The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

The Student News Site of Itasca High School. Proudly serving Itasca the "Big, Little" town since 1997.

The Paw Print Press

The Collaborations of John Carpenter and Kurt Russel

  After the surprising runaway success of the 1978 horror classic Halloween, director John Carpenter found himself in a new position to make whatever films he wanted. He soon met a young actor named Kurt Russell, and over the course of almost 20 years, they made 5 films together.

Here is a breakdown of the films, in the order they were released.

  1. Elvis (1979) (Musical/Drama)

Long before Austin Butler stepped into Elvis’ shoes, the legendary singer was played by Kurt Russel in a made for TV biopic running nearly 3 hours long. Whereas the new Elvis is a faced-paced, tightly edited film that presents Elvis as more of a superhero, the original Elvis is a slow, practical drama showing Elvis as nothing more than a simple man. Most audiences would probably find the film boring, but it has a certain charm and simplicity that makes it definitely worth a watch.

2. Escape From New York (1981) (Action/Sci-fi) 

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Inspired heavily by Clint Eastwood’s titular character in the Man with No Name trilogy, Snake Plissken (played by Kurt Russel) is a perfect example of an anti-hero as the main character in a film. Escape From New York is also one of the best examples of atmosphere and world building in a finite amount of time (which is something John Carpenter does well in a lot of his early movies). The film is an excellent sci-fi/action movie with great acting, sets, music, etc., and it is certainly my favorite entry on this list. 

3. The Thing (1982) (Horror/Sci-fi)

Probably the most famous film on this list, The Thing is known for its masterful achievements in practical effects and uneasy atmosphere. Similar to films like The Evil Dead in its premise, but taking place in the deep, unknown frontier of the isolated arctic, The Thing is a carefully crafted suspense thriller that has influenced countless other films since its release. 

4. Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (Action/Fantasy)

The word “hero” is defined as “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” But what happens if your hero is cowardly, and frankly not very smart? Meet Jack Burton, the “hero” of Big Trouble in Little China. This film has it all: fantasy, mystery, suspense, violence, gore, and even a character inflating out of anger like a balloon. Overall a well-rounded cult movie that you should definitely check out. 

5. Escape From L.A. (1996) (Action/Sci-fi)

After a decade of waiting, fans were greeted at long last with Escape From L.A., the sequel to Escape From New York. Unfortunately for them, this greeting came in the form of a dull, cartoonish, bland mess with demeaning characterization and laughably bad special effects. The best part of this film is hands-down the ending, which I of course won’t spoil here.

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About the Contributor
Henry Bowman, Staff Writer/Editor
Henry Bowman is a staff writer and editor for the Paw Print Press. He primarily writes articles about films, often compiling them into ranked lists. He has many favorite movies, but his top picks are Meantime (1983), Eraserhead (1977), and Saltburn (2023).
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