Halloween is slated to end Friday, but it began in 1979 with John Carpenter. He’s had a long and diverse career, crafting a number of spooky films. As his horror legacy continues in the conclusion of a modern trilogy this weekend, I thought I’d look back at five classic Carpenter films not named Halloween!
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
About: This one bowed before Halloween, finding a street gang declaring war on a local police precinct. It’s a clever idea but it didn’t have a huge budget, which you can tell watching the production. That’s a hallmark of many of Carpenter’s films. This one also got a re-make—starring Ethan Hawke—in 2005.
The Fog (1980)
About: Another classic Carpenter horror movie, and another film starring Jamie Lee Curtis. In this one, a fog sweeps over a coastal California town, bringing with it vengeful pirates. Much like the first film on this list, The Fog got a modern re-make in 2005. Save your time, watch the original.
Escape From New York (1982)
About: Carpenter had fruitful relationship with star Kurt Russell. In this one, he plays Snake Plissken, a former soldier now banished to the prison colony established in New York. He’s tasked with saving the President of the United States, played by Donald Pleasance. This was the first of two films featuring Russell in this role, and it’s a classic.
The Thing (1982)
About: Russell is back, this time as a pilot that has to try and survive something that’s been found at a remote research base in Antarctica. Russell is great and this is probably one of Carpenter’s most iconic films. Unsurprisingly, it was also re-made in 2011. The original is still the best version.
About: This tale of a killer car was brought to life by Carpenter from a story by Stephen King. It became something of an iconic collaboration for both. This is a fun film for what it is and one of the more memorable in Carpenter’s run in the early 1980s.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
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