John Carpenter Talks Remakes and the “Insane Business” of Horror Moviemaking

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MM: It must be strange watching these new films, especially The Fog, which includes some dialogue that is almost exactly the same as in your original.

JC: I try to become just a viewer, like anybody else. I suspend certain knowledge that I have. Every once in a while it will creep back and I’ll go, ‘That’s how they did that sequence; that’s interesting.’ Or, ‘They didn’t quite pull that off.’ But that aside, I just take the movie on how it hits me. Does this suck me into its magic? And if it does, I forget all about me being involved.

MM: If you could remake any film, what would it be?

JC: Years ago, I wanted to work on an update of Only Angels Have Wings, but it’s probably good that I didn’t. [laughs]

MM: Weren’t you at one point thinking of redoing Creature from the Black Lagoon and Them?

JC: I was flirting with Creature from the Black Lagoon for a while, but nobody ever asked me to do Them. But I think that would be fabulous—I would jump at the chance.

MM: While the remakes of your films have had much bigger budgets than your originals, they still aren’t huge by today’s standards.

JC: Horror films have always been that way: They want to make them for as little money as possible and make as much money as possible.

MM: With the current wave of horror movies such as Hostel, Saw and The Hills Have Eyes scoring at the box office, it seems safe to assume that Halloween, Escape from New York and The Thing will likely be gorier and more violent than the originals. That’s ironic, considering that when The Thing was released, it was attacked for having too much “pornographic violence.” I guess today’s audiences are more conditioned to handle that kind of intensity.

JC: Yeah, but that’s what happens. And that’s okay.

MM: Wow, you really don’t have a problem with any of this, do you?

JC: Why should I? I don’t understand what I’m supposed to be upset about.

MM: I guess you’re just not possessive.

JC: I’m extremely possessive! As a matter of fact, that’s my middle name. But this is great stuff. How can you not love this? What a business. What an insane business! MM

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1 Comment

  1. MoovieCow88

    October 16, 2017 at 10:29 am

    So pumped 4 that new Carpenter score next year <3

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