MUSIC :: JOHN CARPENTER… COMPOSER

Anyone who knows horror knows John Carpenter. His contributions to not only the horror genre, but also the world of film at large are nothing short of landmarks. He has truly given us some of the most memorable film experiences of the past 40 years. His work as a director on  films like the great psychological masterpiece,”The Thing”  or the genre-defining “Halloween” stands alone.

For this post, I wanted to pay homage to another aspect of Carpenter’s talent… The role of composer.

John Carpenter has 22 credits to his name as film score composer on IMDB. That’s a heck of a record for one who’s primary focus is that of director. That alone is amazing.

But what really makes Carpenter so effective as a composer is the skill with which he uses musical progressions to create mood for film THROUGH composition. He has given us some of the most moody, and dare I say, chilling music in film. I would put his work for “Halloween” or “Prince of Darkness” up against any of the greats like “Jaws” for sheer effectiveness and memorability. When you hear that music, you feel something and you don’t forget it.

Here are a few classics. I’ve pulled just a few examples here, but legendary ones. Listen to these  ::

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From “Halloween”

From “Prince of Darkness”

From “Christine”

From “In the Mouth of Madness”

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Mr. Carpenter… I remain in awe of ALL of your prodigious talents. Thank you for all of the aural chills.

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ART :: THE TOP 50 HORROR POSTERS OF ALL TIME… 45 >> 41

As you may be able to tell, I love great poster art, but especially posters from the great horror movie cannon. This is the second installment of my countdown of the best of the genre.

Here’s how I selected the list. I used three main criteria to shape my decisions ::

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>> DESIGN / IMAGE — This is the baseline. As a designer by trade, I feel strongly that any great or effective poster HAS to start here. Is the poster effective as a piece of art? Is the poster is a strong representative of the art of graphic design? Did it capture a particular spirit or movement in design?

>> TITILLATION / PROMOTION — Though we tend to contextualize film and the associated collateral as “art,” it is ultimately a form of commerce. Any movie poster has to promote the film it supports either through a delicious tease or overt sales pitch. How effective is the poster at selling the film it is tied to?

>> IMPACT / LEGACY — Sometimes even mediocre films get truly great posters. Sometimes, we even remember the image of the poster far longer than the film itself. What was the lasting effect of the poster? Was it iconic or timeless in some way? Was a part of a larger context?

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Every poster on this list is a cocktail of the above elements, mixed in different ways. All successful in their own right. Let’s jump in to 45 >> 41…

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30_days_of_night

2007

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dr_caligari

1920

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blacula

1972

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american_scream

2012

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peeping_tom

1960

Look for Part III, coming right up!

Special thanks to http://www.impawards.com for many of the images in this countdown. AWESOME site.

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FILM :: BEST OF HORROR SHORTS … “THE BACKWATER GOSPEL”

Sorry for the silence for the past days. I have just (mostly) completed a move with my family and we’re still without solid wi-fi. I’ve now figured out cellular tethering to get things back up-and-running until I get cable service set up. Enough about that… BACK TO BUSINESS…

filmshorts

Today, I wanted to share a really stylish animated short called “The Backwater Gospel.” It’s got a very artistic, textural feel and it’s devilishly ghoulish. Enjoy!

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