John Howard Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, editor and composer. Although Carpenter has worked in numerous film genres, he is most commonly associated with horror and science fiction films from the 1970s and 1980s.
Most films in Carpenter’s career were initially commercial and critical failures, with the notable exceptions of Halloween (1978), Escape from New York (1981) and Starman (1984). However, many of Carpenter’s films from the 1970s and the 1980s have come to be viewed as cult classics, and he has been acknowledged as an influential filmmaker. Cult classics that Carpenter directed include: Dark Star (1974), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), The Fog (1980), The Thing (1982), Christine (1983), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987) and They Live (1988).
Carpenter at a signing in Chicago in 2014
Carpenter is also notable for having composed or co-composed most of the music of his films; some of them are now considered cult as well, with the main theme of Halloween being considered a part of popular culture. He released his first studio album Lost Themes in 2015, and also won a Saturn Award for Best Music for Vampires (1998).