Thursday, November 17, 2011

John Carpenter & Kurt Russell

Russell and Carpenter on the set of Big Trouble in Little China, 1986.

Sure, there's Ford and Wayne, Scorsese and DeNiro, Hitchcock and Grant/Stewart, Herzog and Kinski, Burton and Depp but least we forget John Carpenter's string of great films made with Kurt Russell: Elvis (1979), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and, er, Escape from LA (1996; unfortunately a pointless remake of his earlier classic). With the exception of Elvis in 1979, a made-for-TV movie (Carpenter had just finished Halloween and wanted to try a non-horror genre; it's actually pretty good), their subsequent films together cast Russell as a tough (yet flawed), cocky, wise-cracking anti-hero. Best seen wearing an eye patch.

John Carpenter has only made one film since 2001's poorly-received Ghosts of Mars (though I loved it) and that's this year's poorly-received The Ward (I hadn't heard of it until like ten minutes ago). And Kurt Russell's not been in a good film since, er, Stargate (1994)? Overboard (1987; hilarious)? It surely must be time for a reunion. Au contraire, reckons Carpenter in a recent interview:

'[Kurt Russell's] so rich, he doesn't need to work with me anymore. He has a vineyard, he has a bottle of wine that he sells. Kurt's an entrepreneur, he doesn't need to work with me again. But it would be fun to work with him again.'

What about a follow up to Big Trouble in Little China? 'Kurt Doesn't want to do it, he's embarrassed by the failure of that movie.'

What about the embarrassment of every movie he's been in since then? Huh? I loved Big Trouble in Little China. It sort of successfully transported my favourite genre(s) – the Hong Kong Kung Fu Comedy Horror Film – to Hollywood. And it had Kurt Russell in it.

Previously on Barnflakes:
The Tedium is the Message mentions a curious, little-known Kurt Russell fact.


Bobby Onion said...

Death Proof? Not Carpenter but a return to genre film making. The man rules!!

Barnaby said...

I must admit I haven't seen it... but may have to check it out. Thanks.