John Carpenter

John Carpenter

Highest Rated: 100% In Search of Darkness (2019)

Lowest Rated: 0% The Silence of the Hams (1994)

Birthday: Jan 16, 1948

Birthplace: Carthage, New York, USA

A director whose quick-witted and full-blooded approach to genre filmmaking has won him both mainstream success and a cult following, John Carpenter was born in Carthage, NY, in 1948. When he was young, his family moved to Bowling Green, KY, where his father served on the music faculty of Western Kentucky University. As a child, Carpenter became fascinated with such '50s science fiction and horror films as Forbidden Planet and The Thing (From Another World), as well as the classic Westerns of John Ford and Howard Hawks; he began shooting his own 8 mm films -- mostly monster movie pastiches -- in his spare time. After graduating from high school, Carpenter attended Western Kentucky, and later transferred to the University of Southern California to study filmmaking. There, he co-wrote a student film called The Resurrection of Bronco Billy which, in 1971, won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short. Inspired by this success, Carpenter, along with friend and fellow film student Dan O'Bannon, began work on a sci-fi parody called Dark Star. Over time, Carpenter expanded the student short to feature length at a cost of 60,000 dollars, and the film received positive reviews when it was released theatrically in 1974. While Carpenter hoped Dark Star would win him a major studio contract directing Westerns, he discovered that the film's limited success opened few doors, and his next project was the low-budget thriller Assault on Precinct 13, which was inspired by Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo. While the film wasn't a hit, it did fare better at the box office than Dark Star and caught the attention of critics in the U.K., where it was enthusiastically received at the London Film Festival. After selling a pair of scripts -- produced as Eyes of Laura Mars and Zuma Beach -- Carpenter made the acquaintance of producer Moustapha Akkad, who was looking for a director for a low-budget horror movie about an escaped lunatic murdering baby-sitters. Carpenter got the job, and the result was Halloween. Shot on a budget of 325,000 dollars, Halloween became a roaring commercial success, in time grossing more than 18 million dollars and, for many years, holding the record for the biggest box-office gross for an independently released film. In the interim between completing Halloween and its evolution into a blockbuster, Carpenter directed a pair of movies for television, including the critically acclaimed Elvis, which marked his first collaboration with actor Kurt Russell. The director's first genuine attempt to follow the success of Halloween came with 1979's The Fog, when Carpenter met actress Adrienne Barbeau. The two hit it off personally as well as professionally, and were married by the time the film hit theaters. In 1981, Carpenter reluctantly returned to his first major success with Halloween II, which he wrote and produced, but his next project as a director would be a great deal more ambitious: 1981's Escape From New York, a fusion of science fiction and action-adventure, which starred Russell as ne'er-do-well for hire Snake Plissken. The movie's witty and enthusiastic genre-bending would set a precedent for much of Carpenter's career to follow. After making a handful of hits for independent distributors, Carpenter moved up to the major studios with his idiosyncratic 1982 remake of The Thing (again with Russell in the lead), and next scored another box-office blockbuster with his 1984 screen adaptation of the Stephen King novel Christine. Divorced from Barbeau that same year, Carpenter completed another feature by the end of 1984, a romantic comedy with a science fiction slant called Starman, which garnered enthusiastic reviews and solid business. His next major cross-genre project, 1986's Big Trouble in Little China (once again starring Russell), was a costly box-office disappointment, though the film went on to win a loyal cult following through cable and home video distribution. After its lackluster reception, however, Carpenter deliberately scaled b

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Halloween Kills Screenwriter 2020
100% In Search of Darkness Actor 2019
79% Halloween Executive Producer 2018
No Score Yet Why Horror? Actor 2014
No Score Yet Halloween 35th Anniversary Director 2013
33% The Ward Director 2011
No Score Yet The Master's Touch: Hitchcock's Signature Style Actor 2011
No Score Yet Let There Be Light: The Odyssey Of Dark Star Actor 2011
75% Tales From the Script Actor 2010
100% Nightmares in Red, White and Blue Actor 2009
No Score Yet Riot (John Carpenter's Riot) (Scared Straight) Director 2009
No Score Yet Fantastic Flesh Actor 2008
No Score Yet Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown Actor 2008
No Score Yet Bloodsucking Cinema Actor 2007
26% Halloween Screenwriter $58.2M 2007
No Score Yet Starz Inside: Bloodsucking Cinema Actor 2007
No Score Yet Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film Actor 2006
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Director 2006
No Score Yet Tales from the Crypt: From Comic Books to Television Actor 2005
4% The Fog Screenwriter Producer $29.6M 2005
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Director 2005
No Score Yet John Carpenter: Fear Is Just the Beginning... The Man and His Movies Actor 2004
No Score Yet Cinemaker Actor 2004
No Score Yet Masters of Horror Actor 2002
20% Vampires: Los Muertos Executive Producer 2002
22% John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars Screenwriter Director $7.4M 2001
67% The American Nightmare Actor 2001
40% John Carpenter's Vampires Director 1998
54% John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. Director Screenwriter 1996
29% Village of the Damned Man at Phone Booth Director 1995
59% In the Mouth of Madness Director 1995
0% The Silence of the Hams Trench Coat Man 1994
67% Body Bags Actor Director 1993
25% Memoirs of an Invisible Man Helicopter Pilot Director 1992
No Score Yet Blood River Director Screenwriter 1991
No Score Yet El Diablo Screenwriter 1990
No Score Yet First Works Actor 1989
86% They Live Director Screenwriter 1988
58% Prince of Darkness Director Screenwriter 1987
77% Big Trouble in Little China Director Screenwriter 1986
38% Black Moon Rising Screenwriter 1986
85% Starman Screenwriter Director Man in Helicopter 1984
50% The Philadelphia Experiment Executive Producer 1984
69% Christine Director Screenwriter 1983
42% Halloween III: Season of the Witch Producer 1982
84% The Thing Director Screenwriter 1982
30% Halloween II Producer Screenwriter Director 1981
86% Escape from New York Screenwriter Director 1981
74% The Fog Screenwriter Director Bennett (assistant at the church) (uncredited) 1980
No Score Yet Better Late Than Never Screenwriter 1979
No Score Yet Someone Is Watching Me Director 1978
96% Halloween Screenwriter Director 1978
50% Eyes of Laura Mars Screenwriter 1978
No Score Yet Zuma Beach Screenwriter 1978
98% Assault on Precinct 13 Director Screenwriter 1976
80% Dark Star Screenwriter Executive Producer Director Producer 1974
No Score Yet Resurrection of Broncho Billy Screenwriter 1970
No Score Yet I Killed Wild Bill Hickok Screenwriter 1956
No Score Yet Son of the Renegade Screenwriter 1953


No Score Yet Sunday Morning
Appearing 2017
No Score Yet The Director's Chair
Guest 2014
63% Masters of Horror
Director 2006
No Score Yet Law & Order
Milton Gannett 1997


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