Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, writer-director John Carpenter cemented his legacy as one of the great genre movie auteurs of his generation. His films from that time are notable for their shoestring budgets and blockbuster box office, for his novel takes on horror and science fiction stories, and for his snout-to-tail production tactics. Carpenter is credited with not only cowriting and directing his most famous film, 1978’s Halloween, he’s also responsible for the famous treble ostinato of keys that is Michael Myers’s theme. Carpenter went on to compose most of the movie soundtracks to the films that terrified you as a kid: The Thing, Christine, and The Fog.
In the ’90s, Carpenter’s commercial film success faded and his interests diversified into television shorts, comics, and recording new music for a pair of independent release albums called Lost Themes I and II. However, his evocative pop movie instrumentals have been embraced of late by the next generation of electronic music minimalists, occasioning covers and remixes of his work by contemporary musicians like Zola Jesus, JG Thirlwell, and Blanck Mass.
Though he never played a live show until 2015, Carpenter’s multimedia concerts have been critically well received and feature full band support and screenings of scenes from his movies throughout. To celebrate the release of Anthology, a new collection of his best-known works, he’ll be playing the themes to They Live, Escape From New York, and Big Trouble in Little China in person at Terminal 5.
Why You Should Go: Carpenter rarely plays his music live; here’s a chance to relive the thrills and chills of your childhood.
John Carpenter Plays Anthology Live
610 West 56th Street (between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues), Hell’s Kitchen
Thursday, November 16
Doors open at 7 p.m.; show at 8 p.m.
$39.50 advance; $45 at door