Talk:John Carpenter

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Former good article nominee John Carpenter was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
February 11, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed


The Academy Award for Live Action Short Film page lists "John Longenecker" as the winner of the 1970 award. Carpenter is listed nowhere on that page. -- Jonel | Speak 15:31, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

imdb confirms he co-wrote the film (john longenecker was a co-writer). he has been asked about and talked about winning the award in numerous interviews. anyway i rewrote to say the "film" won the award.
Looks good to me. -- Jonel | Speak 23:38, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I dispute the inclusion of the notion of an Apocalypse Trilogy. This seems more like some fan's arbitrary theory than anything else. Certainly Carpenter in any of his interviews has never made reference to such or thematically linked these films. In my opinion this is speculative theorizing, not an essential fact of the director's career --Chickenspanker 08:02, 13 October 2005 (UTC)Chickenspanker

carpenter himself has mentioned this trilogy in, for example, the audio commentary of the ITMOM DVD. i agree its not an essential fact though. Niz

I think this section might need work. There are other examples of apocalyptic endings in Carpenter's works. Halloween ends in such a way, with The Shape surviving and evil living on. Halloween 3 also has a terribly apocalyptic ending. Even The Fog has a bit of this feel. I think it's safe to say that many of Carpenter's films deal with an apocalyptic ending, not just that "trilogy"

Apocalypse Trilogy[edit]

" we're starting the credit sequence in the first movie of what I call my Apocalypse Trilogy; The Thing, Prince of Darkness and In the mouth of Madness..."

Carpenter's own words, taken from the audio commentary on the DVD of The Thing. Carpenter himself uses the term a fair bit, and this has of course passed on to fans. It's not an arbitrary theory cooked up by fanboys.

Halloween 3 had zero to do with Carpenter (he never wanted to do any sequels and it was his intention that 2 was the absolute last word on the matter) apart from producing, and while Halloween and The Fog both had downbeat endings, they were not apocalyptic. One serial killer, superhuman or not, cannot bring about the end of the human race, nor can a bunch of ghosts/zombies who are fixated solely on one small town.Geoff B 03:48, 24 May 2006 (UTC)


I created a stub for John Longenecker so this article can be free of red links. If anyone comes across any information on him while researching here, some rounding would be nice. Very hard to find any information other than the blurb on IMDB and an article on his mother (the film actress, Ruth Hussey); couldn't even find his date of birth.--Fuhghettaboutit


The trivia section should be treated as a holding place for tidbits that may be important enough to be added into the main text of the article, if they can be sourced, but which, as a section, should be eventually removed entirely. See Wikipedia:Trivia#Recommendations for handling Trivia.--Fuhghettaboutit 23:57, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

A while back, I added the bit in the trivia section about Darwin Joston and John Carpenter being neighbors. I basically paraphrased what Carpenter said during a filmed Q & A session (after the screening of ASOP 13 at the American Cinematique John Carpenter film festival in 2002). This Q & A is one of the "extras" on the ASOP 13 DVD. How would I go about citing the source?

Sullenspice 8:06 PM, May 2006

I'll get the ball rolling by creating a reference section, and adding in the one source already footnoted in the text of the article. Once I do so, take a look at the code in edit mode for an example. --Fuhghettaboutit

Ok, so trivia section eventually needs to be dissolved, reference section needs to be created. Are there any other sections that need to be created for this article? Should we do a film-by-film break down of Carpenter's work? Geoff B 00:48, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Boy I wish I knew exactly what to write and how to organize. My best suggestion is taking a look at some established, larger articles on directors for ideas; maybe, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick. Having just looked at many giants in directing, I am shocked at the low quality of many.--Fuhghettaboutit 01:04, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok, so the structure seems to be:

  1. Biography
  2. Films, most often presented as a film-by-film discussion, usually only a paragraph or so per film, but sometimes a lot more if the work is regarded as the director's best, or otherwise significant.
  3. Themes
  4. Miscellaneous stuff like director's trademarks

I thought there'd be a set structure for this sort of article... Geoff B 01:41, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Greetings. I'd suggest doing a short bio at the beginning, then break up his work/life by decades by 1970s, 80s etc. I was looking at Jim Henson, a featured article, and his article has a good organization to it. Thus, it might be easier to discuss his different films by decade and give each a paragraph etc. I would also add info. on how the films did (box office vs. critics), cult status etc. His problems during the film making process might help as well. In addition to themes, there could be a section on quotes/legacy from both Carpenter and people who like him such as Tarantino, Rodriguez etc. Also, an expansion of books that have anything to do with Carpenter would be good. Lastly, a small section on his musical work, writing, and acting in his films should round out the necessary aspects of the article. Also, books on him under further reading would be good. Tombseye 05:12, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Trivia, if unimportant, like him being neighbours with someone else for example, doesn't warrant a place in the article. Most of this trivia section holds information I find real unimportant, so it should be ridden of. I would do so, but I know someone would revert my edits. Trivia section = get rid of it. LuciferMorgan 17:04, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, that's a good point, although I think some of the trivia section could be parcelled out and used in other parts of the article. Tombseye 20:56, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
And it's exactly how this section started:-)--Fuhghettaboutit 22:12, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
My feeling is that the truly trivial has no place in Wikipedia articles, and should always find a home in the article if it has merit, or be deleted if it has none. Chris Stangl 20:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Template:John Carpenter Films[edit]

I moved the short films out of the feature film section of the template. See the talk page for the template for further notes. Шизомби 23:49, 25 May 2006 (UTC) Also, isn't including a section for Carpenter's filmography redundant with the template? Шизомби 00:00, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your comments. LuciferMorgan 17:28, 26 May 2006 (UTC)


I noticed the Carpenter's quotes throughout the article are in italics, rather than "quotation marks". This seems wrong--is it? Willerror 13:56, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Agreed that it's better in quotes. Having not seen your comment during my edit, I just left it that way, but feel free to change it. Jonathan F 19:53, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Done. Willerror 20:58, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Serial Commas[edit]

I know this is a tiny point, but, for sake of consistency, is there some sort of guideline about whether or not to use serial commas? I always use them, and somebody keeps removing them.

Sullenspice 15:34, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I hate them but don't normally remove them if they are consistent in an article (and I wasn't the person who removed them here). See the Wikipedia's article, Serial comma and Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Serial commas which explains that there is no consensus. See also Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/proposal. The debate has cropped up numerous times, and you should note that there are even userboxes on the issue {{User serial comma}}, {{User serial comma:Yes}} and {{User serial comma:No}}.--Fuhghettaboutit 16:01, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

The userboxes are hilarious! Serial comma jihad! I'm not THAT emotionally invested in the issue, but we should be consistent one way or the other.

Sullenspice 16:19, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

It is rather funny isn't it? Maybe I'll create a category: Wikipedians against serial comma jihad. If you don't care too much, you could let the article become more stable as it is actively being worked on (most vigorously by you); once it becomes more complete and shakes out a bit you can try to make it consistent. If you care a lot, you can point out to the user that as the editor with the most text additions to the article and since there is no consensus as to style, your choice should be respected until some consensus is reached on the issue with regard to this article. Note the decision of the arbitration committee on style issues: Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Disputes over style issues --Fuhghettaboutit

16:58, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

O.K. I'll use serial commas in the sections that I write, and I guess we'll sort out the finer points of the style issues later. Thanks.

Sullenspice 18:58, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

That's most probably me, sorry! Viva le jihad! I'll try to cut down on my comma-killing until we get the article shaped up. Geoff B 15:28, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

The Fog[edit]

"Completing The Fog was an unusually difficult process for Carpenter. After viewing a rough cut of the film, he was thoroughly dissatisfied with the result. For the first (and only) time in his filmmaking career, he needed to re-shoot numerous scenes in order to make the movie more coherent and more frightening. Approximately one third of the finished film is comprised of the later, re-shot footage."

I know Carpenter did a re-shoot, but I thought he added entirely new scenes, rather than re-did ones he had filmed before? I thought the opening ghost story, the death scenes, the morgue scene and Barbeau on top of the lighthouse were all new footage, rather than new versions of scenes he had filmed before? The paragraph we have at the moment makes it seem like Carpenter filmed those scenes, was dissatisfied, and went back and did them all again much later.

Someone educate me, please? Geoff B 20:18, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Many scenes were new, but others were variations of scenes that didn't work well. One example is the scene in which Elizabeth Solley discovers Dick Baxter's body. In the first version, she slides open some sort of cabinet and the body is just lying there (a still from this earlier version actually appears on some foreign lobby cards even though it wasn't in the film). In the re-shoot, the body falls against her when she moves from where she is sitting. Most of the death scenes are a mixture of old and new footage. The more shocking inserts (the stabbings) were all new footage. Anyway, I re-wrote the paragraph.

Sullenspice 01:56, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Excellent, thank you. Geoff B 17:05, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

No charge.

Sullenspice 17:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)



I am concerned about the complete lack of mention ANYWHERE about scripts of his being used for other movies, such as The Eyes of Laura Mars and Black Moon Rising

I, too, was very surprised by the lack of information on The Eyes of Laura Mars. I was in Bowling Green when he had his triumphant homecoming after "Assault on Precinct 13," before "Halloween," when "Eyes" was in the formative stage. His supporters were very enthusiastic about "Eyes." In addition to writing the script, he was supposed to direct. It was to be his big break into the major studios.Jdbandy (talk) 04:31, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Legacy and cult status[edit]

The "special edition" DVDs of ASOP 13 and The Fog were not released to "cash in" on the re-makes. The special edition DVD of ASOP 13 was released in 2003 and that of the The Fog was released in 2002. Although both films were reissued on DVD in 2005 (coinciding with release of the remakes), these reissues did not have additional special features, and, in the case of ASOP 13, have none of the special features included in the 2003 DVD.

Sullenspice 13:09, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Vampires sequel[edit]

"and a direct-to-video sequel was made in 2002 starring Jon Bon Jovi."
Are you sure of this? I don't know in the USA or other countries, but at least in Spain this film was released in cinema (it didn't last much in billboard, however)... 12:17, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


Carpenter's early screenwriting career[edit]

In the 1970s, before Assault on Precinct 13 became a hit in Europe, Carpenter wrote a number of spec scripts, including The Eyes of Laura Mars, which was eventually made into a film (although the script was substantially changed by other writers). It's not a source of Carpenter's major work, but this particular aspect of career (before his directorial career really took off) might be worth a mention.

Sullenspice 23:45, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

National Film Registry[edit]

I moved the reference to Halloween's induction to the NFR from the "Remakes and Return to Prominence" paragraph to the "Cult Status" paragraph. I think that the former paragraph addresses the recent phase of his career (a phase that will inevitably end), whereas the "Cult Status" paragraph deals more with his long term legacy as a filmmaker.

Sullenspice 17:30, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Assault on Precinct 13[edit]

Reverting edit by Ptdecker. There is no reason to remove production information about the film on this page. Other films discussed in this article have production/budget/reception information included. Also, by cutting the two paragraphs from this article and pasting into the AOP 13 article, redundancies were created there (which I have since fixed).

Sullenspice 18:25, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I understand Sullenspice's position and the reversion of my change. Seems to me that this article should focus on John Carpenter in a tight way and that details such as production information on an individual film should be within the article entry for the film in question. Perhaps all production notes should be moved to their respective films pages. Just my opinion.--P Todd 18:46, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
George Lucus entry is an example of where my thinking was at.--P Todd 18:49, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I think production information/reception is particularly relevant to a discussion of Carpenter's work as an independent filmmaker and his career history. Unlike Lucas (whose article, I personally think is too "bare bones"), Carpenter is well-known for creating independent films on low budgets. Moreover, I think it's important to discuss how the various production/reception problems Carpenter has encountered along the way have shaped his career trajectory. Sullenspice 19:08, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Good point and thank you for the dialog.--P Todd 21:25, 16 January 2007 (UTC)


  • A two paragraph lead is required to meet WP:LEAD, the lead also just tells us what he does and his influence on horror. Nothing about his early life or what "started" his career. Infact this article could use a 3 paragraph lead.
  • Wikilink Carthage, New York
  • This needs to be converted into two sentences - He was captivated by movies from an early age, particularly the westerns of Howard Hawks and John Ford, as well as 1950s low budget horror and science fiction films, such as Forbidden Planet and The Thing From Another World[1] and began filming horror shorts on 8 mm film even before entering high school.
  • and ultimately dropped out before finishing his degree. - Reference needed and why is "ultimately" there.
  • with producer John Longenecker, won the 1970 Academy Award for Live Action Short Film. prose problem
  • THis needs to be converted into two or three sentences - The film reportedly cost only $60,000 and was difficult to make as both Carpenter and O'Bannon completed the film by multitasking, with Carpenter doing the musical score as well as the writing, producing and directing, while O'Bannon acted in the film and did the special effects (which caught the attention of George Lucas who hired him to do work on the special effects for Star Wars)
  • "John T. Chance" - No bolding
  • consisted mostly of experienced but relatively obscure actors. - remove mostly
  • it became a critical and commercial success in Europe and is often credited with launching Carpenter's career. - reference
  • He describes himself as having been influenced by Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone. - Reference
  • Career setbacks and cult status - has no references
  • The Trivia section needs to be removed or incorporated into the body, as its unencyclopedic
  • Remove forum and unofficial websites from external links
  • References are missing details such as publisher, author, date retrieved, refer to {{cite web}} for more info.
  • Wikilink James Woods and Jon Bon Jovi under vampires, this section could be converted into two paragraphs w/o lists.
  • please merge, remove or expand the one sentence paragraphs
  • Not GA requirement but alphabetize categories
  • While additive terms like “also”, “in addition”, “additionally”, “moreover”, and “furthermore” may sometimes be useful, overusing them when they aren't necessary can instead detract from the brilliancy of the article. This article has 15 additive terms, a bit too much.

Basically more references bigger lead, better prose and it should be GA. Refer to Wikipedia:WPBiogaphy/Peer review for further input. M3tal H3ad 05:52, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Weasel Words[edit]

I've added the box because there are many claims such as "considered to be a great director". Please specify and source such statements by saying things such as "The movie reviewers So-and-so consider him to be a great director" or "He has a large fan base". Don't forget to cite! I'd help but I know nothing about the guy. Crito2161 00:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

I've removed your "weasel words" box, because I don't think you read very far into the article or else you just lightly skimmed it. Granted, there should be more citations (there is already a tag indicating this), but the article does address concrete indicators of his status as a filmmaker, such as his influence on a younger generation of directors, retrospectives of his work, and the induction of Halloween into the National Film Registry. Among other things, Carpenter is considered one of the giants of the horror genre. Most people with even a basic knowledge of film have some awareness of his status. Sullenspice 20:42, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


I have taken the plunge and decided to add a filmography section; it is by no means complete and could use your help. An accurate and concise John Carpenter article deserves this catagory. A couple of thoughts regarding the Filmography that I have assembled:

  • The chronological order I chose for the entire Filmography is the most recent film on the top and the oldest film on the bottom.
  • For released films, I only included films that have seen the light of day as a commercial release. I did not include any of the following student films:
Sorceror From Outer Space
Warrior And The Demon
Gorgon, The Space Monster
Gorgo Versus Godzilla
Terror From Space
Revenge of The Colossal Beasts
  • I did not include any information regarding John Carpenter's role exclusively or cooperatively as a producer, executive producer, writer, editor, or musician. There are a number of ways to approach this, but right now my main concern is to get the official Filmography up and running. To a certain degree, some of his non-directorial activities are already mentioned in the body of the article and in specific film articles. It really depends on how supporters of the John Carpenter article feel and respond to creating an all-inclusive list of JC's credits and whether or not they should be included in the official Filmography. LEX LETHAL 19:29, 10 June 2007 (UTC)


It appears the picture of JC has been removed. I'm uncertain if it was due to vandalism or a copyright violation. Can we locate another photo? Ideally, this time one that is public domain. LEX LETHAL 19:41, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Sandy King: Wrong internal linking![edit]

I doubt that Carpenter married a woman in 1990 that was born in 1877 ... ;-) The link is t the wrong woman. I got no idea how this Wikipedia-thing works, but if someone has a nack for correcting pages, this here (under: personal life, last line) is defi nitely wrong. Mango 26.05.09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Looks like someone already removed the links since his wife doesn't seem to have a wikipedia page yet. Could be something someone could add since she does have an IMDB I don't know what to name the new page though to seperate it from the other one (talk) 06:53, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

2000s–present: Remakes and Masters of Horror[edit]

How can this section be correct. It says "2001 saw the release of Ghosts of Mars and Carpenter's reputation remains strong" after the release of Ghosts of Mars. Ghosts of Mars was criticly panned and flopped comercially that doesn't sound anything like a fact that's supported by evidence. I'm going to delete this bit if anyone else agrees. (talk) 07:48, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Questionable paragraph in the article[edit]

It says that John Carpenter struggled to get his movies financed after the box office failure "Big Trouble In Little China". However this is nowhere else mentioned on the Internet or otherwise, in fact according to Imdb, etc.

And here I qoute from "His next major cross-genre project, 1986's Big Trouble in Little China (once again starring Russell), was a costly box-office disappointment, though the film went on to win a loyal cult following through cable and home video distribution. After its lackluster reception, however, Carpenter deliberately scaled back his projects. He preferred to make smaller films over which he could maintain greater control"

That implies that John Carpenter was NOT turned down by Hollywood studios. Obviously this Wikipedia article in a whole was either copied from or the other way around, totally neglecting other sources.

In various other sources, video interviews etc. It is mentioned that John Carpenter was extremely fond of "The Thing" and "Big Trouble in Little China" and was devestated in how Hollywood studios poorly marketed his property, many critics apparently hated those movies too and as a result John Carpenter left the big studios behind. Can anybody clean up this Wikipedia entry?

It is shameful and disgusting, If people want to take this website serious, you need to make better and more comprehensive research, copy and paste hackjobs are the last what this website needs. It is misleading and puts John Carpenter in unfavourable light. At that time he was very well critically acclaimed director only having two flops made, while his earlier movies like "Starman", "Escape from New York" were critical and financial successes. His credibility as a A-class director was until that point never doubted.

I think if Carpenter really would have wanted at that time, he could have made another big movie, in fact he did much bigger Hollywood movies in the 90s again for example "Escape From L.A".

So if this article does not get cleaned up then I will do it. People actually read this, I hope you understand how crucial it is to stick to facts and not opionionated half truths. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you: This article is horrendously written, like a fan-magazine article, not an encyclopedia entry. And don't even get me started on the citations to what looks like fan sites and other amateur or semi-professional at best sources. And it looks like editors have been noting WP:WEASEL and other problems with this article since 2007. I've made some very basic adjustments to adhere to Wikipedia policy and guidelines, but a lot more work and fuller research is going to be required. --Tenebrae (talk) 17:26, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
And investigating further, I see that much of the text that kept this from being a Good Article in 2007 is still contained in this article today. I've trimmed where I could for now and added cite reqs and a couple of tags in the hope other editors will help make improvements. --Tenebrae (talk) 19:59, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Marriage to Adrienne Barbeau[edit]

On this page it is stated that John Carpenter's marriage to Adrienne Barbeau was from 1979 to 1984:

  • In the infobox it states: "Adrienne Barbeau (1979–1984)"
  • In the "Personal Life" section it states: "Carpenter was married to Barbeau from January 1, 1979, to 1984."

On Adrienne Barbeau's page however, it states that their marriage lasted from 1979 to 1990:

  • In the infobox it states: "John Carpenter (m. 1979–1990)"
  • In the "Personal Life" section it states: "Barbeau was married to director John Carpenter from January 1, 1979 to 1990."

One of these pages obviously has the information wrong. Burbridge92 (talk) 21:32, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Orphaned references in John Carpenter[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of John Carpenter's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "thenumbers":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 20:30, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

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