John Carpenter

John Carpenter photo

Gender: Male

Birth Place: Carthage, New York, USA

John Howard Carpenter was born on January 16, 1948 in Carthage, New York, USA. His parents are Milton Jean and music professor Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky when John was about five years old. John began filming horror shorts on 8mm film before entering high school because he was in love with horror movies from a young age. He went to Western Kentucky University after graduating high school and then transferred in 1968 to the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He wrote and directed 8-minute film Captain Voyeur. Captain Voyeur was an interesting piece that was partially used in Halloween (1978). He was the co-writer with John Longenecker, editor and composer for The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970). The film had 60 prints made, was enlarged to 35mm and Universal Studios theatrically released it to the USA and Canada for two years. That film won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

He is a 6' (1.83 m) American film director, composer, screenwriter, producer and editor. He has 39-writing credits, 14 acting credits, 9-producer credits, 24-soundtrack credits, 22-composer credits, 22-music department credit and 3-editor credits. Some of his alias names are Frank Armitage, Johnny Carpenter, James T. Chance, John T. Chance, Rip Haight and Martin Quatermass. John’s first film to direct that hit big was a science fiction dark comedy, Dark Star in 1974. He was the co-writer with Dan O’Bannon. The movie cost about $60,000.00 to make, and it was difficult because John was also a composer and producer.

John met actress Adrienne Barbeau in 1978 on the set of his TV movie; Someone's Watching Me. John married Adrienne on January 1, 1979 and divorced on September 14, 1984. They had one son John Cody Carpenter on May 7, 1984. John then married producer Sandy King in 1990. Sandy produced some of John’s films; They Live (1988), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), Escape from L.A. (1996) and Ghosts of Mars (2001). Sandy was also the script supervisor of Starman (1984), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987). They now reside in West Hollywood, California. John said his son Cody got him addicted to video games. He is also a big fan of The Beach Boys, Howard Hawks and Godzilla films. He is a fanatic for NBA games and had a satellite dish installed on his trailer so he can keep up with the games.

John is most popular for his science fiction and horror movies. Some movies he is famous for are:

Dark Star (1974)
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
The Fog (1980)
The Thing (1982)
Starman (1984)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
They Live (1988)

He turned down the chance to direct Top Gun (1986), Armed and Dangerous (1986), The Golden Child (1986), Fatal Attraction (1987), Planet Terror (2007), Zombieland (2009) and a few other movies.

John said his five favorite films are Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Citizen Kane (1941), Vertigo (1958), Rio Bravo (1959) and Blow-Up (1966).

There is two biographical movies on video about John:

- Celluloid Apocalypse: An Interview with John Carpenter (2006)
- Working with a Master: John Carpenter (2006)

John Carpenter photo was featured on three magazine covers:

- July 1980, Vol. 10, Iss. 1 in Cinefantastique (USA)
- September 1993, Iss. 126 in Fangoria (USA)
- March 2011, Iss. 4 in Scream (UK)

There was four articles written about John Carpenter:

- 1995, February - Cinefantastique (USA), Vol. 26, Iss. 2, pg. 44 & 45 - Carpenter: Directing IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS a la H.P. Lovecraft - By Alan Jones John
- 1996, September - Film Comment (USA), Vol. 32, Iss. 5, pg. 50-5 - John Carpenter's Guilty Pleasures
- 2001, September - Request (USA), pg. 34 - Director's Chair: John Carpenter - By James Diers
- 2008, August - The Village Voice (USA) - John Carpenter Lives in a BAM Retrospective - By Scott Foundas


Title - The Films of John Carpenter
Author - John Kenneth Muir
Year - 2000
Publisher - Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., Inc.,
ISBN - 0786407255

Title - Order in the Universe: The Films of John Carpenter (2nd ed.)
Author - Robert C. Cumbow
Year - 2000
Publisher - Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press
ISBN - 0810837196

Title - The Films of John Carpenter. An Auteur of Isolation: A Critical Analysis of a Genre Filmmaker's Body of Work
Author - Christian Genzel
Year - 2009
Publisher - Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller
ISBN - 978-3-639-16845-7


“Things haven't been going great lately. For a while now people haven't really been getting my movies. Certainly the box office hasn't been up to speed. Sure, some of my recent stuff hasn't been perfect, but neither has it been the shit that many have said. Critically, it's all become a bit of a crapshoot. The critics thought I was a bum when I started out and they think I'm a bum now”
“The Blair Witch Project (1999) is a movie that I really don't think ever had a director. It's one of the few movies I've ever seen that didn't have one”

“Another trend is a lot of women are going to see horror films. That's a really welcome development for horror... It actually has a broadened audience. I think most studios recognize that there is a real potential in horror, if you can find something new and unique. For a while it was a lot of remaking of Japanese horror films that have a whole different way of approaching a story - some of which translates quite well in this country. It is fascinating to watch for a guy who worked in the horror trenches”

“We're a violent country. We always have been. We embrace our individuality and our violence”

“In France, I'm an auteur; in Germany, a filmmaker; in Britain; a genre film director; and, in the USA, a bum”

“I don't deny that commercial success means a lot to me, the best reviews you can get are at the box office”

“”I have always had different aspects to my personality. I think I'm a long-term pessimist and a short-term optimist. I do feel a great darkness about humanity. But -- simultaneously and contradictorily -- I also feel that life can be pretty fabulous. I should also express some of that in my work; I don't want to limit myself as a filmmaker. I want to be true to the parameters of all films. They should create a mood and tingle you emotionally. That is what I'm after. I want the audience to experience some feeling. I want them to know they're alive”

Director John Carpenter Movies / Films:

The Ward (2010) aka John Carpenter's The Ward (2010) "Masters of Horror" (2005) Ghosts of Mars (2001) aka John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001) Vampires (1998) aka John Carpenter's Vampires, Vampire$ (1998) Escape from L.A. (1996) aka John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. (1996) Village of the Damned (1995) aka John Carpenter's Village of the Damned (1995) In the Mouth of Madness (1994) aka John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (1994) They Live (1988) aka John Carpenter's They Live, They Live! (1988) Prince of Darkness (1987) aka John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness (1987) Big Trouble in Little China (1986) aka John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China (1986) Christine (1983) aka John Carpenter's Christine (1983) The Thing (1982) aka John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) Escape from New York (1981) aka John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981) The Fog (1980) aka John Carpenter's The Fog (1980) Halloween (1978) aka John Carpenter's Halloween, The Babysitter Murders (1978)

Reviewed Movies Directed by John Carpenter

  • John Carpenter's the Ward (2010)

    John Carpenter's the Ward 2010

    Acclaimed director John Carpenter makes his long awaited return to the screen with a thriller about a young woman in a 1960s mental institution who becomes terrorized by malevolent unseen forces. Kristen,…

  • Ghosts of Mars (2001)

    Ghosts of Mars 2001

    From John Carpenter, the master of horror behind 1998's hit John Carpenter's Vampires and classics like The Thing and Halloween, comes a sci-fi thriller full of explosive action and bone-chilling…

  • Escape from New York (2000)

    Escape from New York 2000

    A thrilling landmark film that jolts along at a breakneck pace, Escape From New York leapt to cult status with high-octane action, edge-of-your-seat suspense and a mind-blowing vision of a lone warrior…

  • John Carpenter's Vampires (1998)

    John Carpenter's Vampires 1998

    John Carpenter's Vampires stars James Woods as the leader of a group of vampire hunters. This vampire movie gives us a great western feel from the New Mexico setting. The opening scene is great because…

  • Escape From L.A. (1996)

    Escape From L.A. 1996

    Escape From L.A. (1996) is an American science fiction action adventure movie that is also known as John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. (1996). Director John Carpenter (Halloween (1978), Escape from…

  • Children of the Damned (1995)

    Children of the Damned 1995

    Once you have seen "Village of the Damned" it is pretty much inevitable that you will check out "Children of the Damned," although you will find it impossible to avoid being less impressed…

  • In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

    In the Mouth of Madness 1994

    A best-selling author's newest novel is literally driving readers insane. When the author inexplicably vanishes a special investigator hired to track him down crosses the barrier between fact and fiction…

  • They Live (1988)

    They Live 1988

    John Carpenter's "They Live" has an awesome plot. However, casting wrestler Roddy Piper as the lead role was a slight mistake. The movie's ideas and story are awesome, but Roddy Piper…

  • Prince of Darkness (1987)

    Prince of Darkness 1987

    Prince of Darkness (1987) is an American supernatural horror movie that is the second installment John Carpenter’s "Apocalypse Trilogy." John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy consist…

  • Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

    Big Trouble in Little China 1986

    Big Trouble in Little China (1986) is an American action adventure comedy movie that is a cult classic. Director John Carpenter (Halloween (1978), Escape from L.A. (1996), Escape from New York (1981), They…

  • Christine (1983)

    Christine 1983

    An eerie, twisted love story of a teenager and his obsessively jealous 1958 Plymouth Fury —- as only Stephen King can tell it! Christine is a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury who seduces 17-year-old…

  • The Thing (1982)

    The Thing 1982

    Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing.…

  • The Fog (1980)

    The Fog 1980

    The FOG brings with it the souls of the dammed. Fog is nothing new to the quaint seaside village of Antonio Bay. But on the night of its 100th anniversary, a fogbank rolls in unlike any other. Eerie lights,…

  • Halloween (1978)

    Halloween 1978

    My personal favorite, this movie could be considered the first real slasher flick as it predates a great many horror franchises. This John Carpenter and Debra Hill collaboration was once the highest grossing…