Thursday, November 26, 2015

John Carpenter, part XVII: We sleep


The beloved class warrior classic has so much to recommend itbut not everything.

Written and directed by John Carpenter (based on the very short story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning" by Ray Nelson)
With "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (Nada), Keith David (Frank), Meg Foster (Holly), Peter Jason (Gilbert), Raymond St. Jacques (The Street Preacher), and George "Buck" Flower (The Drifter)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

John Carpenter, part XVI: Party like it's the year one nine nine nine


If only all movies about the Devil could be made with this much obvious joy.

Written and directed by John Carpenter
With Victor Wong (Prof. Birack), Donald Pleasence (Father Loomis), Jameson Parker (Brian), Dennis Dun (Walter), Lisa Blount (Catherine), Anne Marie Howard (Susan), Ann Yen (Lisa), Jesse Lawrence Ferguson (Calder), Dirk Blocker (Mullins), Ken Wright (Lomax), Robert Grasmere (Frank), Thom Bray (Etchison), Peter Jason (Dr. Paul Leahy), Joanna Merlin (The Bag Lady) Alice Cooper (The Street Schizo), and Susan Blanchard (Kelly, and latterly Satan, Son of the Anti-God)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Monday, November 23, 2015

John Carpenter, part XV: I've got a very positive attitude about this


Whipsmart genre-benders don't come much more fun than this; nor, unfortunately, much more difficult to discuss.

Directed by John Carpenter
Written by Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein, W.D. Richter, and John Carpenter
With Dennis Dun (Wang Chi), Kurt Russell (Jack Burton), Kim Cattrall (Gracie Law), Victor Wong (Egg Shen), Donald Li (Eddie), Kate Burton (Margo), Suzee Pai (Miao Yin), Carter Wong (Thunder), Peter Kwong (Rain), James Pax (Lightning), and James Hong (David Lo Pan)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

John Carpenter, part XIV: Riding with death


Offering supercars, Linda Hamilton in a starring role, and evil businessmen who must be thwarted with awesome violence, Black Moon Rising represents one damned fine slice of pure 80s cheese.

Directed by Harley Cokeliss
Written by Desmond Nakano, William Gray, and John Carpenter
With Tommy Lee Jones (Sam Quint), Linda Hamilton (Nina), Richard Jaeckel (Earl Windom), Dan Shor (Billy Lyons), William Sanderson (Tyke Thayden), Lee Ving (Marvin Ringer), Bubba Smith (Johnson), and Robert Vaughn (Ed Ryland)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

John Carpenter, part XIII: It's a real executive production, all right


I'm sure if John freaking Carpenter couldn't make a workable movie out of it, then Stewart Rafill certainly can!  Right?

Directed by Stewart Rafill
Written by Michael Janover, William Gray, Wallace C. Bennett, Don Jakoby, Stewart Rafill, and John Carpenter (super-uncredited) (sort-of based on the book The Philadelphia Experiment-Project Invisibility by Bill Moore and Charles Berlitz)
With Michael Pare (David Herdeg), Nancy Allen (Allison Hayes), Bobby Di Cicco (Jim Parker), and Eric Christmas (Dr. James Longstreet)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Saturday, November 14, 2015

John Carpenter, part XII: He'd like to come and meet us, but he's afraid he'd blow his load


Largely charming, this odd studio effort finds John Carpenter acquitting himself well—despite the necessity of operating pretty far outside of his comfort zone.

Directed by John Carpenter
Written by Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon, Dean Riesner, Edward Zwick, Diane Thomas, and D.B. Cooper
With Karen Allen (Jenny Hayden), Jeff Bridges (The Starman), and Charles Martin Smith (Mark Evans)

Spoiler alert: mild

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

John Carpenter, part XI: God, I hate rock and roll


A great central metaphor and some of the most unique "gore" ever put in a movie combine to make Christine one of John Carpenter's best.

Directed by John Carpenter
Written by Bill Phillips (based on the novel by Stephen King)
With Keith Gordon (Arnie Cunningham), John Stockwell (Dennis Guilder), Alexandra Paul (Leigh Cabot), Robert Prosky (Will Darnell), Harry Dean Stanton (Det. Rudolph Jenkins), William Ostrander (Buddy Eperton), Malcolm Danare (Moochie), Steven Tash (Rich Trelawney), Stuart Charno (Don Vanderburg), Christine Belford (Regina Cunningham), Robert Darnell (Michael Cunningham), and Roberts Blossom (George LeBay)

Spoiler alert: high

Sunday, November 8, 2015

You're my butterfly, sugar, baby


The hard work of monogamy is highlighted in this bizarre, nightmarelike romance that I couldn't recommend more to people who like the gaudiest kind of shit.

2014 (doms)/2015 (subs)
Written and directed by Peter Strickland
With Sidse Babbett Knunsen (Cynthia) and Chiara D'Anna (Evelyn)

Spoiler alert: mild

Thursday, November 5, 2015

John Carpenter, part X: What the Samhain is going on in here?!


Only in the 1980s.  Or, to be fair, on one of the sillier episodes of The X-Files.  But either way, I adore it.

Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by Tommy Lee Wallace, Nigel Kneale, and John Carpenter
With Tom Atkins (Dr. Daniel Challis), Stacey Nelkin (Ellie Grimbridge), Al Berry (Harry Grimbridge), Dick Warlock (The Assassin), and Dan O'Herlihy (Conal Cochran)

Spoiler alert: oh, man, I've gotta go severe on this bad boy

John Carpenter, part IX: That damned thing that Earth wouldn't own is dripping, dripping in the Cosmos House tonight


Perhaps the best practical effects in horror meet the most sustained paranoia in horror, and the result is an abiding nihilism that, somehow, is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.  We arrive now at John Carpenter's very first outright masterpiece.

Directed by John Carpenter
Written by Bill Lancaster (based on the story by John W. Campbell)
With Kurt Russell (McReady), Wilford Brimley (Dr. Blair), Keith David (Childs), T.K. Carter (Nauls), Richard Dysart (Dr. Copper), David Clennon (Palmer), Charles Hallahan (Norris), Peter Maloney (Bennings), Richard Masur (Clark), Donald Moffat (Cmdr. Bennings), Joel Polis (Fuchs), Thomas G. Waites (Windows), Norbert Weisser (The Norwegian), Larry Franco (The Norwegian Passenger), and Jed the Dog (The Thing)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Sunday, November 1, 2015

John Carpenter, part VIII: HE'S NOT HUMAN!


Turns out the most important stuff happened on November 1st.

Directed by Rick Rosenthal ft. John Carpenter
Written by Debra Hill and John Carpenter
With Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode), Donald Pleasence (Dr. Samuel Loomis), Hunter von Leer (Officer Gary Hunt), Lance Guest (Jimmy), Charles Cyphers (Leigh Brackett), and Dick Warlock/Adam Gunn (Michael Myers)

Spoiler alert: largely inapplicable, but "severe," I suppose