john carpenter movies ranked

For the past month, I’ve been revisiting the filmography of John Carpenter, a filmmaker of extraordinary range and skill who spent a few decades churning out one masterpiece after another. And then, as luck would have it, Carpenter (who has all but retired) started entering the news again. First, Guillermo del Toro paid tribute to him with a brilliant string of tweets. Then, Blumhouse acquired the rights to make a new Halloween movie and brought Carpenter on board as an executive producer. My personal project was suddenly relevant!

Then again, John Carpenter is always relevant as long as you want to talk about one of the most fascinating and entertaining filmmakers of the past forty years. Because I needed an excuse to write about his movies (and because this is the internet), I ranked all 18 of Carpenter’s theatrically released films, which was actually a tricky progress. Even his weaker movies tend to be interesting and his best movies are so good that they defy comparison.

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With one of the choicest “stranded on an island with entertainment center” filmographies, genre or otherwise, director John Carpenter is without a doubt a fave here at Slashfilm. Next month, the man himself will be on hand for two out of four nights to wax awesome on his various ’80s era classics at a film festival presented by non-profit American Cinematheque (nice effort!) and Santa Monica’s Aero Theater. Unfortunately, They Live (probably my fave of his) is not being shown, but one really can’t moan the slightest about such a rare opportunity. Here’s the schedule…

Friday, June 13th, 7:30 p.m.
The Thing
and The Fog
Carpenter will discuss films between showings

Saturday, June 14th, 7:30 p.m.
Escape From New York and Escape From L.A.
Carpenter will discuss films between showings

Sunday, June 15th, 7:30 p.m.
Halloween and Christine (no speaker, but how sick is this double feature!?)

Wednesday, June 18th, 7:30 pm.
Big Trouble in Little China and Assault on Precinct 13
AOP13‘s Austin Stoker will discuss between films

Hopefully, everyone reading this site has seen these films. If not, make like Chainsaw and Dave this summer and join the club. If you’ll be attending one or more of these screenings with Carpenter shoot us an email after with a report. For more info, go here.