Saturday, 19 February 2011


I saw this not long after it first came out and I thought it was terrific. Over thirty years later and I see no reason to revise my opinion. Simple story, clearly defined characters, a ruthless seemingly unstoppable and mostly unseen enemy, taut dialogue, crisp editing (by John T Chance aka writer/director Carpenter), a repetitive but hypnotic score by -guess who?- Carpenter, escalating tension. Initially overlooked in the States, it was British critics who recognised it for the superior piece of genre (it's a western in drag) moviemaking it is.

I'd have given it five stars if the 'special edition' had been special. However, no subtitles which I can forgive on no budget horror movies but really annoys me on a classy film like this one. An interview with Carpenter and Austin Stoker videod at some film festival or other has murky almost unintelligble sound. There is a commentary by Carpenter but that hardly makes it a special edition.

But this is still a must-see movie.

Spoiler Warning: don't look at the picture below as it shows the survivors at the end of the movie.

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