HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 13: Special Guest John Carpenter speaks onstage at the screening of 'Escape from New York' at the 2019 TCM 10th Annual Classic Film Festival on April 13, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TCM)
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The 20 Best John Carpenter Movies Ranked
20. invisible man
It's hard to find anything good to say about "Memoirs of an Invisible Man," the only film within Carpenter's whole filmography that might amount to an outright failure. This story of Chevy Chase's invisible executive and his tryst with Daryl Hannah's television producer Alice — all the while being pursued by CIA forces — is a misfire from the start.
19. Ghosts of Mars
"Ghosts of Mars" — written, directed, and scored by John Carpenter — feels less like a movie and more like a practical joke, though the film has seen something of a resurgence with time. The story is an outer space riff on the "Escape From New York" formula, and Carpenter's directorial eye is as assured as ever.
18. Elvis
"Elvis" is a successful and entertaining movie, and Kurt Russell earned an Emmy nomination for playing the titular character in the film. However, it isn't the kind of film fans have come to expect from Carpenter, and it feels like an odd duck in his storied career since it was shot right after his slasher opus "Halloween."
17. Vampires
"Vampires" is an adaptation of John Steakley's novel "Vampire$." James Woods stars as Jack Crow, a vampire hunter who is raised by the church and is tasked with preventing a vampire apocalypse at the hands of Jan Valek, the first and most powerful vampire.
16. Escape from L.A.
After "Escape from New York," Kurt Russell again dons the role of Snake Plissken, and once again he is dropped into a hellhole on a ticking-clock rescue mission. Though the film didn't fare well at the box office, it has gained a cult following over the years.