aspects of Destiny; nonetheless, I've played it numerous times.

GB: Have you played with an Oculus Rift at all? It's a virtual reality headset for video games. Many suspect it could be the future of horror. What do you think?

Carpenter: No, and no thanks.

GB: Are you going to play Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within? It's a good year for horror games, and Alien: Isolation is excellent.

Carpenter: I’ll play both.

GB: Do you actually get scared playing horror games or watching horror movies? Can you recall a moment that particularly frightened you?

Carpenter: I don’t get frightened as much as I get anxious for what’s about to happen to my character.

GB: Last year, you mentioned an interest in making a horror video game. Has anything changed since then? Do you have any idea what kind of game you might make?

Carpenter: What makes a game great is its design and gameplay. A number of fascinating video game stories can be written but they need the design/gameplay to make them soar

GB: My final question doesn't have to do with games, but I wanted to ask about the legacy of the Halloween series. You tried to close the book on Michael Myers with the second film, but he keeps coming back. Why do you think Michael Myers continues to resonate, and does any part of you wish the series had ended after Halloween II?

Carpenter: I wish the only Halloween made was the first one. I felt that there was no more story after the original. But audiences wanted to see Michael Myers return again and again. Or maybe it was producers who wanted him to return again and again for reasons having to do with profit.

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sub_o

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MooseyMcMan

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Even John Carpenter plays Destiny despite disappointments!

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Drekly

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I was somewhat disappointed by aspects of Destiny; nonetheless, I've played it numerous times.

Oh we best friends.

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IzunaDrop

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Even John Carpenter plays Destiny despite disappointments!

Space Marine Dolly Dress-up is a seductive juggernaut.

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Lazlow

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#5  Edited By Lazlow

Man John Carpenter is so cool.

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AimlessAJ

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The continuation of the Halloween series is really interesting to me. Not a single one of those films (excluding the first one) has above a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. How can a series continue like that without somebody stopping and thinking "well we've made five of these things and they're all shit except the first one... maybe we shouldn't make another one?" it's fucking crazy. Cool article Patrick, thanks for the write up.

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takeshikitano3

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bigwinnerx

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Too funny that he's trying to get his $60 out of Destiny, too.

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Torrim

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If I recall, he was one of the reasons Halloween III was so different. I think he or possibly some other producers wanted the idea of Halloween movies to be centered around the holiday rather than the one character. Turns out people would rather associate Halloween movies with Michael Meyers and the movie bombed, and he was quickly brought back and his return heavily advertised.

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hassun

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I hope he will continue to do this. We need to motivate him!

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cyberfunk

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#11  Edited By cyberfunk

@patrickklepek Great job! Will there be a John Carpenter top ten list for GOTY 2014 like there was last year?

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madmatt213

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John Carpenter will always be one of the all time greats.

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fobwashed

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#13  Edited By fobwashed

I need to rewatch those Halloween movies... How many of them are actually good?

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The_Nubster

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I need to rewatch those Halloween movies... How many of them are actually good?

The first is good, the second is acceptable. Don't bother past there and please god don't even give mind to the Rob Zombie films, not even out of curiosity.

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macog

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@fobwashed: One is great and Two is good. Three is interesting and has nothing to do with the other movies. After that you are talking crazy weird horror movie stories and that can be fun but they are nothing to write home about... H20 is actually pretty interesting.

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fattony12000

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I'd run the raid on hard mode with John Carpenter in my fireteam. Any day.

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I_Stay_Puft

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#17  Edited By I_Stay_Puft

We need to find out what are his thoughts on Solid Snake and the blatant rip off of Snake Plisskin.

Even still what a nice read. John Carpenter is such a fascinating and from what it sounds like it a cool dude.

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Yummylee

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@the_nubster said:

@fobwashed said:

I need to rewatch those Halloween movies... How many of them are actually good?

The first is good, the second is acceptable. Don't bother past there and please god don't even give mind to the Rob Zombie films, not even out of curiosity.

Halloween 4 & H20 are OK, least I certainly enjoyed them.

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Lab392

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#19  Edited By Lab392

Oculus horror: "No, and no thanks."

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ShaggE

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I love that you can continually get John Carpenter every year. That gives me the happies.

Also, while I like the whole series both good and bad, I agree with him that Halloween should have been a one-off. The continually more bizarre contrivances they had to come up with to keep bringing Michael and Loomis back are some of the most egregious in the genre.

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randomfella21

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The continuation of the Halloween series is really interesting to me. Not a single one of those films (excluding the first one) has above a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. How can a series continue like that without somebody stopping and thinking "well we've made five of these things and they're all shit except the first one... maybe we shouldn't make another one?" it's fucking crazy. Cool article Patrick, thanks for the write up.

They turn a profit. As long as they continue to make the studio money they will continue to make them.

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LarryDavis

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#22  Edited By LarryDavis

Fuck Halloween, The Thing is the best horror movie of all time.

And Escape From New York is probably the second-best action movie, after Die Hard. John Carpenter rules.

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GeneralBison

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Great interview! I need to raid with John Carpenter

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conmulligan

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#24 conmulligan  Online

I'm not sure why, but the very idea of John Carpenter playing and being disappointing with Destiny brings a smile to my face.

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bigmess

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Maaan, I really hope John Carpenter makes a game. I want a Prince of Darkness game where you play as homeless Alice Cooper, killing dudes with broken bike frames and spreading the power of Satan.

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rcath

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I thought the 2nd Halloween was pretty good IMHO.

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Gabriel

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In the Mouth of Madness Point and Click game is what is needed right now.

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SirOptimusPrime

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I'm not sure why, but the very idea of John Carpenter playing and being disappointing with Destiny brings a smile to my face.

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hatking

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I actually like Rob Zombie's work with the Halloween movies.

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csl316

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A Murdered shout out? Cool.

Even Carpenter can't escape Destiny, yikes.

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fobwashed

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@yummylee: @macog: @the_nubster: I may just stick with 1 and 2 to be safe.... maybe even just the first one because it sounds like it was intended to be a one off thing anyway.

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I_Stay_Puft

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#32  Edited By I_Stay_Puft

@randomfella21 said:
@aimlessaj said:

The continuation of the Halloween series is really interesting to me. Not a single one of those films (excluding the first one) has above a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. How can a series continue like that without somebody stopping and thinking "well we've made five of these things and they're all shit except the first one... maybe we shouldn't make another one?" it's fucking crazy. Cool article Patrick, thanks for the write up.

They turn a profit. As long as they continue to make the studio money they will continue to make them.

Yep until the 6th one those films were #1 in the box office on their release week. Not sure how the latter films did but I'm sure the Halloween franchise still carries some weight during October.

Another thing which isn't stated is John Carpenter still gets some royalties with every Halloween film released. Not sure how much but he still gets some sort of compensation so it's not all that bad.

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Ravelle

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@fobwashed said:

I need to rewatch those Halloween movies... How many of them are actually good?

The first is good, the second is acceptable. Don't bother past there and please god don't even give mind to the Rob Zombie films, not even out of curiosity.

I liked the Rob Zombie Halloween, Malcolm McDowell is in it.

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Foggen

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You can tell this was an email interview. Terse responses with no follow-up. That's unfortunate.

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ICantBeStopped

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He's a legend and stuff, but he doesn't really answer questions.

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Gabriel

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I agree with him about Halloween. That movie didn't need a sequel. Red Letter Media recently did a commentary track on Halloween and its great. You guys should give it a listen.

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PoorTommy

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"No, and no thanks." In other words, NEVER.

Loading Video...

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ripelivejam

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So can we consider John Carpenter a friend of the site now? :)

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bybeach

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#39  Edited By bybeach

I've always liked John Carpenter, and not just for his straight up horror, cinema-wise. I also really liked his soundtracks.

As for Mr. Carpenter himself, he is set in his ways for whatever reasons. But I get a kick out of the fact that here is another senior person getting off of video games. it can really help keeping agile cognitively.

That said, he could have said a little bit more than yep or nope though. Nothing to stop him giving a few thoughts of his own, if after all he accepted the interview.

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Lausebub

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#40  Edited By Lausebub

Uh, nice mention of Murdered there. I might have to grab that game at some point. It seems cheesy as hell, which is only a good thing if you are aware of it beforehand and try to embrace that.

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Novis

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I can't believe this is real. AGAIN! I mean, it's John Freakin' Carpenter! And he plays video games. I don't understand! The world is a very strange place.

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MediumDave

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#42  Edited By MediumDave

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is pretty neat. It has nothing to do with OG Halloween, Carpenter wanted to make an anthology series about the holiday. The second, shitty, Halloween gave them a chance to do something different with 3, but that majorly underperformed, so they went back to Michael Myers.

The first is an absolute fucking CLASSIC, though, so if you must watch one, do that one.

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Heycalvero

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So John Carpenter agrees with Jeff: Destiny is the most disappointing game of the year.

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Snail

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#44  Edited By Snail

Patrick this whole John Carpenter x Giant Bomb thing you've pulled together is the most awesome thing you've ever done for the site, and I hope you keep iterating on it. Maybe one day you'll have a full on audio interview!

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iBushido

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The continuation of the Halloween series is really interesting to me. Not a single one of those films (excluding the first one) has above a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. How can a series continue like that without somebody stopping and thinking "well we've made five of these things and they're all shit except the first one... maybe we shouldn't make another one?" it's fucking crazy. Cool article Patrick, thanks for the write up.

Well, I would guess that they keep making them because they keep making a profit. The producers don't care if the movie is good, as long as it makes a profit. As to why people would keep buying tickets to movies that aren't good, I would guess it mostly has to do with a longing for recreating that first experience. People want it again so bad that they'll buy into any hype about a sequel and let themselves believe it'll satisfy their need.

Personally, I enjoy most of the Halloween movies. I think 1 was amazing, 2 was a decent follow-up, 4 and 5 were fun and still had that good Halloween vibe, and H20 was a good enough movie with a great way to end the series. 3 isn't a Halloween movie and 6 was meh. Everything after H20 is garbage.

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iBushido

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@gabriel said:

In the Mouth of Madness Point and Click game is what is needed right now.

Haha That game would be hilarious.

Strange guy: Do you read SUTTER CANE?

You frantically clicking yes: Yes! I click YES! I agree with everything you say! Sutter Cane is the best! Totally! I'll be going now! Byyeeeeeeeee..... (runs away).

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koolaid

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"Or maybe it was producers who wanted him to return again and again for reasons having to do with profit."

Oh my god, John Carpenter is just as awesome as i imagined him to be!

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RonGalaxy

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#49  Edited By RonGalaxy

Ask him why it's so fucking hard to find a copy of The Thing on Blu Ray in stores (not counting barnes and noble). Even Amazon is telling me I have to wait like 15 days before Ill get it, and that's with 2 day shipping. Copies of the shitty prequel aren't hard to come by though (not surprising).

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MannyMAR

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John Carpenter is the man. So many great movies under that guy's belt. I'm not going to lie, if he ever decided to make a game I would love something in the vein of They Live. I'm sure Jeff would probably agree with me on that.

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