John Carpenter Quiz


By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

His masterful filmmaking has transfixed (and terrified) generations of moviegoers. How much do you know about John Carpent

John Carpenter is mostly known for directing which kinds of films?

His sci-fi and horror movies have earned him a global audience. He's perhaps best known for giving life to the "Halloween" franchise.


Where was John Carpenter born?

He was born in Carthage, New York, in 1948.


What job did Carpenter NOT perform during the making of "Assault on Precinct 13"?

He didn't do the cinematography work, but he was both writer and director. It wasn't well-received at first, but over the years it has received much positive praise from critics.


Who plays the alien in Carpenter's 1984 sci-fi movie "Starman"?

Jeff Bridges plays the alien in "Starman," and the movie was a hit. Bridges was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.


Where did Carpenter attend film school?

Carpenter went straight to Los Angeles for his film education. He attended USC.


Why didn't Carpenter graduate from USC's film school?

The school life wasn't for him. He decided to skip parts of his education so that he could jump into making films.


Carpenter is a huge fan of which sport?

He's said to be a loyal NBA fan, and he goes out of his way to follow the games no matter where he happens to be.


How many times has Carpenter been married?

He married actress Adrienne Barbeau in 1979; they divorced five years later. He married Sandy King in 1990.


Carpenter's films often reference what other well-known director?

Appropriately enough, Carpenter is a big fan of horror master Alfred Hitchcock, and many of Carpenter's films make references to this influence.


Which sci-fi blockbuster was inspired by an early Carpenter hit?

Carpenter co-wrote 1974's "Dark Star" with Dan O'Bannon, who used much of the same material to later write "Alien."


What was the budget for "Dark Star"?

With a shoestring budget of only $60,000, "Dark Star" proved challenging to film. The crew made props from things like muffin pans and Styrofoam.


In what year did Carpenter begin making films?

He started his career with short films and then expanded his capabilities to longer works.


When did Carpenter win his first Academy Award?

Just eight years after launching his film career, he won an Oscar for "The Resurrection of Broncho Billy," a short film that was released theatrically.


What is "Carpenter's Repertory Group"?

Carpenter has an unofficial group of actors that he prefers to use for his films. Sam Neill, Peter Jason, George Flower and other actors are part of the gang.


What was Carpenter's budget for his iconic movie "Halloween"?

Carpenter proved that he could produce a masterpiece movie with very little money. His budget was just $320,000.


How much did "Halloween" gross at the box office?

The ultra-cheap movie made a jaw-dropping $70 million at the box office, helping to make Carpenter a rising star in Hollywood.


What sort of moral statement was Carpenter trying to make with "Halloween"?

Many people have attributed various moral lessons to the movie, but the director himself said that there was no great moral intent to the film.


Why doesn't Carpenter like Rob Zombie's remake of "Halloween"?

He's said that Zombie overexplained too many parts of the story, killing the sense of mystique that provided so many of the thrills of the original.


Carpenter has said that he was devastated by the critical reception of which movie?

Carpenter poured his heart and soul into "The Thing," which was reviled by critics and didn't do well commercially. Decades later, "The Thing" is actually regarded as being far underrated and now gets much better reviews.


Carpenter partly blamed the failure of "The Thing" on what other film?

Just two weeks before "The Thing" hit theaters, "E.T." was blazing through the box office and setting all kinds of records. Carpenter's movie couldn't compete with the "E.T." phenomenon.


In what year did Carpenter make "Escape from L.A."?

Released in 1996, "Escape from L.A." showed that Carpenter wasn't quite on his game. The movie had a budget of $50 million but made less than half of that back at the theaters.


Which movie did Carpenter make following the incredible success of "Halloween"?

"The Fog" was released two years after "Halloween." Both films starred Jamie Lee Curtis.


How did critics react to "The Fog"?

Critics mostly panned the movie. But it was still a commercial success and garnered a cult following.


In which year did Hollywood release a remake of "The Fog"?

Carpenter didn't direct the remake, but he did help as producer. The remake starred Selma Blair, Maggie Grace and Tom Welling.


What was Carpenter's budget for 1980's "The Fog"?

Even though "Halloween" made a killing at the box office, Carpenter still only had about $1 million to make "The Fog," which earned more than $20 million.


How did 2001's "Ghosts of Mars" fare at the box office?

For a director used to box office success, "Ghosts of Mars" was a disaster. It cost nearly $30 million to make but only grossed about $14 million in theaters.


Kurt Russell has starred in several Carpenter movies. How did he and the director meet?

Yes, Carpenter made other kinds of movies besides horror and action. He directed the TV biopic "Elvis" which was a big hit. Russell played the title character.


Carpenter was fired from directing a movie based on a Stephen King novel. Which novel was it?

Carpenter was axed from his involvement with "Firestarter," mostly because "The Thing" was a box office flop.


After being fired from the "Firestarter" job, what was Carpenter's next major gig?

In an ironic twist, Carpenter was bounced from one King adaptation to another -- his next project was "Christine." The film got fairly decent reviews and grossed about $20 million at the box office.


When did Carpenter last direct a major feature film?

He directed "The Ward" in 2010, but the movie didn't fare very well critically; it only made about $1 million at the box office.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!