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7 fun facts about John Carpenter

Image: The Everett Collection

John Carpenter is truly a jack of all trades when it comes to the film industry, having tried his hand at directing, writing, editing and composing — and mastering it all. While some prefer his horror work, like Halloween and The Fog, others might like his action flicks like Assault on Precinct 13 and Big Trouble in Little China, and some people just really love his soundtracks. Most movie aficionados are enthusiastic about at least one area of his work.

Whether you're a bona fide John Carpenter fan or someone who just clicked on this article in the middle of their work day, read on for some fast facts about the beloved industry vet.


His favorite genre isn’t horror or fantasy

According to Axs, though Carpenter’s most associated with movies like The Thing and Halloween, he loves Western films the most and has noted that Howard Hawks and Sergio Leone are two of his favorite filmmakers. He wrote a script called Blood River for John Wayne in the late ‘70s, but the film never ended up being made and the script ended up being used for a made-for-TV movie in the ‘90s.

Image: Fox Video


He works quick

Halloween was written in a mere 10 days and it was shot in only 20 days. What about the score, though, you ask? He got it done in three days.

Image: Giphy


He really likes ‘The Thing’

Carpenter’s 1982 hit, The Thing, isn’t the original. In fact, back when Carpenter was making Halloween, he threw footage of the 1951 version, The Thing from Another World into the movie. Lindsey Wallace is shown watching it on TV.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures


He wasn’t above odd jobs

Carpenter didn’t start raking in the big bucks right after Dark Star, so he had to take some odd jobs to pay the bills. According to What Culture, one of these jobs was editing a low-budget parody of Last Tango in Paris called Last Foxtrot in Burbank. Apparently he made some creative decisions when tasked with making an erotic sequence less generic by interjecting scenes of traffic and loud street noise.

Image: ETC


His resume could have been even longer

John Carpenter has one of the biggest and most varied resumes in the biz. However, there’s a number of projects he could have been a part of, but opted out. What Culture stated that he didn’t want to work on Top Gun because he thought the idea was stupid, and turned down Fatal Attraction because he didn’t think the script was original enough. He also was offered roles in movies like Firestarter, Escape from Earth and the remake of The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Image: Giphy


He didn’t write the most oft-quoted line in 'They Live'

“I’ve come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum,” was in the original script, but Carpenter doesn’t take credit for it

He told Nerdist, “It was in the original script, but it all belongs to Roddy [Piper], I have to give him complete credit for it. He had a notebook with him in which he would think up one-liners for his matches. And you know part of wrestling is the interview… So his character, his ‘Rowdy Piper’ character, would taunt and insult and so forth, so he’d take a notebook with him, and he’d write the things he would think up… There were others in there, too, but that was the one that really jumped out.”

Image: Giphy


He’s technically won an Oscar

When Carpenter attended the University of Southern California in 1970, he and some classmates made a movie called The Resurrection of Broncho Billy. Carpenter was responsible for editing, composing and co-writing the film. It went on to win an Academy Award for Best Short Subject. However, Carpenter and company didn’t get the recognition, the school did. What Culture stated that the lecturer of the class actually just brought the Oscar to class and allowed the students to look at it.

Image: Universal Pictures

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