REVIEW: Christine [1983]

You have nothing to lose but your virginity. It shouldn’t be surprising to see parallels between John Carpenter‘s Christine and today considering we live in an era where phrases like “boys will be boys” are used to full stop sanitize the increasingly deplorable actions of young white American men. Back in the 1970s when this film (and Stephen King‘s novel on which it is adapted) is set, we would laugh at the so-called “locker room” talk of teenage boys sexualizing their female classmates and knowingly chiding the nerdy kids chiming…

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REVIEW: Halloween III: Season of the Witch [1982]

They’re fun. They’re frightening. And they glow in the dark. After the insane success of John Carpenter‘s Halloween and the modest follow-through of its sequel Halloween II ($70 million on a $300,000 budget and $25.5 million on a $2.5 million budget respectively), the director readied to leave Haddonfield, Laurie Strode, and their malevolent predator behind. How many times can you bring the same supernatural monster back to life anyway? (Wink, wink.) His idea was to therefore pivot the franchise into an anthology series wherein the generic title/holiday would constitute the…

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REVIEW: The Thing [1982]

“That’s going to win someone the Nobel Prize” It may not be the first adaptation of John W. Campbell Jr.‘s novella Who Goes There?, but John Carpenter‘s The Thing is definitely hailed as the most definitive. Unlike The Thing from Another World‘s humanoid adversary, Bill Lancaster (who took over screenwriting duties from an uncredited Tobe Hooper) writes the alien force wreaking havoc on his Antarctic research team as originally envisioned. The terror therefore isn’t conjured as a result of what it is as much as what it can do. An…

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REVIEW: The Inhabitants [2015]

“Sweaty dreams” When you’re setting your New England ghost story against the backdrop of a Salem Witch Trial past, it’s quite the coup to secure a locale as famous as the Noyes-Parris House built in 1669. Now owned by author Glenn Cooper (who serves as executive producer), its historical resonance as the home of Reverend Samuel Parris is felt. It was his daughter Betty and niece Abigail Williams who made the first accusations to begin the tragic true-life events that unfolded. It should be no surprise then that Michael and…

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REVIEW: It Follows [2015]

“How about that woman in the yellow dress?” It was only a matter of time before horror literally made an STD monster. With the trope of sex leading to one’s demise so prevalent in the genre, it makes sense to create a predator that jumps from one potential victim to the next via intercourse. What makes David Robert Mitchell‘s It Follows more than a gimmick is his decision to ensure only those who’ve had the “bug” can see their pursuer. This means sex serves as the act to acquire your…

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REVIEW: Big Trouble in Little China [1986]

“What does that mean: ‘China is here’?” Box office returns aside, John Carpenter made the correct choice deciding to helm supernatural comedy adventure Big Trouble in Little China rather than supernatural comedy adventure The Golden Child back in the mid-80s. While both had similar twenty-five million dollar budgets, it’s hard to believe watching today that the former made back only eleven as the latter rose to almost eighty. This is what happens when your star is a bankable commodity like Eddie Murphy as opposed to an up-and-comer in Kurt Russell.…

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REVIEW: The Golden Child [1986]

“Hey Bird – Did you just see a little Hare-Krishna midget in the tree, floatin’?… Or is it me?” Only in the 80s could a film like The Golden Child be born. And that goes for the comedy it became and the supernatural drama screenwriter Dennis Feldman originally wrote it as with Mel Gibson in the lead and John Carpenter at the helm. Just look at the premise: a young Tibetan child with the power to heal the dead and save our world is kidnapped by a demon, inexplicably brought…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2011: Faces Take the Spotlight

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Thank goodness for the fall season. Not only are the films better, but the artwork generally has its own yummy indie flavor too. Close-up faces covered by sans-serif text reign…

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REVIEW: The Ward [2010]

“Why am I here?” Considering Michael and Shawn Rasmussen wrote The Ward, I think it is a little misleading to preempt the title with its director’s name. To say it is John Carpenter’s The Ward makes audiences believe they’ve been transported to the heyday of his B-movie magnificence of the 70s and 80s. Back then this auteur was a maestro of genre-fare, reinventing the horror with Halloween and adding his own personal flair to actioners such as Escape from New York. Recently, however, one can’t say he’s been as iconic…

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FILM MARATHON: Julia Roberts #2 – Sleeping with the Enemy [1991]

“The broken lights in the darkness would show the way” Oh, the power of the moustache. That patch of hair can make even the most affable man appear the villain, but when you cue the horror music and light his face so it’s in chiaroscuro, the effect is amplified exponentially. No matter how idyllic director Joseph Ruben attempted to shoot the beginning of Sleeping with the Enemy, you can’t help but see through Martin Burney’s smile and calming tonal speech. Julia Roberts’ Laura might sway your belief in the existence…

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REVIEW: The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008]

“Only on the precipice do we evolve” Ah, remakes. Why does Hollywood insist on updating/copying/being inspired by past works, especially when the original was good? The past few years have even seen re-imaginings of John Carpenter films; the guy is still alive and making movies, so why are we redoing his past work from only two decades ago? When it comes to the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, I guess one can at least comprehend the want to infuse some 21st century graphics and effects; it was…

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