John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors and he definitely has one of the most accomplished careers of any director. Admittedly in the last 20 years his movies have been very hit and miss and only shadows of the quality of his past movies. In fact his latest movie 2010`s The Ward was his first feature film since 2001`s Ghosts of Mars, I just hope he puts out a couple more movies before he quiets for good. Anyways here are my top five FAVORITE John Carpenter movies and my number one LEAST favorite;
1. THE THING (1982)
For me this is John Carpenters masterpiece. Its the perfect mixture of science fiction and horror, as well as being probably the best remake ever made. On top of that the special effects are some of the greatest practical effects i`ve ever seen. I could go on and on about how much I love this movie and everything about it but I think you get the idea.
2. Assault On Precinct 13 (1976)
I have to give this movie credit for really being the Carpenter film that made me appreciate and realize how awesome his films are. This movie is one of his very early films and instead of a "horror" film its a brilliant thriller that doesn't hold back.
3. HALLOWEEN (1978)
Halloween is just such a great horror movie in almost ever way. From its iconic soundtrack to its great Halloween season atmosphere this is a film that is a true classic.
4. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)
Another simply brilliant film. It has a amazing cast with Kurt Russel, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgine, Donald Pleasence, etc. Then its title main character Snake Pliskeen is one of the coolest antiheroes since Clint Eastwoods "the man with no name" character. Not to mention the film is just great to look at, the art direction is just amazing.
5. THEY LIVE (1988)
What can I say I just love this crazy movie. Though really "They Live" is a great satire at its core (in a Dawn of the Dead sort of way) but its message doesn't get in the way of the film at all. Instead it succeeds in still being an enjoyable horror film with great dark comedic elements.
That about does it with my top 5 favorite Carpenter film unfortunately a couple that I really loved didn't make the list like The Fog, Christine, and Vampires. All three of those are just really great films that I highly recommend checking out as well. Unfortunately though John Carpenter has made some duds, since the beginning of the 90`s its been real hit and miss for his movies on one hand you have Vampires (1998) and In Mouth of Madness (1994) which actually are really good movies. Then you have Escape From L.A (1996) which I don`t think is that bad of a movie I just think it was forced to live up to impossible standards that audiences were giving it, which is one reason why I think most people despise it, but in my opinion I think its alright not anywhere near as good as New York but an OK movie none the less. Anyways the worst film ever done by John Carpenter is by far:
GHOSTS OF MARS (2001)
Most people will probably agree with me that this movie is Carpenters worst. Its just so bad and its really unfortunate because I feel like it could have been possibly been good. Instead its a lame science fiction film, with a lackluster story, uninspired acting, and really bad dialogue. Unlike with some of his other bad movies like Memoirs of an Invisible Man which is a pretty forgettable film but it at least has some funny moments and Village of the Damned which is a awful remake but does have a few good scenes, Ghosts of Mars has nothing and is one of those bad films that is so bad its hard to finish.