John Carpenter is one of the most controversial directors of our time. Not because he gets into touchy subjects, like he goes and does some movie about jesus doing somebody in the ass or whatever it is that offends people these days. But because of his actual work. Because no one can really seem to agree whether he sucks with a few brilliant exceptions, whether he used to be brilliant and now he sucks, or whether he is really one of the great masters of the horror and Badass Cinema and that some of these new ones are just an off day.
The correct answer is c.
This new one follows many of the great John Carpenter stylistic motifs and thematic type themes. For example, if you ever read an interview or listened to his dvd commentary tracks, you know that practically every movie he ever did he claims is “really a western.” So he always has some stranger walking into town, or has some prisoner being transferred from a jail or a new sherriff in town or what not. In Assault On Precinct 13 he has the gangsters doing blood rituals like evil movie indians in a John Wayne picture. In They Live Roddy Piper strolls into town, walking down the middle of the street even though it’s LA. In Escape From LA he does the old jumping from horse to horse routine, except with motorcycles. Vampires takes place in a sunny Mexican ghost town even though it’s about fuckin vampires. Even Big Trouble In Little China and if I remember right the Elvis TV movie started as western scripts but were re-written to modern settings. (read the rest of this shit…)
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.