I know, I know. The two have allegedly buried the hatchet and all is good. But this is too much fun not to comment on.
There are a great many reasons to love John Carpenter. He’s bequeathed the world a number of cinematic masterpieces, from Halloween, The Thing, and Escape From New York. At the peak of his powers, even his “lesser” films were wildly entertaining, as he delivered B-Movie goods with A-level craftsmanship. Films like Prince of Darkness, In The Mouth of Madness and They Live would be forgotten relics in the VHS dustbins of history if done by anyone else but John Carpenter.
On top of that he’s crafted some of the most iconic soundtracks of all time. The man understands just how important music is to the overall enjoyment and thrills of a movie and now in his later days he has taken that show on the road, playing his most celebrated scores and new compositions to the delight of ravenous crowds.
Yet the trait that sets Carpenter apart, especially in an age where every media personality is managed by a team of public relations hacks working around the clock to manage their persona, is the fact that you could take all the fucks that Carpenter gives, stack them in the corner and come up with the nice round number of zero. John Carpenter gives none of the fucks and it’s a beautiful thing. There may be no better example of this trait than a recent video that emerged of Carpenter during a Q&A session at the New York Film Academy. When asked about his opinion on Rob Zombie’s maligned attempt at rebooting Halloween, Carpenter gave his unfettered opinion on both the movie and the filmmaker.
On Zombie’s attempt at humanizing Michael Myers by giving him a by-the-numbers serial killer profile, Carpenter had this to say: “I thought he took away the mystique of the story by explaining too much about [Michael Myers].” The real fireworks were reserved for his opinion on Zombie himself, calling him a “piece of shit” and saying “He lied about me. He said I was very cold to him when he told me he was going to make it. Nothing could be further from the truth. I said, ‘Make it your own movie, man. This is yours now. Don’t worry about me.’ I was incredibly supportive. Why that piece of shit lied, I don’t know.”
Carpenter’s statement seems to jibe with both what he said at the time of Zombie’s production along with his own personal philosophy on seeing his films remade. Carpenter had been on the record giving Zombie his blessing. Carpenter also has never objected to his work being reimagined by others as long as there’s a fat check with lots of zeroes waiting for him in his mailbox. It’s the mercenary in Carpenter that realizes a) no matter how bad these reboot efforts turnout, nothing can touch the quality and reputation of his original vision and b) it’s nice to get paid a lot of money for doing absolutely nothing.
Granted, Carpenter has said, via a tweet, that the two have spoken and patched all issues up, but it’s still fantastic to see the Master of Horror at his salty best.