Escape from L.A., Escape from N.Y., They Live, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, The Fog, Christine, Starman+
Director; writer, composer.
While attending the University of Southern California's School of Cinema, Carpenter began work on DARK STAR, a science fiction comedy short that was later expanded into a feature length film and released theatrically in 1975. His second feature, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976) was partially an homage to his idol, Howard Hawks, and basically reimagined that director's RIO BRAVO in an urban setting. Carpenter's breakthrough film was HALLOWEEN (1978), the seminal horror film; made for $300,000, it was the most profitable independent movie of its day, and to date has spawned several sequels.
Other works include THE FOG (1980), ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981), THE THING (1982), CHRISTINE (1983), STARMAN (1984), and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986), many of which he also scripted and scored.
Disenchanted with major studio politics, Carpenter determined to make independent films again and retain a greater degree of control. His films during this period include PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987), THEY LIVE (1988), IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994) and VAMPIRES (1996).
Carpenter also co-wrote EYES OF LAURA MARS (1978) and directed such TV movies as SOMEONE's WATCHING ME (1978) and ELVIS (1979), which starred his frequent collaborator Kurt Russell. Recently he has directed two episodes of Masters of Horror for Showtime.
John Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father was the head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC School of Cinema in Los Angeles.