John Carpenter has been setting trends and exciting audiences for a quarter of a century. His first two features were a double-whammy virtually unparalleled in modern cinema - the urban re-working of Rio Bravo, Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), followed by the first and defining slasher movie, Halloween (1979). Since then Carpenter has worked with low and big budgets, directed stars and unknowns, and enjoyed commercial success and suffered critical failure. But he has consistently produced a stream of entertaining, unpretentious movies some of which - particularly Escape from New York (1981) and The Thing (1982) - are now regarded as modern classics. In their Pocket Essential to John Carpenter, Michelle le Blanc and Colin Odell examine and rate every film by this prolific director.
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