John Carpenter is one of the great masters of the horror genre. Or is he? Sure, he’s directed some of the great classics of the genre (plus the occasional sci-fi, and sometimes a hybrid). Sure, he’s one of the pioneers of the slasher film. Sure, he’s also a top shelf film composer and genius of electronic music. But he doesn’t see himself that way. In a new interview, he insists he’s just some guy who likes the simple things in life (if not so much Barbie).
In a chat with Insider, the guy behind Halloween and Escape from New York and The Thing and that’s just the late ’70s and early ’80s does what he often does when speaking to the press: He claims he’s not that interested in talking about himself or his own work. For instance, at one point he’s asked if there’s a film of his he wishes “more people asked about, or a project that you really want to discuss that you feel doesn’t come up in conversations.”
His response: “No, I don’t care. I’d rather talk about basketball.”
Carpenter and his interviewer then talk about the WNBA, of which he’s a huge fan, for a bit before steering back to film. He bristles at high praise. For instance, when the reporter compares him to Hitchcock, he says he’s “much more like The Blob.” When asked for his thoughts on his legacy, he replies, “What legacy?”
Then comes this fun exchange:
I mean, some people would view you as one of the master directors of horror films.
That’s nice. Sorry, I’m eating a Popsicle.
So you don’t consider yourself to be —
Look, I’m not a master of anything. I just want to play video games and watch basketball. That’s all I care about doing. I don’t want to bother anybody.
Of course, at some point in between eating popsicles and playing video games and watching basketball, Carpenter found time to make a Peacock anthology series called Suburban Screams. He even helmed one episode himself, which marks his first directorial work (aside from some music videos) since 2010’s The Ward. Asked about that, Carpenter even has a simple response:
“I made a little series. If you don’t like it, f*ck off. If you do like it, I like you. So there you go.”
Truly. Perhaps John Carpenter’s greatest legacy won’t be that he made some great horror films so much as his idea that working is for the birds.