Director/writer John Carpenter was a guest at this year’s Monster-Mania in Baltimore. Known for such films as Halloween (1978), Escape From New York (1981), The Fog (1980) and They Live (1988), Carpenter is considered an icon by many fans. I’ve never met Carpenter; I’m not sure I want to.
It hurts to say this, but his presentation at Monster-Mania 20 did little to persuade me that John Carpenter is not a bitter and unpleasant man. He answered fans’ questions very briefly and followed his answers with awkward silences. Carpenter told a fan to “F–k off!” when he disagreed with a comment about 1996’s Escape From L.A. Overall, Carpenter appeared as a cold, unenthusiastic curmudgeon.
While I enjoy meeting celebrities and rejoice at finding out that they’re interesting and grateful people, there are a few celebrities that I don’t want to meet. John Carpenter is one of them. I always advocate separating how the person is in real life from their work on film, in music, etc. Halloween and Big Trouble in Little China (1986) are two of my all-time favorite movies. John Carpenter is synonymous with Halloween and Michael Myers. I’d find it difficult to follow my own advice and not be upset by the way Carpenter is. Rather than meeting Carpenter, I’ll simply continue to enjoy and respect his movies. I don’t want to risk getting the cold shoulder from the man in person or, worse, have him show me his middle finger.
If you watch Carpenter’s entire Monster-Mania 20 discussion, keep an eye on the man moderating the session. His facial expressions and mannerisms reveal a disillusioned John Carpenter fan. Near the end of the Q&A, the moderator loses interest in the proceedings and is distracted by one of his colleagues.