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John Carpenter

  • The Thing (Double Pack Including Original) [Blu-ray][Region Free] The Thing (Double Pack Including Original) | Blu Ray | (26/03/2012) from £6.49  |  Saving you £23.50 (78.40%)  |  RRP £29.99

    The Thing (1982)Horror-meister John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York) teams Kurt Russell's outstanding performance with incredible visuals to build this chilling version of the classic The Thing. In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Once unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and becomes one of them.The Thing (2011)Paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) joins a Norwegian scientific team in Antarctica that has discovered an extraterrestrial ship buried in the ice, and an organism that seems to have died in the crash. When an experiment frees the alien, a shape-shifting creature with the ability to turn itself into a perfect replica of any living being, Kate must join the crew's pilot, Carter (Joel Edgerton), to keep it from killing them off one at a time. Paranoia soon spreads like an epidemic as they're infected, one by one, and a thrilling race for survival begins...The Thing is a prelude to John Carpenter's classic 1982 film of the same name.

  • The Thing [Blu-ray] The Thing | Blu Ray | (20/11/2017) from £13.30  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments of highly effective terror and spine-tingling suspense, but it's mostly a showcase for some of the goriest and most horrifically grotesque makeup effects ever created for a movie. With such highlights as a dog that splits open and blossoms into something indescribably gruesome, this is the kind of movie for die-hard horror fans and anyone who slows down to stare at fatal traffic accidents. On those terms, however, it's hard not to be impressed by the movie's wild and wacky freak show. It all begins when scientists at an arctic research station discover an alien spacecraft under the thick ice, and thaw out the alien body found aboard. What they don't know is that the alien can assume any human form, and before long the scientists can't tell who's real and who's a deadly alien threat. Kurt Russell leads the battle against the terrifying intruder, and the supporting cast includes Richard Masur, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimley. They're all playing standard characters who are neglected by the mechanistic screenplay (based on the classic sci-fi story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell), but Carpenter's emphasis is clearly on the gross-out effects and escalating tension. If you've got the stomach for it (and let's face it, there's a big audience for eerie gore), this is a thrill ride you won't want to miss. --Jeff Shannon

  • The Thing [1982] The Thing | DVD | (06/09/2010) from £5.10  |  Saving you £4.89 (48.90%)  |  RRP £9.99

    John Carpenter's apocalyptic The Thing was released in cinemas just two weeks after E.T. in 1982. The two movies could hardly have presented more contrasting ideas about extra-terrestrial life, and it was Carpenter's uncompromisingly bleak vision that lost out at the box-office. But his audacious remake of the Howard Hawks 1951 B-movie The Thing from Another World has since been acknowledged as a classic in its own right, not only for its pioneering makeup and special effects techniques, but also for its bold treatment of an alien "infection" that eerily foreshadow s AIDS-inspired blood contamination scares. Whizzkid Rob Bottin was responsible for the surreal and stomach-churning make-up effects that are so crucial a part of the film's success--without his utterly convincing creations Carpenter would never have been able to make a monster movie without a "man in a suit"--and filming on a glacier in British Columbia ensured the complete authenticity of the Antarctic setting. Kurt Russell leads a strong all-male cast who powerfully convey their isolation and distrust of one another--in more ways than one this is a film about alienation. The uneasy atmosphere is enhanced by an icily monochrome score from Ennio Morricone, as a series of unforgettable horror set-pieces lead to a wonderfully downbeat finale. On the DVD:: The bonus features are exemplary, notably the excellent 80-minute documentary, "Terror Takes Shape", which covers all aspects of the production; and the relaxed, friendly, informative commentary by director John Carpenter and star Kurt Russell--a model for how all commentaries should be. There's also an outtakes reel with some tantalising stills of unused footage. Text and stills-based montages illustrate the location design, conceptual artwork and various other aspects of the production. The sound mix is Dolby 5.1, although the non-anamorphic widescreen picture is not all it could be. --Mark Walker

  • The Fog [1979] The Fog | DVD | (04/08/2008) from £6.59  |  Saving you £6.40 (49.30%)  |  RRP £12.99

    A thick fog rolls into the sleepy town of Antonio Bay concealing the ghosts of murdered sailors desperate to seek revenge on the descendants of their killers. In one night the inhabitants of this town will pay the ultimate price for their forefathers' murderous greed...

  • The Fog [Blu-ray] [1979] The Fog | Blu Ray | (04/08/2008) from £8.59  |  Saving you £11.40 (57.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A thick fog rolls into the sleepy town of Antonio Bay concealing the ghosts of murdered sailors desperate to seek revenge on the descendants of their killers. In one night the inhabitants of this town will pay the ultimate price for their forefathers' murderous greed...

  • Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition [DVD] Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition | DVD | (21/10/2013) from £4.69  |  Saving you £8.30 (63.90%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition. For this very special release Anchor Bay went back to the vaults to present this legendary terror classic as never before including creating an all-new HD transfer personally supervised by the film's original cinematographer Academy-Award nominee Dean Cundey (Who Framed Roger Rabbit Apollo 13 the Back to the Future trilogy) a new 7.1 audio mix (as well as the original mono audio). Fifteen years ago Michael Myers brutally massacred his sister. Now after escaping from a mental hospital he's back to relive his grisly crime again and again... and again.

  • They Live [Blu-ray] They Live | Blu Ray | (02/03/2015) from £10.48  |  Saving you £12.51 (54.40%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Professional WWF wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper 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 wants to do now is chew gum and kick ass, and he's all out of gum. THEY LIVE is one of John Carpenter's most accomplished films. An action packed, satirical, sci-fi adventure and socio-cultural critique on the decline of spiritual values and the rise of consumerism within modern society, it also includes one of the longest fist fights in the history of cinema. Bonus Features: Audio commentary: Writer/Director John Carpenter and Actor Roddy Piper Independent thoughts: An interview with Writer/Director John Carpenter Woman of Mystery: An interview with Meg Foster Watch, Look, Listen: The sights and sounds of They Live Man vs Aliens: An interview with Actor Keith David The Making of They Live Commercials TV Spots

  • John Carpenter's Ghosts Of Mars [2001] John Carpenter's Ghosts Of Mars | DVD | (10/05/2004) from £2.84  |  Saving you £0.76 (12.70%)  |  RRP £5.99

    John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars attempts a productive combination of SF elements (a largely terraformed Mars with its long-lost civilisation) and horror (mass possession that turns the victims into rampaging, self-mutilating monsters that kill and burn). A police-force detachment turn up in a mining community to collect a bandit, whose last heist was uncharacteristically violent, and soon find themselves under siege from rampaging hordes who used to be solid citizens. This is a fairly simple set of variations on stock Carpenter elements--a hybrid between Assault on Precinct 13 and In the Mouth of Madness. However, there is some powerful chemistry between Nastasha Henstridge's icy, drug-abusing police lieutenant and Ice Cube's bandit, Desolation Williams, made stronger by the lack of sexual tension. Other characters, such as Pam Grier's tough commander and Clea Duvall's nervous rookie, are more or less defined by plot functions; the mobs never become more than faceless, or facially distorted, anonymous menaces. This is one for die-hard Carpenter fans only. On the DVD: Ghosts of Mars on disc comes with Dolby Digital sound and its original widescreen ratio of 2.35:1. A sparky commentary by Carpenter and Henstridge is included, which is informative, but otherwise there are uninspiring documentaries on the musical score, the special effects and the difficulties of shooting at night in the Mexican desert, as well as filmographies and the theatrical trailer. --Roz Kaveney

  • Christine [1984] Christine | DVD | (03/10/2005) from £21.99  |  Saving you £-16.00 (-267.10%)  |  RRP £5.99

    She can't (and won't) drive 55.... Stephen King's novel about the twisted love affair between a boy and his car gets transferred to the screen, courtesy of suspense master John Carpenter. Although lacking some of the more outré supernatural elements of the source material, this high-octane cinematic tune-up more than delivers the goods, horror-wise (Christine's midnight rampages will never be forgotten)--as well as being a sly exposé of the random cruelties within the high-school pecking order. Keith Gordon (who has gone on to become a stellar director in his own right, with films such as A Midnight Clear and Mother Night to his credit) gives a wonderfully controlled central performance. Carpenter's atmospheric original score is backed up by a well-chosen collection of rock classics, including George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone" (the titular character's all-too-apt theme song). --Andrew Wright, Amazon.com

  • Dark Star [Blu-ray] Dark Star | Blu Ray | (23/01/2012) from £8.29  |  Saving you £9.70 (53.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

    In the mid twenty-first century, mankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. Dark Star is a futuristic scout ship traveling far in advance of colony ships. Armed with Exponential Thermostellar Bombs, it prowls the unstable planets. But there is one obstacle that its crew members did not count on - one of the ships thinking and talking bombs is lodged in the bay, threatening to destroy the entire ship and crew!John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon combine their writing, creative, and technical talents to bring you this thrilling and extraordinary science fiction parody.

  • Big Trouble In Little China [1986] Big Trouble In Little China | DVD | (05/07/2004) from £3.99  |  Saving you £14.00 (77.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Trying to explain the cult appeal of John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China to the uninitiated is no easy task. The plot in a nutshell follows lorry driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) into San Francisco's Chinatown, where he's embroiled in street gang warfare over the mythical/magical intentions of would-be god David Lo Pan. There are wire-fu fight scenes, a floating eyeball and monsters from other dimensions. Quite simply it belongs to a genre of its own. Carpenter was drawing on years of chop-socky Eastern cinema tradition, which, at the time of the film's first release in 1986, was regrettably lost on a general audience. Predictably, it bombed. But now that Jackie Chan and Jet Li have made it big in the West, and Hong Kong cinema has spread its influence across Hollywood, it's much, much easier to enjoy this film's happy-go-lucky cocktail of influences. Russell's cocky anti-hero is easy to cheer on as he "experiences some very unreasonable things" blundering from one fight to another, and lusts after the gorgeously green-eyed Kim Cattrall. The script is peppered with countless memorable lines, too ("It's all in the reflexes"). Originally outlined as a sequel to the equally obscure Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, Big Trouble is a bona fide cult cinema delight. Jack sums up the day's reactions perfectly, "China is here? I don't even know what the Hell that means!". On the DVD: Big Trouble in Little China is released as a special edition two-disc set in its full unedited form. Some real effort has been put into both discs' animated menus, and the film itself is terrific in 2.35:1 and 5.1 (or DTS). The commentary by Carpenter and Russell may not be as fresh as their chat on The Thing, but clearly they both retain an enormous affection for the film. There are eight deleted scenes (some of which are expansions of existing scenes), plus a separate extended ending which was edited out for the right reasons. You'll also find a seven-minute featurette from the time of release, a 13-minute interview with FX guru Richard Edlund, a gallery of 200 photos, 25 pages of production notes and magazine articles from American Cinematographer and Cinefex. Best of all for real entertainment value is a music video with Carpenter and crew (the Coupe de Villes) coping with video FX and 80s hair-dos.--Paul Tonks

  • They Live [DVD] They Live | DVD | (02/03/2015) from £6.81  |  Saving you £11.18 (62.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Nada (Roddy Piper) arrives in Los Angeles, finds work on a construction site and a bed in a homeless camp. He notices the extent to which the people around him seem obsessed with television and obtaining material wealth, and one night, when he stumbles ac

  • Big Trouble In Little China [Blu-ray] Big Trouble In Little China | Blu Ray | (16/12/2013) from £11.99  |  Saving you £8.00 (40.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Trying to explain the cult appeal of John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China to the uninitiated is no easy task. The plot in a nutshell follows lorry driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) into San Francisco's Chinatown, where he's embroiled in street gang warfare over the mythical/magical intentions of would-be god David Lo Pan. There are wire-fu fight scenes, a floating eyeball and monsters from other dimensions. Quite simply it belongs to a genre of its own. Carpenter was drawing on years of chop-socky Eastern cinema tradition, which, at the time of the film's first release in 1986, was regrettably lost on a general audience. Predictably, it bombed. But now that Jackie Chan and Jet Li have made it big in the West, and Hong Kong cinema has spread its influence across Hollywood, it's much, much easier to enjoy this film's happy-go-lucky cocktail of influences. Russell's cocky anti-hero is easy to cheer on as he "experiences some very unreasonable things" blundering from one fight to another, and lusts after the gorgeously green-eyed Kim Cattrall. The script is peppered with countless memorable lines, too ("It's all in the reflexes"). Originally outlined as a sequel to the equally obscure Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, Big Trouble is a bona fide cult cinema delight. Jack sums up the day's reactions perfectly, "China is here? I don't even know what the Hell that means!". On the DVD: Big Trouble in Little China is released as a special edition two-disc set in its full unedited form. Some real effort has been put into both discs' animated menus, and the film itself is terrific in 2.35:1 and 5.1 (or DTS). The commentary by Carpenter and Russell may not be as fresh as their chat on The Thing, but clearly they both retain an enormous affection for the film. There are eight deleted scenes (some of which are expansions of existing scenes), plus a separate extended ending which was edited out for the right reasons. You'll also find a seven-minute featurette from the time of release, a 13-minute interview with FX guru Richard Edlund, a gallery of 200 photos, 25 pages of production notes and magazine articles from American Cinematographer and Cinefex. Best of all for real entertainment value is a music video with Carpenter and crew (the Coupe de Villes) coping with video FX and 80s hair-dos.--Paul Tonks

  • Vampires [Limited Dual Format Edition] [Blu-Ray] Vampires | Blu Ray | (30/01/2017) from £15.59  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    The first few minutes of John Carpenter's Vampires--in which James Woods' vampire killer leads a dawn raid on a New Mexico "goon nest" of bloodsuckers--not only suggests a horror movie that refuses to pull its punches, but even evokes some of the more disturbing dream-memories of American Westerns. Muscular and uncompromising, the sequence suggests a new Carpenter classic unravelling before one's eyes. Things don't quite work out that way, but this is still a film to reckon with. There are a few serious (and surprising) misjudgements on the director's part, particularly a mishandling of Sheryl Lee's role as a prostitute poisoned by the bite of a "master vampire" (who pretty much wiped out Woods' team of goon terminators). But aside from some weaknesses, the action is jolting, the suggested complicity of the Catholic Church in destroying monsters is provocative, and the traces of Howard Hawks' continuing influence on Carpenter's storytelling are in evidence. -- Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

  • Escape From New York [1981] Escape From New York | DVD | (04/08/2008) from £6.69  |  Saving you £6.30 (48.50%)  |  RRP £12.99

    1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane. Manhattan Island has become a maximum-security prison for three million criminals. When the American President's plane is hijacked and crashed on the island the President is taken hostage by gangland warlord 'The Duke'. Sent to the rescue is Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) a former war hero now a convicted criminal. To ensure safe return of the President the police commissioner (Lee Van Cleef) has had tiny time bombs implanted in Plissken's neck: if he gets the President out within twenty four hours he gets a pardon; if not he gets blown to pieces...

  • The Thing [Blu-ray] [1982] The Thing | Blu Ray | (01/12/2008) from £14.99  |  Saving you £5.00 (25.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments of highly effective terror and spine-tingling suspense, but it's mostly a showcase for some of the goriest and most horrifically grotesque makeup effects ever created for a movie. With such highlights as a dog that splits open and blossoms into something indescribably gruesome, this is the kind of movie for die-hard horror fans and anyone who slows down to stare at fatal traffic accidents. On those terms, however, it's hard not to be impressed by the movie's wild and wacky freak show. It all begins when scientists at an arctic research station discover an alien spacecraft under the thick ice, and thaw out the alien body found aboard. What they don't know is that the alien can assume any human form, and before long the scientists can't tell who's real and who's a deadly alien threat. Kurt Russell leads the battle against the terrifying intruder, and the supporting cast includes Richard Masur, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimley. They're all playing standard characters who are neglected by the mechanistic screenplay (based on the classic sci-fi story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell), but Carpenter's emphasis is clearly on the gross-out effects and escalating tension. If you've got the stomach for it (and let's face it, there's a big audience for eerie gore), this is a thrill ride you won't want to miss. --Jeff Shannon

  • Escape From New York [1981] Escape From New York | DVD | (17/10/2005) from £7.75  |  Saving you £10.05 (50.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane. Manhattan Island has become a maximum-security prison for three million criminals. When the American President's plane is hijacked and crashed on the island the President is taken hostage by gangland warlord `The Duke'. Sent to the rescue is Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) a former war hero now a convicted criminal. To ensure safe return of the President the police comm

  • Assault On Precinct 13 [Blu-ray] Assault On Precinct 13 | Blu Ray | (09/01/2017) from £9.29  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 is a riveting low-budget thriller from 1976, in which a nearly abandoned police station is held under siege by a heavily armed gang called Street Thunder. Inside the station, cut off from contact and isolated, convicts heading for death row and the cops must now join forces or die. That's the basic plot, but what Carpenter does with it is remarkable. Drawing specific inspiration from the classic Howard Hawks Western Rio Bravo (which included a similar siege on disadvantaged heroes), Carpenter used his simple setting for a tense, tightly constructed series of action sequences, emphasising low-key character development and escalating tension. Few who've seen the film can forget the "ice cream cone" scene in which a young girl is caught up in the action by patronising a seemingly harmless ice cream van. It's here, and in other equally memorable scenes, that Carpenter demonstrates his knack for injecting terror into the mundane details of daily life, propelling this potent thriller to cult favourite status and long-standing critical acclaim. From this Carpenter went on to make the original Halloween, one of the most profitable independent films of all time. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • Dark Star [1974] Dark Star | DVD | (17/01/2000) from £8.29  |  Saving you £9.70 (53.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

    The crew of the spaceship Dark Star are on a 20-year mission to destroy unstable planets and make way for future colonisation by using smart bombs which zoom off cheerfully to do their duty. But unlike the orderly inhabitants of Star Trek's Enterprise, the nerves of this crew are becoming frayed to the point of psychosis. Their captain has been killed by a radiation leak that also destroyed their toilet paper. "Don't give me any of that 'Intelligent Life' stuff", says Commander Doolittle when presented with the possibility of alien life, "Find me something I can blow up". When an asteroid storm causes a malfunction, Bomb Number 20 (the most cheerful character in the film) has to be repeatedly talked out of exploding prematurely, each time becoming more and more peevish, until they have to teach him phenomenology to make him doubt his existence. And the film's apocalyptic ending, lifted almost wholly from Ray Bradbury's short story "Kaleidoscope" has the remaining crew drifting away from each other in space, each to a suitably absurd end. Absurd, surreal and very funny. John Carpenter once described Dark Star as "Waiting for Godot in space". Made at a cost of practically nothing, the film's effects are nevertheless impressive and, along with the number of ideas crammed into its 83 minutes, ought to shame makers of science fiction films costing hundreds of times more. --Jim Gay

  • Ghosts of Mars [Limited Dual Format Edition] [Blu-Ray] Ghosts of Mars | Blu Ray | (30/01/2017) from £15.59  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars attempts a productive combination of SF elements (a largely terraformed Mars with its long-lost civilisation) and horror (mass possession that turns the victims into rampaging, self-mutilating monsters that kill and burn). A police-force detachment turn up in a mining community to collect a bandit, whose last heist was uncharacteristically violent, and soon find themselves under siege from rampaging hordes who used to be solid citizens. This is a fairly simple set of variations on stock Carpenter elements--a hybrid between Assault on Precinct 13 and In the Mouth of Madness. However, there is some powerful chemistry between Nastasha Henstridge's icy, drug-abusing police lieutenant and Ice Cube's bandit, Desolation Williams, made stronger by the lack of sexual tension. Other characters, such as Pam Grier's tough commander and Clea Duvall's nervous rookie, are more or less defined by plot functions; the mobs never become more than faceless, or facially distorted, anonymous menaces. This is one for die-hard Carpenter fans only. On the DVD: Ghosts of Mars on disc comes with Dolby Digital sound and its original widescreen ratio of 2.35:1. A sparky commentary by Carpenter and Henstridge is included, which is informative, but otherwise there are uninspiring documentaries on the musical score, the special effects and the difficulties of shooting at night in the Mexican desert, as well as filmographies and the theatrical trailer. --Roz Kaveney

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