Halloween – 1978 Available now on DVD, Blu-ray, and Amazon Video
Written by John Carpenter & Debra Hill
Directed by John Carpenter
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, P.J. Soles, Kyle Richards, Nancy Loomis, Nick Castle
Original release date: October 25, 1978
FEARnyc screening: October 27, 2016
There is almost nothing left that can be said about John Carpenter’s Halloween. It is widely recognized as a classic of horror, one of the scariest movies ever made, and the film that inspired and jump-started the slasher sub genre. What I can offer is perhaps a fresh perspective. You see, on Thursday night, at the final night of the weeklong FEARnyc horror film festival, I took my 12-year-old son Brandon to see Halloween on the big screen for the first time.
Introduced by FEARnyc director John Capo, Halloween starts with a long uninterrupted take tracking the killer arming himself, heading upstairs, putting on a clown mask, and stabbing a girl to death. We find out this was 6-year-old Michael Myers, and the victim was his older sister Judith. “That’s him?,” Brandon whispered. A few seconds later, when a 21-year-old Michael leaps on top of Loomis’s station wagon to escape, “That was him?” Sitting next to him, you could feel his body tense up when Carpenter used one of his taut musical cues. Having seen Halloween countless times, I was enjoying my son’s experience more.
Assault on Precinct 13 Blu-ray
Directed by John Carpenter
Written by John Carpenter
Starring Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer, Martin West, Tony Burton, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis Scream! Factory
Release Date: November 19th, 2013
In 1976, having recently come off his feature-length debut of Dark Star, fledgling writer and director John Carpenter was given a small budget and carte blanche by a group of investors for him to make his next movie. That film would become Assault on Precinct 13. Originally titled The Anderson Alamo, the film was setup to be a modern western, based heavily on Rio Bravo, in which the outnumbered and outgunned barricaded heroes must face off against an unwavering enemy.
It is Bishop’s first day as Lieutenant in the LAPD, and for his first assignment he is sent to a police station in a rough part of south Los Angeles called Anderson to oversee its last night of operation before it is closed down in the morning. Meanwhile a bus transporting prisoners, including convicted killer Wilson on his way to death row, makes an unscheduled stop at the station when one of the prisoners gets sick.
What should be an inconvenient, but otherwise uneventful, delay for the bus transport becomes a night of sheer Hell as a local gang makes siege on the station as they attempt to get to someone inside. As the night wears on, cop and convict must join forces and defend themselves from the unending onslaught if they are to survive to see daylight. Everyone fights. Not everyone will survive.