Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Wit and Wisdom of John Carpenter

Compare and contrast the wit and wisdom of "internet pundits" with John Carpenter (from a recent interview on

Internet Pundits (IP): "All these remakes of horror films are proof that Hollywood has run out of ideas."

Moviemaker (MM): What’s up with all these remakes? It feels as if your whole filmography is being recycled.

John Carpenter (JC): It’s a brand new world out there in terms of trying to get advertising. There’s so much going on that if you come up with a movie that people have never heard of they don’t pay attention to it — no matter how good it is. So it becomes, “Let’s remake something that maybe rings a bell and that you’ve heard of before.” That way, you’re already ahead.
IP: "Remakes should stay true to the spirit of the original film."
MM: Is it true that when you heard Rob Zombie was remaking Halloween, you gave him your blessing?

JC: Sure, why not? We talked about it. He told me what he had in mind, and I just said, ‘Make it your own film, man. Don’t worry about the original. Just do what you want to do.
IP: "Rob Zombie is (to be polite) an untalented director."
MM: Do you feel better about it because he’s a director whom you like and trust?

JC: It’s not a question of trust. It’s not that I don’t trust anybody but Rob. He is fine to do it — he loves horror films, he’s a very talented guy and I like him personally.
IP: "Rob Zombie raped the Halloween franchise, John Carpenter and/or my childhood with his remakes."
MM: What was your reaction to the protest on Sunset Boulevard? It was reported that people were holding signs that said things like “Rob is raping a classic.”

JC: Aw, those are all homeless people. You can’t pay attention to that. They were panhandling.

MM: But those are your fans!

JC: Those are my only fans. They all live under freeways. Poor Rob. He gets a whole ration of shit from people. I don’t understand it.
IP: "Classic horror films don't need to be remade."
MM: Some just think this version is unnecessary.

JC: They’re not unhappy about Rick Rosenthal [who directed Halloween II and Halloween: Resurrection], but they’re pissed off about Rob? Please! The protests are only going to increase the number of people who go to see the movie—that’s all they’re going to do. Not my fans, because they can’t afford it—they’re just trying to get some money to buy drugs. (laughs) But everybody else will say, “I heard about that protest. We better go check it out.”
IP: "Torture porn is destroying modern horror."
MM: With the current wave of horror movies such as Hostel, Saw and The Hills Have Eyes scoring at the box office, it seems safe to assume that Halloween, Escape from New York and The Thing will likely be gorier and more violent than the originals. That’s ironic, considering that when The Thing  was released, it was attacked for having too much “pornographic violence.” I guess today’s audiences are more conditioned to handle that kind of intensity.

JC: Yeah, but that’s what happens. And that’s okay.

MM: Wow, you really don’t have a problem with any of this, do you?

JC: Why should I? I don’t understand what I’m supposed to be upset about.
I've been saying the same things for years. I had no idea how much I have in common with John Carpenter.