The John Carpenter Collection

Just in time for Halloween we see the release of the John Carpenter Collection, a dvd set of the best of John Carpenters films. The set features the movies HALLOWEEN, THE THING, THE FOG, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, THEY LIVE, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, PRINCE OF DARKNESS. All of which are the John Carpenter versions that defined a period of cinematic history

Only a handful of filmmakers could hope to achieve the cult status that the legendary John Carpenter and his highly influential, unmistakable movies has attained. Having written, directed, edited and scored the music for the best of his films he remains a true auteur and a groundbreaking innovator of independent cinema. With his vivid imagination, sly streaks of dark humour and his tense, terrifying and sometimes disturbing scenarios he has become renowned as a master of horror and is responsible for creating some of modern cinemas most original and iconic characters, from Halloweens relentlessly evil Michael Myers and Escape from New Yorks unstoppable anti-hero Snake Plisskin to The Fogs unforgettable army of zombie pirates.

Packed full of features and extras the set achieves a whopping 651 minutes running time, a bargain for a set under ?55. Checking Play.com I see that the set is currently listed as under ?40

Full FilmDetails / Features Details:

HALLOWEEN (1978)

Its Halloween night, 1963, and a 17-year-old girl, Judith Myers, is brutally stabbed to death by her younger brother, Michael. Fifteen years to the day and Michael has escaped from a mental institution and is heading back home to begin his murderous rampage. Often replicated but never bettered, Halloween is one of the most successful and controversial independent films of all time, hailed as the original slasher movie. Incredibly dark and disturbing it remains as frightening today as it did on its original release. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance.

Extras: 5.1 / trailers / Halloween Unmasked 2000 / TV spots / bios

Cert: 18
Feature Running Time: 87 mins approx
Region 2
Feature Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour PAL
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
English Language

THE THING (1982)

One of John Carpenters most intense and thrilling horror, science fiction thrillers, The Thing takes place within the claustrophobic confinement of an Antarctic research station. After a Norwegianelicopter mysteriously crashes near his US camp, helicopter pilot JR MacReady (Kurt Russell) travels to the Norwegian base to find out what has happened. Here he finds that a shape shifting alien being, able to replicate any living creature, has infiltrated its crew resulting in hideous deaths and a relentless atmosphere of psychotic paranoia MacReady must find whose form the alien has taken and try and save the rest of the bases inhabitants before its too late.

Extras: John Carpenters The Thing: Terror Takes Shape Making of Documentary / Feature Commentary with John Carpenter & Kurt Russell / Production Background Archive / Cast Production Photos / Production Art & Storyboards / Location Design / Production Archives / Outtakes / Production Notes / Post Production / Theatrical Trailer / Cast & Filmmakers Notes: Kurt Russell, John Carpenter
Cert: 18
Feature Running Time: 104 mins approx
Region 2
Feature Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour PAL
Audio: Stereo, 5.1
English Language

THE FOG (1980)

Antonio Bay, California has turned a hundred years old and is getting ready to celebrate its centennial year. But as the residents of the small, quaint harbour town begin to prepare for the festivities a mysterious cloud of fog appears upon the shore and begins to make its way across Antonio Bay leaving a trail of horrifying slaughter which hints to the blood soaked history of the town. Starring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh.

Extras: Tales From The Mist (30 min documentary) / teaser trailer / trailer / 5.1

Cert: 15
Feature Running Time: 86 mins approx
Region 2
Feature Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Colour PAL
Audio: Stereo, 5.1
English Language

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976)

Assault on Precinct 13 stands as one of the ultimate genre-defying moments in modern cinema. When a vicious gang murder a young girl in cold blood, her vengeful father incites full blown conflict by shooting one of her killers, before fleeing to the soon-to-be-closed Precinct 13 where only one officer, two secretaries and a handful of criminals remain. Faced by an enemy that is cold, brutal and terrifyingly merciless, Lt. Bishop (Austin Stoker) and the others are isolated as night falls, and then the attack begins.

Extras: Video Q&A with John Carpenter and star Austin Stoker at the American Cinematheque 2002 (23 mins) / Directors Commentary / Isolated Music Score / Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery (17 mins) / 2 Radio Spots / Trailer

Cert: 15
Feature Running Time: 88 mins approx
Region 2
Feature Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour PAL
Audio: Mono
English Language

THEY LIVE (1988)

Obey. Submit. Consume. Watch TV. Do not question authority. Money is your god. No independent thought. No Imagination. They live. We sleep. Professional WWF wrestler Rowdy Roddy Powder plays John Nada, a homeless, unemployed construction worker who discovers a pair of sunglasses that when worn suddenly reveal a world run by upwardly mobile, capitalist, yuppie aliens intent on keeping the human race sedate and brainwashed with subliminal messages fed through advertising and the media. Luckily for us all John Nada is a man of action and so begins the fight-back (including perhaps the longest fistfight in cinemas history) to save humankind.

Extras: Making of featurette / John Carpenter & Roddy Piper Commentary / John Carpenter Profile / Roddy Piper profile / Meg Foster profile / trailer

Cert: 18
Feature Running Time: 90 mins approx
Region 2
Feature Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour PAL
Audio: Stereo, 5.1
English Language

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)

The year is 1997 and in a police state future the island of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum-security prison. The rules are simple: once youre in, you dont come out. But when the United States president (Donald Pleasance) crash lands an escape pod into the centre of the city after fleeing a hijacked plane, a ruthless prison warden (Lee Van Cleef) bribes ex-soldier and criminal Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russell) into entering the hazardous Manhattan and rescuing the distraught president from the twisted world of New York and from the demented clutches of its new ruler The Duke (Isaac Hayes).

Extras: Return to Escape from New York (23 mins) / New and exclusive John Carpenter interview (31 mins) / 3 x original trailers / Snakes Crime (deleted original intro) / 5.1 / Commentary with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell

Cert: 15
Feature Running Time: 94 mins approx
Region 2
Feature Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Colour PAL
Audio: Stereo / 5.1
English Language

(1987)

Deep in the basement of an abandoned church, once run by a sinister religious sect, lies a strange bottle of green liquid being investigated by a group of local theoretic physics students. But as the night draws on the students soon realise that the strange relic holds a dark and powerful force beyond their control. A force that could well be the essence of pure evil: the remains of Satan himself. Starring Donald Pleasance, Jameson Parker and Jason Wong.

Extras: trailer

Cert: 15
Feature Running Time: 97 mins approx
Region 2
Feature Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour PAL
Audio: Stereo
English Language

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Brian founded Scifind after university, studying Molecular Biology and Genetics. Brian's adventures in the lab rekindled his love of science fiction and led indirectly to him deciding to form his own online marketing company. Scifind followed and now he spends his time working on Scifind.com and most importantly, the SF Buzz. As the editor and founder, Brian is responsible for the magazine's direction and vision. He tweets too much @scifind

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2 comments on “The John Carpenter Collection
  1. Jorge says:

    Thank you for reviewing this collection. But it seems to me that almost all of these movies are cut versions of the originals – if you compare the running time from imdb with your specifications there are always some minutes missing here. Since I think that cutting movies is a shameful deformation of the original this collection isn’t worth any money.

  2. Vil says:

    @Jorge
    PAL releases are always a bit shorter than the NTSC versions, so the runtimes not matching doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cut. I’d be interested in buying this, so does anyone have definite information on whether the films are uncensored?

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