Monster Monday: John Carpenter

Today’s post isn’t about a monster, but, rather, one of the minds behind them. This past weekend The El Rey Network aired the first Director’s Chair. Robert Rodriquez spent an hour talking with legendary director John Carpenter. If you’re a creative type, I highly recommend you give it a watch. John gives some great insight into how he approaches film making, which, I believe directly relates to writing.

You may know John Carpenter from such films as Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, Escape From New York, The Thing, They Live, and Big Trouble In Little China, just to name a few. He is a true master of horror and a man who knows how to make great films. He sticks to his guns, kicks ass, and bows to no one. His rebel spirit is essential to making it in any form of the entertainment business. In the Director’s Chair he says he always tried to make movies he would have loved to see instead of caving in to what the studios wanted.

John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of my favorite movies of all-time. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it. Released in 1982, the film still holds up well today. Not many movies can do that. The special effects, too, are still some of the best I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen The Thing, I would highly encourage you to do so…like right now. You’ll be in for a treat.

Throughout the Director’s Chair, John mentions how he constantly listens to/follows his instincts. As a writer, I try to do the same thing. Growing up with horror I’d like to think I know a little something about what stands out in the genre. From books to film, I’ve been knee deep in horror since the early eighties. One of my earliest memories is going to the drive-in to watch a double feature of John Carpenter’s The Fog and Disney’s The Black Hole. I believe I was four years old. My family has always enjoyed horror and have exposed me to it from an early age. John has always been, and will always be, one of my favorite directors. As fans of whatever genre we write, we know what works and what doesn’t, even if we aren’t consciously aware of the reasons. Deep down we know what makes for interesting fiction because of our exposure.

It’s because of people like John Carpenter that I love and write horror. His passion and gift for storytelling helped inspire me. For that, I’d like to thank him.

At one point, John raises a fist and says, “Horror lives forever, man.” I can’t imagine a better send off.

You can follow John Carpenter on twitter here:

John Carpenter’s official website can be found here:


One comment

  1. Because of you, I just spent half an hour watching “Thing” clips, lol. I’ve never seen the ’82 version. I’ve only seen the newer version because it was on tv.
    Sometimes I think that the newer special effects in horror movies look too real. Like, they should keep the older effects in play, like with the clips I just watched. And I just said too many “like”s in one sentence. If the things inside horror movies were real, they wouldn’t look so damn real, you know? Sometimes I think they kill the creepy magic of it all. 😉 But then sometimes old movies are just too corny for me. The Thing actually looks good.
    I’ll let you know if I ever get a chance to watch the ’82 version. I just can’t stand some of the older, cheesy movies and so I’ve never seen any old movies at all, as my family took that to mean no old movies. …..that was repetitive. I’m going to shut up now.

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