John Carpenter - Facts & Science Fiction

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Director and Writer John Carpenter is renowned for his Science Fiction and Horror movies, from 'Halloween' to 'The Fog, 'The Thing' and 'Starman'. How much of the below did you know about his films?

Halloween (1978) - Did you know?

During the shooting of the opening scenes in Halloween, production couldn't find a 6-year old child actor to portray the young Michael Myers until the last day, and so the movies producer Debra Hill volunteered to be Michael for any scenes where only his hands come into view. This is why the nails on his hands looke so manicured and varnished!

Halloween also takes place in Haddonfield, Illinois, which is also the home town of producer and screenwriter Debra Hill.

Due to its shoestring budget, the prop department had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store; a Star Trek William Shatner mask. Production later spray-painted the face white, teased out some of the hair and reshaped the eye holes.


The Thing (1982) - Did you know?

In the DVD commentary, John Carpenter has said that Wilford Brimley was the only cast member not initially grossed out by the autopsy scene where they used real animal organs. Brimley had previously been a real-life cowboy, and gutting animals was a normal experience for him.

The Norwegian dog in the film was an animal actor named Jed, a half wolf/half husky breed. Jed, however, is not the dog seen in the beginning chase seen, where the Noregian is trying to shoot him. Per Carpenters commentary, this was another dog actually painted to look like Jed.

Carpenter considers 'The Thing' to be the first of his Apocalypse Trilogy, with 'Prince of Darkness' and 'In The Mouth of Madness' comprising the other two parts.


Vampires (1998) - Did you know?

There are many similarities with this film and another vampire film made the same year; 'Blade'. Both are about a vampire killer, both have a similar plot of vampires trying to complete an arcade ritual that will allow them to move in daylight. In addition, Tim Guinee appears in both films.

The character Katrina has a snake tattoo on her back. Snake Plissken had a similar tattoo on his chest, the character from John Carpenter's 'Escape from New York' and 'Escape from LA'.

The symbol on the necklace that Daniel Baldwin wears in the movie is the Nordic rune meaning "Protector".



Starman (1984) - Did you know?

When Jeff Bridges walks outside the house naked in the film and uses a 'marble', his hair appears to stand on end. This effect was actually created by shooting Bridges hanging upside-down and then matting the shot onto the background the right way up.

The script for 'Starman' was being developed at Columbia Pictures at the same time as another script about an alien visitation. The studio did not want to make both, so the head of the studio had to choose which film to make. Choosing 'Starman', he left the other script go to a rival studio. This script was for blockbuster smash 'ET'.



Ghosts of Mars (2001) - Did you know?

Ghosts of Mars is one of the few films that is filmed entirely at night also features Jason Statham's first ever on-screen kiss.

Much of the location shooting was done on a gypsum mine near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The gypsum, which is almost pure white, was sprayed with a biodegradable red food dye to give the appearance of a martian landscape.

Sources: IMDB.




Halloween - Copyright © 1978 Falcon International Productions. All Rights Reserved. / The Thing - Copyright © 1982 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved. / Vampires - Copyright © 1998 Columbia Pictures. All Rights Reserved. / Starman - Copyright © 1984 Columbia Pictures. All Rights Reserved. / Ghosts Of Mars - Copyright © 2001 Screen Gems. All Rights Reserved.

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