Saturday, 2 October 2010

John Carpenter Poster Gallery

This weeks poster gallery celebrates the filmography of John Carpenter. Carpenter is a filmmaker that I have a love/hate relationship with. This isn’t that surprising really because he emerged at a time in the 1970’s when the concept of the ‘auteur’ had great prominence in the American cultural landscape. I say it isn’t surprising because most of the directors that emerged in the era of ‘New Hollywood’ were repugnant and arrogant individuals with a bloated sense of their own importance. Carpenter is by no means as bad as pond life like William Friedkin or that most vulgar of imbeciles Francis Ford Coppola, but like these ’men’ he began to believe the hype. This moment of self awareness which I date at around 1983 and the production of Christine saw his films drop markedly in quality. It is no exaggeration to say, that with the exception of They Live (1988), Carpenter hasn’t produced a decent film since The Thing (1982). The films following this bleak and unforgiving Antarctic masterpiece have been mild distractions - empty headed entertainments devoid of the tensions in his earlier films. From 1974 to 1982 Carpenter went on an incredible run, and perhaps only David Cronenberg could challenge his brilliance at this time. The evidence of these earlier films, the films I consider to be Phase 1 of Carpenters career, leads to much head scratching when watching the films of Phase 2 (1983 onwards). In those earlier efforts, most notably Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and Halloween (1978) Carpenter possessed a revisionist attitude to genre, one which was able to transplant familiar stories into an unfamiliar and extremely violent contemporary world. For those films from 1974 to 1982 Carpenter holds a legendary position on The Celluloid Highway, the rest of his films are merely pot holes. But that’s enough about Carpenter….lets have a look at these posters!

Dark Star (1974) - US Poster

Dark Star #2

Dark Star #3

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) - French Poster

Assault on Precinct 13 #2 US poster

Halloween (1978) - US poster

Halloween #2

Halloween #3 Italian poster

The Fog (1980) - US poster

The Fog #2 German poster

The Fog #3 Spanish/Mexican poster

Escape from New York (1981) - US poster

Escape from New York #2 Polish poster

Escape from New York #3 French poster

The Thing (1982) - US poster

The Thing #2

The Thing #3 Japanese Poster

Christine (1983) - US poster

Christine #2 Polish poster

Starman (1984) - US poster

Starman #2 Polish poster

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) - US poster

Big Trouble in Little China #2 French Poster

Prince of Darkness (1987) - French Poster

Prince of Darkness #2 US poster

They Live (1988) - US poster

They Live #2 Spanish poster

Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) - US poster

In the Mouth of Madness (1995) - US poster

In the Mouth of Madness #2 German poster

Village of the Damned (1995) - US poster

Escape from L.A. (1996) - US poster

Vampires (1998) - US poster

Ghosts of Mars (2001) - US poster

© Shaun Anderson - 2010


  1. Interesting array of Posters Shaun, I have actually seen all of these films. I agree that Carpenter early career (Phase 1) is far more note worthy! Still seeing the above artwork, I still enjoyed some of his later entries post 1982. Obviously the hugely enjoyable They Live, (Rowdy Rody Piper at the height of his acting prowess) I also enjoyed Big Trouble (For the humor and dated Fight scenes) even today I still like to catch this, if it falls at a time that I have TV on! Fair does though it ends there! I'm hoping Carpenter phase 3's Directorial work at least falls between phase 1 & 2 on enjoy ability. By the way the Assault on Precinct 13 Posters were my favorite!

  2. I too enjoy many of his films post 1982, but as I mentioned in the introduction, they are little more than mild distractions. In order for Carpenter to embark on a third phase in his career, he needs to move beyond phase two. There is nothing in his more recent films to suggest that will happen. I'm certain we have seen the best of John Carpenter.

  3. most of these posters are pretty impressive i love the escape from new york one and halloween is my fave movie of all time but the polish christine poster is really weird as its trying to the car look like a vampire


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