John Carpenter, a quintessential horror movie director, is a true film auteur -- a writer, director, composer, producer, editor, and actor -- whose unique and inspired work has brought him the praise and admiration of both film critics and horror cultists. He is both the product of and an important participant in the American filmmaking tradition, and the intelligent, moody, and strange films with which his name is so quickly associated are sometimes simply Westerns in disguise. Essentially a lengthy, lively, and candid interview with Carpenter, this book covers his background, his inspirations, and his ups and downs in Hollywood and thoroughly discusses each of his films. Among the many and varied subjects that pop up are his Bible Belt childhood, German expressionism, Howard Hawks, John Wayne, The King, Barbra Streisand, Michael Myers, Kurt Russell, Stephen King, quantum physics, and attractive female extras. Among Carpenter's films are Dark Star, Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog, Escape From New York, The Thing, Christine, Big Trouble in Little China, Prince of Darkness, They Live, Village of the Damned, In the Mouth of Madness, and Escape From L.A.In addition to penning most of the screenplays for the films he has directed, he co-wrote The Eyes of Laura Mars.