Best John Carpenter Movies (Ranked)

Best John Carpenter Movies (Ranked)

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Goonies85
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Best John Carpenter Movies (Ranked)

#1

Postby Goonies85 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:39 am

Hi All,

Probably the toughest list I'll ever make, as I am actually going to rank these ones. John Carpenter remains my favorite filmmaker of all-time, as I believe he went on the greatest run of great movie after great movie ever. Some will discount his later movies, and I'll admit I find certain faults, but I want to limit this to his top ten, which he definitely has. Feel free to argue with the order placement, as a lot of people are going to be surprised by the rankings...

1. The Thing - Simply one of the greatest movies (and remakes) of all-time. Love everything about this movie. The arctic setting (filmed in northern British Columbia), the score (Ennio Morricone, with help from Carpenter himself), the effects (Rob Bottin!), the cast (T.K. Carter, Hallahan, Keith David, Russell)...all aspects were great...Probably one of the ultimate "guy movies", as there's not a woman in sight...And an ambiguous ending...

2. The Fog - Very underrated. Beautiful setting, filmed in the same area where Hitchcock filmed portions of The Birds. I've always loved lighthouses and this movie features a great one...Old-fashioned story told well...Adrienne Barbeau was great...Unfortunate that her and Carpenter broke up a bit after this movie...

3. Halloween - Don't need to say much about this movie. An all-time great. People will question how I could rank this as being his third best movie, but I think that just shows how prolific and great his output was during this period of time...And I love the Blue Oyster Cult song in the movie...And probably one of the greatest/most famous uses of the Steadicam ever...

4. Assault on Precinct 13 - More or less his first real movie if you ignore Dark Star...Harrowing, and a great riff on Rio Bravo...The cast is terrific and Carpenter made the most with a limited budget...The remake was okay but could never match the intensity of the original...And this movie may feature my absolute favorite Carpenter score...The theme song is extremely memorable...

5. Escape From New York - One of my favorite sci-fi movies, and it was always a joy seeing another Russell/Carpenter collaboration. Snake Plissken is an icon...I even have some Snake Plissken toys that I have on display...And you have Pleasance, Isaac, and Barbeau again...And Lee Van Cleef in a small cameo...

6. They Live - "I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I'm all out of gum." One of the most immortal movies in cinema history. Rowdy Roddy Piper nailed it and this movie really stands the test of time. His fight with Keith David is epic, and has been aped in all sorts of stuff, including an episode of Family Guy...

7. Prince of Darkness - Great score, the cast was a little unknown so this maybe flew under the radar a bit. Just a great story filled with creepy effects throughout...I own the soundtrack on vinyl...Awesome to play during Halloween...

8. Big Trouble in Little China - Some people like this a bit more than me...I appreciate it, but it pales compared to the other Russell/Carpenter collaborations...I prefer when they take things seriously...Nevertheless, Jack Burton is still a lot of fun, and the movie has a lot of crazy sequences...I still enjoy the movie, but it's hard to live up to what they did prior to this...

9. Village of the Damned - A bit underrated in my estimation. I like Christopher Reeve (still the best Superman, in my mind)...and the kids were definitely creepy...Only drawback is some of the CGI (these were the early days) is a bit weak...

10. Memoirs of an Invisible Man - Mainly because I like Chevy Chase. This was a really different movie for Carpenter, who I imagine thought it would be much more serious when he did it...It turned into more of a comedy/drama but I think the end results were okay...The special effects actually hold up pretty good considering what day and age we are in (I'd actually say I prefer this invisible man movie over Paul Verhoeven's Hollow Man...which I still enjoy but have to admit it was one of his weaker efforts)...

Missed the cut: Christine (not a big fan), Starman (haven't seen), BodyBags (this was a multiple director movie, so it doesn't count), and his Masters of Horror episodes (they were okay, especially Cigarette Burns, but don't hold a candle to his actual features)...

Thanks,

E
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Re: Best John Carpenter Movies (Ranked)

#2

Postby James T. Kirk » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:08 pm

Goonies85 wrote:Source of the post Hi All,

Probably the toughest list I'll ever make, as I am actually going to rank these ones. John Carpenter remains my favorite filmmaker of all-time, as I believe he went on the greatest run of great movie after great movie ever. Some will discount his later movies, and I'll admit I find certain faults, but I want to limit this to his top ten, which he definitely has. Feel free to argue with the order placement, as a lot of people are going to be surprised by the rankings...

1. The Thing - Simply one of the greatest movies (and remakes) of all-time. Love everything about this movie. The arctic setting (filmed in northern British Columbia), the score (Ennio Morricone, with help from Carpenter himself), the effects (Rob Bottin!), the cast (T.K. Carter, Hallahan, Keith David, Russell)...all aspects were great...Probably one of the ultimate "guy movies", as there's not a woman in sight...And an ambiguous ending...

2. The Fog - Very underrated. Beautiful setting, filmed in the same area where Hitchcock filmed portions of The Birds. I've always loved lighthouses and this movie features a great one...Old-fashioned story told well...Adrienne Barbeau was great...Unfortunate that her and Carpenter broke up a bit after this movie...

3. Halloween - Don't need to say much about this movie. An all-time great. People will question how I could rank this as being his third best movie, but I think that just shows how prolific and great his output was during this period of time...And I love the Blue Oyster Cult song in the movie...And probably one of the greatest/most famous uses of the Steadicam ever...

4. Assault on Precinct 13 - More or less his first real movie if you ignore Dark Star...Harrowing, and a great riff on Rio Bravo...The cast is terrific and Carpenter made the most with a limited budget...The remake was okay but could never match the intensity of the original...And this movie may feature my absolute favorite Carpenter score...The theme song is extremely memorable...

5. Escape From New York - One of my favorite sci-fi movies, and it was always a joy seeing another Russell/Carpenter collaboration. Snake Plissken is an icon...I even have some Snake Plissken toys that I have on display...And you have Pleasance, Isaac, and Barbeau again...And Lee Van Cleef in a small cameo...

6. They Live - "I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I'm all out of gum." One of the most immortal movies in cinema history. Rowdy Roddy Piper nailed it and this movie really stands the test of time. His fight with Keith David is epic, and has been aped in all sorts of stuff, including an episode of Family Guy...

7. Prince of Darkness - Great score, the cast was a little unknown so this maybe flew under the radar a bit. Just a great story filled with creepy effects throughout...I own the soundtrack on vinyl...Awesome to play during Halloween...

8. Big Trouble in Little China - Some people like this a bit more than me...I appreciate it, but it pales compared to the other Russell/Carpenter collaborations...I prefer when they take things seriously...Nevertheless, Jack Burton is still a lot of fun, and the movie has a lot of crazy sequences...I still enjoy the movie, but it's hard to live up to what they did prior to this...

9. Village of the Damned - A bit underrated in my estimation. I like Christopher Reeve (still the best Superman, in my mind)...and the kids were definitely creepy...Only drawback is some of the CGI (these were the early days) is a bit weak...

10. Memoirs of an Invisible Man - Mainly because I like Chevy Chase. This was a really different movie for Carpenter, who I imagine thought it would be much more serious when he did it...It turned into more of a comedy/drama but I think the end results were okay...The special effects actually hold up pretty good considering what day and age we are in (I'd actually say I prefer this invisible man movie over Paul Verhoeven's Hollow Man...which I still enjoy but have to admit it was one of his weaker efforts)...

Missed the cut: Christine (not a big fan), Starman (haven't seen), BodyBags (this was a multiple director movie, so it doesn't count), and his Masters of Horror episodes (they were okay, especially Cigarette Burns, but don't hold a candle to his actual features)...

Thanks,

E
Well whaddaya know. I've actually already seen most of these. The only ones I still have yet to see are Assault on Precinct 13, They Live, Prince of Darkness and Christine.

Speaking of Hollow Man,

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Re: Best John Carpenter Movies (Ranked)

#3

Postby inri222 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:46 am

Halloween
Assault on Precinct 13
The Thing
The Fog
Prince of Darkness
In the Mouth of Madness
Escape From New York
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