The best to worst John Carpenter movies

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1.
The Thing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A research facility in Antarctica comes across an alien force that can become anything it touches with 100% accuracy. The members must now find out who's human and who's not before it's too late. (109 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ John Carpenter's classic update of "The Thing From Another World". The shape-shifting effects are now legendary and the intense atmosphere and feelings of paranoia ensure that this can still grip audiences. ” - fatpie42
 
2.
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational. (95 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ When Sam Neil's character goes to investigate an insurance claim related to the horror author Sutter Cane, the cynicism which normally serves his profession so well leaves him entirely unprepared for what he finds. Sutter Cane, the Stephen King-esque author in this movie turns out to have an other-worldly force behind his writing. Sam Neil is brilliant as always and really carries this film. ” - fatpie42
 
3.
They Live (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth. (94 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ The full phrase we find in the movie is "they live, we sleep". The economy is in big trouble and work is scarce. There's a strange group of people trying to interrupt the television signals to reveal something important, but their message makes no sense. However, the truth is revealed when our protagonist finds a special pair of glasses that allow him to see the world as it really is. ” - fatpie42
 
4.
Masters of Horror (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
With a torrid past that haunts him, a movie theatre owner is hired to search for the only existing print of a film so notorious that its single screening caused the viewers to become homicidally insane. (60 mins.)
“ Very similar to In The Mouth of Madness, except instead of a dangerous book it's a dangerous film reel. Our protagonist goes in search of an old lost film reel of the movie "La Fin Absolue du Monde". However, the movie is so powerful that even simply searching for it can cause some dangerous psychological effects. ” - fatpie42
 
5.
Escape from L.A. (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported. (101 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ The ridiculous over-the-top remake of Escape from NY. Very self-referential and ramping everything from the previous movie up to 11, this is great fun. Wonderfully daft. ” - fatpie42
 
6.
Vampires (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight. (108 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ James Woods plays a vampire hunter employed by the Vatican. However, the vampire hunters in this movie are far from saintly. They use modern methods to destroy the vampires and they are essentially thugs for hire. When they run into a Master vampire stronger than they've ever seen before, it seems that James Woods' vampire hunter may have finally met his match. ” - fatpie42
 
7.
Christine (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it. (110 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ Based on a Stephen King story about a killer car. The protagonist has a huge boost in confidence when he makes a hobby out of tuning up an old classic car who he refers to as "Christine". The odd relationship between the protagonist and his car is handled perfectly. (Pity about the bizarre 30 year old teenagers.) ” - fatpie42
 
8.
Escape from New York (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him. (99 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ A bit of an odd mixture of dark dystopia and silly comedy, Ken Russell stars as Snake Plissken, a futuristic cowboy figure. Having been captured by the totalitarian government, he is enlisted to save the President from New York which, in the future, is now an island prison. The comedy elements don't always gel well with the dark setting, but if you watch this in the right mood, it's really good fun. ” - fatpie42
 
9.
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A police sergeant and an unlikely band of criminals defend a closing LA precinct office on New Years Eve against an army of gang members. (91 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ A little slow-moving, but good quality all the same. A witness is hiding out at a police station that is on the verge of being closed down. The few prisoners who are temporarily transferred there and the skeleton staff find their lives are in danger from a mysterious gang. ” - fatpie42
 
10.
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. (99 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ It seems to have been the inspiration for the Mortal Kombat videogames. Ken Russell and Dennis Dun find themselves struggling against the black magic of Lo Pan. A fun action adventure with some great visuals. ” - fatpie42
 
11.
Halloween (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again. (91 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ The first big successful slasher movie (asides from possibly The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) interestingly has nearly no blood. The movie is essentially a monster movie, only the monster is a human being. The lack of the humanity of this central figure is conveyed brilliantly. Also, the film makes fun of certain horror movie conventions. Unfortunately a lot of dialogue with the 30 year old teenagers is rather clunky and the pacing is a bit uneven. ” - fatpie42
 
12.
The Fog (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers, which no one believes. On the eve of the town's centennial, many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers. (89 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ A mysterious fog is coming. It has strange powers and carries spirits of the dead within it. One of the more impressive and original ghost stories I've seen. ” - fatpie42
 
13.
Dark Star (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong. (83 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ Some sections feature some great dark comedy which was a major inspiration for the sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf. However, there are also 2001-esque slow-paced pretentious sections. ” - fatpie42
 
14.
The Ward (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
An institutionalized young woman becomes terrorized by a ghost. (89 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
15.
Prince of Darkness (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world. (102 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ Very weird, utterly preposterious, but with some great moments particularly towards the end. A few good ideas can't save this bizarre film. ” - fatpie42
 
16.
Ghosts of Mars (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
In 2176, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house. (98 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ A low-budget Jason Statham sci-fi movie. Not enough action to forgive the ridiculously stupid story. Some decent gore though. ” - fatpie42
 
17.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
After a freak accident, a yuppie turns invisible and runs from a treacherous CIA official, while trying to cope with his new life. (99 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ Actually a pretty good plot, but unfortunately Chevy Chase simply cannot carry the movie. The central character simply doesn't have enough personality. Sam Neil, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic as the bad guy. ” - fatpie42
 
18.
Starman (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them. (115 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ An E.T.-esque movie about an alien trying to understand humans. The way the alien (played by Jeff Bridges) keeps asking "what is love" and "what is beauty" yet seems to otherwise have a perfect grasp of human language (and even seems to be able to read without any point of reference) just seems daft. As with E.T. and Close Encounters, the government are against the aliens but without any decent reason. The effects are good, but the plot is stupid. ” - fatpie42
 
19.
Masters of Horror (2005 TV Series)
Episode: Pro-Life (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Determined to "rescue" his pregnant daughter from an abortion clinic, a religious fanatic and his sons plan a violent firearm assault just as the doctors suspect her pregnancy might not be of this world. (60 mins.)
“ What promises to be an interesting premise ends up with pointless scenes of gratuitous violence and an abrupt and unsatisfying ending. ” - fatpie42
 
20.
Village of the Damned (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A small town's women give birth to unfriendly alien children posing as humans. (99 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ A complete bastardisation of the original movie. The large number of explosions are strangely dull to the point where the original sixties black and white movie is actually more exciting. A lot of clunky dialogue and a lack of any genuine character development. ” - fatpie42