On-line from the dominion
sci-fi web site.
Carpenter: OK. Here we go!
Carpenter: Fire away!
armitage: What inspired the sequel?
Overlord: What gave you the idea for the Escape movies
Carpenter: The sequel was inspired by what happened to Los Angels
in the early 90's What I mean is, the biggest riot in US history, one hell
of an earhquake, mudslides, fires, floods, and we're all still sitting
around at our swimming pools talking about what a paradise it is. We are
in heavy denial.
Sponge: What movie are you working on now?
Carpenter: No plans except a long vacation,
Carpenter: Waiting for the basketball season to begin. Now that
the Lakres have Shaquille O'Neil. (And we'll kick all of your butts!)
Glasfiber: Are you going to do some commentary for the laserdisc
release of Escape from LA, like you did with NY?
Carpenter: I'd love to do laserdisc comments as long as they pay
me lots of money...
KOOLKING: Is there going to be a dirctors cut of Escape from LA?
Carpenter: I do have some material that I cut out of the movie that
could be put into the laserdisc. Then, what you would have is a longer
slower, duller Escape from L.A....
talus: What can we expect from the score to escape from L.A. - is
the original theme from EfNY in it?
Carpenter: I have re-done the original theme from EFNY and you will
be able to hear it in all its glory if you will simply plunk down some
bucks at the box office Plus there will be a soundtrack album coming out.
There are 2 soundtrack albums: a score, and a rock & roll album.
Sponge: Are you a classically trained musician?
Carpenter: Sponge: No way!
KOOLKING: What happened to Snake's eye?
Carpenter: I can't tell you exactly what happened to Snake's eye
over the Internet, because it's much too horrifying and grotesque to even
begin to describe.
Glasfiber: Is there a 'director's cameo' in Escape from LA?
Carpenter: No director's cameo in EfLA
talus: For a non-classically trained musician, you're excellent.
Carpenter: Thank you very very much, you're a wonderful human being.
armitage: I thought you did an incredible adaptation of the Campbell
story Who Goes There?, was the ending purposely vague?
Carpenter: Yes it was purposefully vague.
garth: do you think that you could ever do a in the mouth of madness
Carpenter: Garth, Yes I could do one, but since the movie was not
a very big hit, I would not think there would be a huge audience for it.
Glasfiber: Why do you like shooting in 2.35 widescreen? Have you
ever considered shooting a movie in Super 35 or even 65mm?
Carpenter: RE 2.35 widescreen: (actually, 2.4:1 is the precise ratio
of widescreen) I love it because it is pure cinema. It's meant for the
Michael: I heard the 82 remake of The Thing didn't do very well
because word of mouth said it was too grisly.. Was that the case? (I haven't
seen the film)
Carpenter: Michael, don't listen to anybody else! In the next couple
of months, go out to your nearby laserdisc store and plunk down your money
for the special edition of THe Thing narrated by myself and Kurt Russell
And if you don't want to wait, you can send me the money directly care
of The Sci-Fi Channel.[just kidding - moderator]
Question: In both EfNY & EfLA, the actors are great: like Earnest
Borgnine, Pam Grier, etc. Do you write for them specifically?
Carpenter: Answer: No, I simply write the part then try to find
the best actor. In this case, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, and Steve Buscemi
were perfect for the roles.
KOOLKING: Were you proud of They Live?
Carpenter: I love 'They Live'. It is one of my favorites of my own
talus: Is Map to the Stars Eddie the same guy that Cabbie mentions
Carpenter: No Map-to-the-Stars Eddie isn't the same.
armitage: Ever think of adapting a lovecraft story, (Dunwhich Horror)?
Carpenter: Lovecraft: Yes, I'd love to do a Lovecraft story. I'm
not sure which one, though.
Hicks: Please, John, the world needs more Lovecraft movies.
Carpenter: HIcks: I agree! How about "The Color Out of Space."
How about "The Thing on the Doorstep?" How about "Beyond
the Wall of Sleep?"
garth: what movie do you think is or will be your biggest hit.
Carpenter: Garth: I believe that my upcoming film will be my biggest
hit and I'm proud to announce tonight that I'm leaving motion pictures
to go into pornography!
Overlord: Acting or producing ?
talus: wow, snake does dallas!
Gabhriel: In front of or behind the camera?
Carpenter: I will be producing, directing, photographing, and acting.
Hicks: How about "At the Mountains of Madness?"
Carpenter: Mountains of Madness? It would be great except that entire
area has been well explored, we'd have to re-set it in another place. [smiles]
armitage: who do you read? beside lovecraft obviously!
Carpenter: My main interest in reading is non-fiction. Primarily
armitage: Hence the references to tachyons in Prince [of Darkeness].
DJ_Dave: A number of epople have commented on "The Wave"
in the commercial and previews with Snake surfing. They say the digital
effects look kinda cheap. Any comments?
Carpenter: The people who say that about the Wave look kind of cheap
to me However, I think you should make up your own mind and plunk down
your money at the box office starting next Friday.
Michael: The stills I've seen from The Thing look great (fx's that
is) Has Rob Bottin done any of your other movies?
Carpenter: No, Rob hasn't.
DJ_Dave: Heh. What do you think about films using more and more
digital effects over tradtion methods? (And don't worry, I plan on going
as soon it gets here)
Carpenter: I think that digital effects are simply another tool
to be used when appropriate. They are no better nor worse than the old-fashioned
jskip: Which actor did you like working with the most
Carpenter: I have several favorites including Kurt Russell, Jeff
Bridges, and Sam Neill.
talus: Will you ever bring JACK BURTON back for more big trouble?
Carpenter: Again, Big Trouble was not Big Hit.
Michael: Have you found it easier to do fx's today (let me restate
that - more enjoyable) with computer technology than in the earlier days?
Carpenter: Digital effects are no easier than old-fashioned effects.
It's all the same.
Carpenter: It's not like ordering pizza.
KOOLKING: Why is Snake so stupid? He get explosives in his arteries
in the first film and a virus in the second.
Carpenter: The reason he's so stupid has to do with why he lost
his eye and I can't really tell that on the Internet because of its grotesque
and hideous nature.
garth: mr.carpenter do you like the internet
Carpenter: I love the Internet so much that I can barely stand it.
armitage: Who do you like as far as directors go?
Carpenter: My favorite all-time director is Howard Hawks.
Glasfiber: Do you like Star Wars?
Carpenter: I love Star Wars!
axell: How about answering someone elses question Mr. Carpenter
Carpenter: axell, I'm sorry, I would love to answer your question,
but I can't remember what it is; would you say it again?
axell: Are you going to release a Special Directors Version of 'The
Thing' that has been digitized and includes a interview with you like you
did with Escape?
Carpenter: axell: Yes, I am going to do that. See, I answered your
axell: Thank you much. Can you give me a release date?
Carpenter: I don't know the release date, but if you will send money
to me care of The Sci-FI Channel, I will try to find out. [just kidding
garth: john do you collect anything
Carpenter: garth: I do. I collect lobby cards from old movies.
Michael: Not to be inconsiderate, but I don't care to much for most
sequels I see. I haven't seen past Halloween 2 so I don't know if you had
a hand in them. did you?
Carpenter: Michael: No. Nothing past #2
BigFan: How did you feel about the series of HALLOWEEN sequels to
your original film?
Carpenter: Not good.
Glasfiber: Is there any chance for more instalments of Body Bags?
Carpenter: Glasfiber: Yes. Showtime has shown an interest in doing
more, and now that they have paid me my share of the residuals, I have
shown interest in doing more.
jayboy: How did you start in directing, school?
Carpenter: I started directing in film school.
DJ_Dave: What would you say is the best way for an amateur film
director to get a film to the public?
Carpenter: Write a film that all the studios want to make. Sell
it. Then write another one and this time insist that you are the director.
talus: Will Peter Jason or Buck Flower be making an appearance in
Escape from L.A. I love how you use a lot of familiar faces in your films.
Carpenter: talus: Peter Jason is in Escape.
SonOfWorf: Mr. Carpenter: How on earth did you ever come up with
the idea for Mouth of Madness? It was a totally freaky movie...
Carpenter: SonOfWorf: I didn't. It was written by Michael De Luca
who happens to be the head of production at New Line Cinema.
SonOfWorf: Oops, my mistake ... were the visuals your idea?
Carpenter: God, I hope so!
jayboy: How can you handle all these questions?
Carpenter: I have lots of drugs, lots of beer, lots of babes.
Overlord: I hope you brought enough for everybody !
jayboy: Next, Movie ESCAPE FROM THE NET?
Carpenter: Next movie, Escape from Earth. [smiles]
SonOfWorf: Escape from Earth ... I can see it now ... ("Hmmm...
good-bye to the human race!")
garth: have you ever thought about doing a movie about the end of
Carpenter: I think about it every night.
Michael: I heard Assault on Precinct 13 was being included with
the release of another movie (Mouth of Madness I believe) Is this for laser-disc
only or do you know? thanks..
Carpenter: I have no idea.
Question: Is Napoleon [from Precinct 13] like Snake Plissken?
Carpenter: Yes, Snake, Napoleon, and John Nada (They Live) are all
the same character. They are a part of me.
SonOfWorf: What do you think of Bruce Campbell as an actor?
Carpenter: I love Bruce Campbell.
garth: do you think escape from la will top independence day
jskip: Did you ever like working with Lee Van Cleef on Escape from
jayboy: I can't take this anymore
Carpenter: I can't blame you.
Sponge: Are you planning an historical costume-drama?
Carpenter: Not on the immediate horizon.
Question: Would you like to break from your "genre" type
Carpenter: I *am* type cast.
SonOfWorf: Did you or Kurt have Bruce in mind when you scripted
the Surgeon General?
Glasfiber: Have you ever considered shooting a movie in 65mm or
in the IMAX format?
SonOfWorf: Ooooh ... IMAX (drooool)
talus: Will there ever be a reunion of the "Coup de Villes"?
Carpenter: The Coup de Villes are all movie directors now and don't
have time to make rock & roll, however, if you would like to send money
to me care of The Sci-Fi Channel, I will see if I can arrange it. te:
Are there any movies you regret not being able to make (Pincushion,Shadow
Carpenter: Yes. Both the ones you mention.
jskip: Did you ever see the Saturday Night Live skit"Escape
from Escape from New York"
Michael: Ever thought of doing a movie with John Woo? thanks.
Carpenter: No, but I met him the other day. He's a smoker just like
Question: The cabby in EfNY: did he get stuck there because of some
Carpenter: He just stayed because he liked driving a cab.
Glasfiber: Are there any current filmmakers you admire?
Carpenter: I really like Quentin Tarrantino.
te: Do you have any dream projects?
Carpenter: Dream projects? I told you, I want to go into pornography.
BigFan: What made you decide to do a remake of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED?
Carpenter: Universal Pictures offered it to me.
BigFan: Good answer!
garth: john do you like wrestling
jskip: Would you ever do a movie with John Travolta, Bruce Willis,
or Jackie Chan
armitage: Do you feel anyone is producing decent scifi these days?
Carpenter: Sure. Sci-fi is having a resurgence. Let's celebrate
Question: Other than Body Bags, is there any TV project you'd lke
Carpenter: Not unless it were an extensive H.P.Lovecraft project.
te: What happened to your SCI-FI Buzz commentaries-I only saw one?
Carpenter: Buzz commentaries: The reason I shot only 1 is because
I was only asked once. I would love to do more.
armitage: what is it about Lovecraft you like?
Carpenter: armitage: He's one of the modern masters of horror.
jskip: Have you ever wacthed any Japanese Animation
Carpenter: jskip: yes. Akira is fantastic.
jskip: If anybody ever asked you to do a live action Akira, would
ya.If you did who would be in it.
Carpenter: No live action Akira for me!
KOOLKING: why is Escape from LA so much like Escape from New York?
Carpenter: Why not?
axell: John, who do you think is tougher: Snake or MaCready ??
Carpenter: OK. Snake is more of a fantasy character. He's the kind
of guy like an old-time Western outlaw. McReady is a real fully realized
human being and I think it is Kurt Russell's best performance.
Questar: Mr Carpenter are you into the Occult?
Carpenter: Questar: no.
KOOLKING: Where did you get the idea for They Live?
Carpenter: They Live is based upon a short story called 8 o'clock
in the morning written by Ray Nelson.
MsDracula: Are you going to be making any vampire movies?
Carpenter: Aren't there enough already?
Michael: I love your quote "Real life is scarier than any movie
these days." So true..
Carpenter: Thank you very much.
Questar: Are you going to make any Comic oriented movies?
Carpenter: I'm in negotiations right now to direct a Science-Fiction
adventure based on a comic book and a role-playing game.
Michael: If I wanted to see 'The Resurrection of Bronco Billy",
how would I go about obtaining it? thanks..Heard you won an academy
award for it.. congrats (although 26 years belated.) Carpenter: I
would be glad to send you a personal copy of Bronco Billy if you will simply
put lots of money in the mail and send it to me care of the Sci-Fi Channel.
Glasfiber: To what extent have you made Escape from LA similar to
Escape from NY and in what ways have you "upgraded" the concept?
Carpenter: When we started to make the film, Paramount told us that
the majority of the audience out there (according to their market research)
had not seen Escape from New York (I'm serious). So, what we did was make
a movie that re-introduced the elements of the first movie to a brand-new
audience and tried not to piss off fans of the first one.
Daisy: Was that a (just kidding) about sending money to the Sci-Fi
Channel? (- legal department)
Carpenter: Daisy: Well it depends on how much money you'd like to
send (yes, of course it's a joke).
Question: Why the 69th st bridge in EfNY?
Carpenter: A cheap adolescent joke...
Glasfiber: When watching movies on TV, do you prefer them letterboxed
Carpenter: Glasfiber: I cannot watch a pan&scan movie...
KOOLKING: Is it true that Issac Hayes wanted to play Dukes twin
brother in this one?
Carpenter: Yes, and I told him "No way man! You're dead!"
Questar: Any plans to make Computer Games?
Carpenter: I have no plans to make computer games, but if they offered
me "Doom", I'd make it in 2 seconds.
Michael: Do you find you have more of a European following or an
American following? Thanks
Carpenter: I find that I am accepted more as a serious director
in Europe than in America.
MsDracula: How many more movies do you plan to make before 1997?
Carpenter: MsDracula: Well, I plan to make several when I go into
porn, since we shoot them in 1 day. Just think of it, so many days, so
many films, so much fun.
Deeznutz1: What do you think of Hollywood's new pair of sci-fi sweethearts
Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich?
Carpenter: Deeznutz1: Well, they're not doing to bad, are they?
They've made 2 hit films in a row and they're about to take on Godzilla.
What more do you want?
axell: Why was "Cabbie" the only person to like being
Carpenter: Right now, I'm sitting amongst a room full of New Yorkers,
so I cannot answer that question.
Question: I'd heard that originally the idea for EfNY was EfLA,
but because of budget constraints, you couldn't do the whole "island"
Carpenter: I wrote EfNY right out of film school and it was always
supposed to be New York because at the time, NY was somehow, the total
evil center of America, but now, LA has taken over that place.
Carpenter: Pause for director's time-out
Carpenter: THanks guys for hanging in, but I am being dragged awawy
forcefully to get drunk with Kurt Russell. So good night, good luck, and
be sure to plunk your bucks when Escape from L.A. premieres near a theater
near you this Friday.
From The Dominion: Thanks for coming everyone. Check on The Dominion for
transcripts and other John Carpenter news. And special thanks to John for
coming over to chat with us - he's been a terrific guest and we hope to
be able to do this again soon.
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