One of my favorite filmmakers, John Carpenter (The Thing, Escape From New York, Halloween, etc), shouldn’t be a stranger to metal fans. His movies have had a huge influence on hardcore, punk, and metal music, and not just because of their imagery or style (or themes and characters, for that matter, which were really pretty punk). As the primary composer of nearly all his films, Carpenter was a master of the sound of evil. His music was, and is, pretty goddamn metal. From the very start, he was heavy, evidenced by the “Immigrant Song”-inspired title track to his true debut film, Assault on Precinct 13:
His theme from In the Mouth of Madness is also pretty goddamn metallic. If you get a chance to catch this flick on a print in a theater, don’t miss it. This tune is a real rafter-shaker in a big room:
Now, for the soundtrack to 1986’s Big Trouble in Little China, Carpenter complemented the synthesizer score he wrote with collaborator Alan Howorth with a soundtrack by his “band,” the Coup De Villes, which featured Carpenter on guitar and synths alongside Nick Castle and Tommy Lee Wallace. The music is pretty stilly, but it’s still an entertaining watch. Big Trouble in Little China, by the way, is a great movie. It’s regarded as a sort of cult/trashy movie (which much of Carpenter’s work, sadly, gets categorized as), but it’s actually a pretty amazing, beautiful tribute to adventure movies and classic Fu Manchu-style Chinatown movies.
Carpenter also released an album last month of significantly darker, more metallic solo material on Sacred Bones Records, Lost Themes, and it’s great. It’s one of my favorite records released so far this year. Check out one of my favorite tracks, “Night,” below: