The 40th anniversary of the horror movie “Existent”; A new look at John Carpenter’s masterpiece

The year 1982 was a great year for science-fiction films; "Tron", "ET", "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan", "Blade Runner" and finally "The Creature", all of which were released in one summer. Although some of these works became popular at the same time and quickly, the popularity of "The Existent" with its horror streaks has undergone many changes over time, like all cult works in the history of cinema, that is, accompanied by generally negative reactions at the time of release. And now it is considered as one of the best works in the history of cinema. In all these years, "The Existent" has been re-released many times, comics, novels and even dedicated amusement parks have been launched from it, and an advance income has been made from it. After 40 years, the success of John Carpenter's film is not only related to the strange nature of the film's visual effects and its fascinating subject, but also his brilliant use of multiple subtexts related to the world of the film, which enriches the narrative even more. p> Introduction of 10 science fiction subgenres 100 popular horror movies in the history of cinema as selected by Total Film magazine

BingMag.com The 40th anniversary of the horror movie “Existent”; A new look at John Carpenter’s masterpiece

The year 1982 was a great year for science-fiction films; "Tron", "ET", "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan", "Blade Runner" and finally "The Creature", all of which were released in one summer. Although some of these works became popular at the same time and quickly, the popularity of "The Existent" with its horror streaks has undergone many changes over time, like all cult works in the history of cinema, that is, accompanied by generally negative reactions at the time of release. And now it is considered as one of the best works in the history of cinema. In all these years, "The Existent" has been re-released many times, comics, novels and even dedicated amusement parks have been launched from it, and an advance income has been made from it. After 40 years, the success of John Carpenter's film is not only related to the strange nature of the film's visual effects and its fascinating subject, but also his brilliant use of multiple subtexts related to the world of the film, which enriches the narrative even more. p>

  • Introduction of 10 science fiction subgenres
  • 100 popular horror movies in the history of cinema as selected by Total Film magazine

BingMag.com The 40th anniversary of the horror movie “Existent”; A new look at John Carpenter’s masterpiece

The story of "The Creature" begins in the cold desert of Antarctica. Where the residents of the US National Institute of Science's Station 4 are killing time. The group's helicopter pilot, McReady (Kurt Russell), is playing chess with a computer. Two of the station's doctors, Copper and Blair (Richard Dysart and Wilford Brimley), are playing table tennis while the rest of the group are resting and napping. All the while, an alien disguised as a husky runs through the snow, followed by a Norwegian helicopter. The central metaphor and main work of "The Creature" as a sci-fi/horror work is the said alien's ability to shapeshift. By receiving the DNA of his host, he takes on his appearance. The discord and mistrust that this act spreads among the group drives the film to its maddening conclusion. And while "the creature" both as a creature within the film and as the film itself acts as a metaphor for many things such as paranoia and fear, or is an abstract image of Cold War tensions, in a stronger interpretation It can be considered as a marker for racial strife and racism.

The characters of Knowles and Childs (TK Carter and Keith David) are presented as two separate images of black stereotypes. The first as a jokey cook who skates around the halls of Station 4. Apparently, Franklin Ajayi was initially cast in the role and later criticized Carpenter for being too minor in the role as a black character. In contrast, Emma Childs was criticized less as a mechanic because her character as a problem solver has a strong role to play in moving the story forward, and David is a much more talented actor. The characters' sneaky and searching glances play out, but a racial paranoia lurks beneath the film's skin. The crew quickly falls apart, each member suspicious of the other, with Childs and Knowles more than anyone else. The question is whether this issue is simply the result of fear or something deeper than that. It is quite true that you can place any social pest in the metaphorical space alien position. Some of the most meaningful and enduring stories present diverse and parallel interpretations that happen to disagree very much with each other. This can be the reason for choosing this genre for such a narrative. But "The Creature" opens the way for this racially specific interpretation not only because of the demographic characteristics of its actors, but also in relation to its story material.

"The Creature" is the product of two sources of adaptation; The movie "Creature from Another World" produced in 1951, which itself is the result of a free adaptation of a short story called "Who Goes There?" By John W. It was Campbell. In addition to his reputation as a modern science fiction writer, Campbell was also a racist. His friend and co-writer Joe Greene says, "Campbell believed that the special and hated institution of slavery in the American South actually provided better living standards for blacks than their living conditions in Africa." The novel "Nova" by Samuel R. Delaney was also rejected by Campbell for his black hero. He also wrote numerous editorials. In one of them, called "Racial Discrimination", which was published in 1963, he writes: "Whites have produced dozens of high-level geniuses in the last 5,000 years, and so have the eastern races. But this is never seen in black people. Urgently, some kind of test arises to distinguish human from non-human. It is no longer enough to trust the eyes and ears. Relying on another sensory world has become useless, they have been deceived many times before and it is time to dig deeper. After one of the scientists called Windows to work on such A test is chosen, it is immediately killed by this creature. Newly appointed commander, McRae struggles to survive amid a storm of blackness. Finally, a simple blood test is prepared; Suspects' hands and feet are bound, their finger is cut off and the blood is exposed to a very hot wire. Since the alien has already shown that it will do anything to protect itself, the station's survivors assume that by causing a disturbing action on its body parts, its blood will likely react in a visible way.

At the ambiguous end of The Creature, Commander McReady appears to be the last survivor. All the crew were killed by that beast and the station was destroyed. Covered in a blanket and a drink in hand, McReady walks through the ruins. Just as McReady sits down, Childs, presumed dead, shows up. Two men sit opposite each other and their faces change in the shadows. McReady hands Childs his bottle and smiles softly.

Carpenter ends the film's final sequence at this point so that the audience cannot be sure that these two are human. It is often mistaken to over-interpret such a situation as a severe racial divide, but Carpenter narrows the field for not interpreting. One of the reasons that makes this happen well is that, without the need of thematic clarity, "Existence" in its own way depicts the instability of the body and identity by disfiguring, injuring and achieving eternal despair. Carpenter noted that it is paranoia that holds all the parts of the film together like a glue, but besides that, the transformation between the real and metaphorical meaning of the alien, as well as Carpenter's own special work, play an essential role in this.

Many attempts to make a sequel to "Existent" finally became possible in 2011 in a movie of the same name. This is a prequel that ends exactly where Carpenter's film begins. With an alien creature in the shape of a dog and a boring group of characters whose fate is even more hopeless than the fate of the characters in the original film. There is nothing special about this pre-grossing movie and nothing meaningful can be found from it. Carpenter's film became so successful and incredibly popular that, despite its simple and entertaining appearance, it allows you to look deeper every time and gain a new perspective on it from a new angle with each viewing.

  • 100 popular sci-fi movies in the history of cinema as selected by Total Film
  • 10 prominent horror movies that revolutionized this genre

Source: gawker

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