Archives for posts with tag: John Carpenter

Grade B

One of the first slasher movies that popularized this sub-genre of horror movies, “Halloween” broke new grounds with its style, music, and minimalist production — this was a low budget movie, after all — and scared millions of fans during its day.

Jamie Lee Curtis stars in “Halloween” as a babysitter who goes up against “the boogeyman,” a psychopathic killer who escaped an insane asylum to go back to his hometown on Halloween to terrorize his old neighborhood.   During the day, the boogeyman chooses and stalks his victims; and when night falls, he strikes.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Halloween” is the scene when the boogeyman, a.k.a. The Shape, a.k.a. Michael Myers, slowly appears from the shadows behind Curtis.

Today’s audience probably can’t appreciate this movie because they are used to slick, big budget horror movies that have lots of gore and a high body count.   Granted, “Halloween” does suffer from victims doing stupid things that turn them into victims instead of survivors.  But this is a well-directed movie that rises above other slasher flicks of its day because of the genius of writer/director/producer/composer John Carpenter.

— M


Adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same title, “Christine” is about a 1958 Plymouth Fury car that is alive and evil.  Rusted and falling apart in a yard since the previous owner died, Christine is spotted by a High School geek played by Keith Gordon.  It’s love at first sight, and Gordon buys her from the dead owner’s brother.  Gordon’s new toy quickly becomes an obsession, changing his life for the better and for the worst.  Better because he becomes more confident, dresses better, stands up for himself, and gets a hot girlfriend.  Worst because he alienates and angers the people who care for him: his best friend (John Stockwell), his parents, and his hot girlfriend; and Gordon takes on Christine’s evil personality as driver and car feed off each other, their souls getting more twisted as they get stronger.

One of my memorable, movie moments of “Christine” is the scene when Christine is being torn apart by Gordon’s bullies.  Any car lover would cringe and feel a twisting in his stomach watching this part of the movie.  Any one who has a beautiful car always has the fear of some jealous jackass damaging his ride.  This is a crime that should bring the death penalty.   I’m not kidding here.

Another memorable moment of this movie is the scene when Christine repairs herself in front of Gordon after Gordon assures Christine that both of them will show the bullies what they can do if the two of them stick together.  How many of us have wished we had a car that can do this!  Minus the evil part, of course.

And now, for the most memorable, movie moment of “Christine”: the scene when Christine is patiently waiting in the dark as Moochie, one of the bullies who vandalized her, crosses the street.  Her windows are tinted a deep black, and the song “Little Bitty Pretty One” plays from inside her, echoing dully against the buildings and streets.  Revenge…it can be so sweet.

I’ve watched this movie at least 15 times, so yeah, there’s a lot here for me to like.  Number 1: I love cars, and I know what it’s like to be a teenager who just can’t wait to get a driver’s license and a car of his own; and once getting your own car, to be a bit obsessed with it, spending lots of time and money on your wheels.  Number 2: I know what it’s like to be bullied — and to be a bully, I’m ashamed to say — and have revenge fantasies against those bullies.  Number 3: I like music from the 50s.  Number 4: “Christine” is simply a well-made, horror movie directed by master filmmaker John Carpenter, whose many movies I have enjoyed as a child, a teenager, and adult.

— M

The first car I ever drove: my dad's '72 Chevy Nova.  My first "Christine."

The first car I ever drove: my dad’s ’72 Chevy Nova. My first “Christine.”



My current "Christine," although she has her own name.

My current “Christine,” although she has her own name.


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