The John Carpentcast

A weekly film discussion podcast where hosts Nicholas Edward Jones and Christopher R. Smith talk through the filmography of director John Carpenter.
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Feb 6, 2018
Welcome to Auteur Theory for our inaugural first episode of our first season where hosts Nick and Chris will explore the films of Canada's own Master of sublime cinematic depravity, David Cronenberg.
We're starting things off with Cronenberg's first theatrical release as a director, Shivers from 1975. Also known as They Came from Within to U.S. audiences, and from an original screenplay titled Orgy of the Blood Parasites - both perfectly apt descriptions of this B-horror schlock-fest that finds a parasitic creature created by mad science turn the denizens of a state-of-the-art luxury apartment complex into bloodthirsty, sex-crazed maniacs.
Both a treat for fans of 70s B-horror cheese and sleaze, and an important landmark of Canadian cinema; Cronenberg arrives fully-forged with the grotesque obsessions that will define his cinematic career for decades to come. Join Nick and Chris as we start at the very beginning.
Nov 14, 2017

Well, here we are. We made it to the end. The John Carpentcast says goodbye with our final episode, joined once again by Cecil Laird of The Horror Show for John Carpenter's brief sojourn out of retirement for his last film as a director, The Ward. Carpenter returns to the horror genre which he had such an enormous impact on defining, but is this 2010 swan song a true return to form?... A huge thanks to all of our guests on the show over the last year-plus, and of course, all of you, the listeners who made this journey - as interminable as it was sometimes - with us. The John Carpentcast may be drawing to a close, but you can't get rid of Nick and Chris that easy. We'll be back with all new ways to invade your ear-holes with some exciting upcoming projects - but first... a bunch of crazy girls being terrorized by a ghost courtesy of the Master.

Nov 6, 2017

John Carpenter emerges from his self-imposed retirement for two tales of made-for-TV terror with the Showtime horror all-stars anthology Masters of Horror. With the episodes "Cigarette Burns" and "Pro-Life", does Carpenter bring back that old spine-chilling Carpenter magic? Nick, Chris, and special guest Stephen Andolfo of Phoenix's own Samurai Comics take a watch to see if these old dogs can pull off new terror tricks.

Oct 25, 2017

This week, Nick and Chris take an ill-fated trip to the Red Planet circa 2176 - a hostile world full of blazing machine guns and sort-of ghosts or alien viruses or something. It's John Carpenter's shoot-em-up sci-fi action horror western Ghosts of Mars. One of (if not the) most maligned films of his career, it even made the legendary director hang up his rust-dusted spurs for almost a full decade before finally giving up the... ghost for good. Is it really as bad as we remember it? Tune in to find out.

Oct 17, 2017

As The John Carpentcast barrels toward it's inevitable conclusion, Nick and Chris take a look at the 1998 bloodsucking horror-western hybrid Vampires, starring that most lovable and charming of stars on- and off-screen, James Woods. Also, Laura Palmer! While we promise we don't make any puns about how much the movie sucks, we somehow overlooked the fact that's it's based on a novel by a guy named John Steakley.

Oct 9, 2017

In another special bonus episode of The John Carpentcast (we swear we'll get back to the movies next week), Chris takes us back to the year 2016, when he and Nick visited the Podcast Lab at the 2016 Los Angeles Podcast Festival. They talk all things John Carpenter with actor Samm Levine (Freaks and Geeks, Inglorious Basterds), comedian and host of the Comedy Film Nerds podcast Graham Elwood, rising-star Australian comic Alice Fraser, and maybe not celebrities but genuinely cool people Austin Brungardt, Perla X. Caballero-Hoblit, and Tim StackNick may be too busy at this year's L.A. Podfest peddling that ghost thing he does, but Chris is at home alone with a bottle of rye and nothing better to do, so he's got your back with some fun interviews.

Oct 6, 2017

In this special bonus episode of The John Carpentcast, we're embarking on a grand experiment. Nick and Chris are joined by returning guest Liz Manning and new guest, board game aficionado Steven Yonkers-Ortiz, in a foolhardy attempt to play the Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China board game. Revel in our awkwardness as we try to wrap our heads around the gargantuan rule book - along the way, Stephen King's IT, 90s Nickelodeon shows, the controversies rocking the Austin film scene, and Colin Farrell fighting crime in Miami will all get addressed. If you're feeling adventurous, give it a listen, because we're definitely not doing this again... Although... Mondo did just put out that The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 game...

Sep 26, 2017

The year is 2013, fifteen years after the events on the island prison-colony of New York. Now, Snake Plissken is back for... pretty much the same thing, but this time with more Steve Buscemi and surfing. It's John Carpenter's much-maligned sequel to his 80s cult hit, Escape from L.A. But Kurt Russell's iconic anti-hero isn't the only one returning; we're joined once again by Jeremiah Wilkerson, as well as first-time guest Heidi S., host of the paranormal podcast Campfire Curmudgeon (co-hosted by our very own Nicholas Edward Jones). Considered one of the biggest bombs of the 90s, does this franchise-killer deserve to be exiled to a maximum-security island?

Aug 22, 2017

Nick and Chris are joined once again by actor-producer Liz Manning to take a look behind the cover of that VHS video store horror section staple, Village of the Damned. John Carpenter's remake of the 1960 sci-fi classic is a bit of a rough one, but join us as we try to stay on-topic long enough to break down just what went wrong when Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley tried to save the world from a gaggle of alien toddlers.

Aug 14, 2017

This week, Nick, Chris, and special guest Derk Harron follow Sam Neil on his mind-bending spiral into the eldritch terror that lies beyond the void in John Carpenter's meta-horror opus In the Mouth of Madness. Existential cosmic horror, tentacled monsters, and the marble rye lady from Seinfeld may or may not be involved (spoilers: they are).

Aug 7, 2017

John Carpenter takes his horror trade to the small screen, teaming up with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper for the 1993 made-for-TV horror anthology Body Bags. With the short form tales of terror "The Gas Station", "Hair", and "Eye" - and Carpenter himself as your intrepid horror host The Coroner, Nick and Chris take a look at this 90s cable-TV oddity to see if it's worth tuning in.

Jul 31, 2017

The John Carpentcast makes it's triumphant return to find Chevy Chase and Daryl Hannah on the run with John Carpenter's 1992 sci-fi comedy thriller Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Maybe not the most fondly-remembered Carpenter film, but Nick and Chris revisit it with Chelsea Claire and Jameson Mars of the electronic noise group Fugly Chuds to see if there is really more or less than meets the eye.

Dec 16, 2016
Episode Thirteen: They Live (1988)

We've got two guests this week on The John Carpentcast, video game podcaster Brian Cartwright and comedian Scott Gesser join Nick and Chris to talk about a different kind of Carpenter film - a hard-hitting, ahead of its time documentary about this brave new world and the media-manipulating, skull-faced aliens in it. It's Carpenter's cult classic sci-fi satire They Live. Tune in, this episode is gonna be tremendous.

Dec 8, 2016
Episode Twelve: Prince of Darkness (1987)

Film critic Bill Pierce returns to The John Carpentcast to pop open a can of liquid Satan with Nick and Chris as we discuss Carpenter's 1987 supernatural thriller Prince of Darkness. Join us for some vintage 80s pseudo-scientific demonic mayhem. And bear in mind that certain comments are made for the purposes of humor/satire and do not necessarily reflect the actual opinions of The John Carpentercast or its hosts.

(Our legal department made us add that last part.)

Dec 3, 2016
Episode Eleven: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

It's a supernatural martial arts shoot-em-up action fantasy comedy modern-western. It shouldn't work - but if you love whacked-out 80s cult movies, you'll love every nutty minute. This week, author and film critic Hal C.F. Astell of Apocalypse Later returns to the show to talk with Nick and Chris about Carpenter's 1986 genre-bending masterpiece Big Trouble in Little China.

Nov 25, 2016
Episode Ten: Starman (1984)

Previously on this show, we've talked masked maniacs, dystopian prison colonies, and killer cars - but with all the chaos in the world and the holidays approaching (shudder), why not take a detour toward a gentler side of John Carpenter. This week, Nick and Chris are joined by actress Chelsea Claire to talk about Carpenter's 1984 sci-fi romance Starman. Don't worry, we'll get back to the violence and mayhem next week.

Nov 18, 2016
Episode Nine: Christine (1983)

This week, Nick and Chris are joined by Matthew Robinson of Dark of the Matinee to talk about Carpenter's 1983 film Christine - a simple story of a boy and his evil sentient car. In this one, horror powerhouses John Carpenter and Stephen King team up for one of the nuttier projects for both of them. Does it hold up? Tune in to find out.


Show notes and links at:

Nov 11, 2016
Episode Eight: The Thing (1982)

This week on The John Carpentcast, Nick and Chris will brave the cold and isolation of the Antarctic along with artist/musician Derk Harron to talk about Carpenter's 1982 sci-fi/horror masterpiece The Thing. Fans have debated for decades about the film's cryptic ending - but we'd really like to hear from you. Is it MacReady or Childs? Neither? Both? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Show notes and links at:

Nov 4, 2016
Episode Seven: Escape from New York (1981)

This week, Dr. Diabolic himself Jeremiah Wilkerson and Heather Lynn Henderson join Nick and Chris for a trip to the Big Apple circa 1997 - you know, when the isle of Manhattan was a dystopian prison colony. It's Carpenter's cult classic 1981 sci-fi action-thriller Escape from New York. Just keep an eye on those floorboards, word is the Crazies are out tonight. Join us in a few weeks, when we'll be revisiting the sequel, Escape from L.A., and... we'll see what happens.


Show notes and links at:

Oct 28, 2016
Episode Six: The Fog (1980)

Something eerie approaches from the horizon as Cecil Laird of The Horror Show podcast joins Nick and Chris to talk about Carpenter's 1980 chiller The Fog. Lock your doors, shutter your windows, and pour yourself a drink stiff enough for a priest with a dark secret.


Show notes and links at:

Oct 21, 2016
Episode 5B: Elvis, Part 2 (1979)

Our humble hero from Tupelo, Mississippi has finally achieved his dreams of music stardom. But will fame and fortune change the boy? Things end up turning out alright for this guy, right? Liz Bradley is back with Nick and Chris for the thrilling conclusion of Carpenter's 1979 TV mini-series Elvis.


Show notes and links (including where you can see the entire movie online) at:

Oct 14, 2016
Episode 5A: Elvis, Part 1 (1979)

Liz Bradley returns to The John Carpentcast for Part 1 of Elvis. This ABC mini-series was big event television in 1979, and stars Kurt Russell as the titular King and Shelly Winters as his doting mama. Grab a fried peanut butter-banana sandwich and some amphetamines and hear the tale of the man and his music. Join us next week for Part 2.


Show notes and links at:

Oct 7, 2016
Episode Four: Someone's Watching Me! (1978)

This week, Nick and Chris are joined by author and film critic Hal C.F. Astell from the Apocalypse Later movie blog. The film is a John Carpenter rarity, Someone's Watching Me!, the 1978 made-for-TV Hitchcockian psycho-thriller, which was widely unavailable to audiences until 2007. Turn down the lights and make sure you're comfortable behind your telescope to join us for Carpenter's first foray onto the small screen.


Show notes and links at:

Sep 29, 2016
Episode Three: Halloween (1978)

This week on The John Carpentcast, Nick and Chris are joined by actor/producer Elizabeth Erin Manning to talk about John Carpenter's 1978 game-changing horror masterpiece Halloween. It's almost that special time of year, why not turn down the lights and kick it off right?


Show links and notes at:

Sep 22, 2016
Episode Two: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
This week, on episode two of The John Carpentcast, Nick and Chris are joined by film critic Bill Pierce to talk about John Carpenter's 1976 shoot-em-up action-thriller Assault on Precinct 13.

Show links and notes at

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