With their eclectic roster of some of the best movies of all time, John Carpenter and Nicolas Cage have amassed reputations for being two of the most talented — and eccentric — men in Hollywood. In recent years, director John Carpenter has turned his hand to music: leaving a legacy of iconic horror movies behind him as the director of films like Halloween, The Thing, and Vampires, among others.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Cage continues to be in the thick of it, recently playing an exaggerated version of himself in the comedy movie The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which is part parody, part career retrospective for Cage.
As the two met over Zoom for their interview with Document J0urnal, Cage remarked how he “had a mini John Carpenter film festival in anticipation of [their] conversation” — having just finished watching In The Mouth of Madness. Remarking how the thriller movie “spooked” him, Cage added that he hopes he isn’t going to turn into Sam Neill’s character, while Carpenter noted that he’s “had many Nicolas Cage film festivals—many of them.”
Although Cage never got to work with Carpenter directly, the actor said that a lot of his recent work had been “informed by [Carpenter’s] concepts.”
“It seems like everyone has been influenced by you on some level, being the pioneer that you are,” he said. “But there are two movies I made recently that—if you go through my retrospective of your work—had to be informed by your concepts. One was Prisoners of the Ghostland, where I [wear] a suit that has bombs on it. And if anything goes wrong, they’re gonna light me up. And I thought, Well, that’s got to be John from Escape from New York.”
He continued, “The other was Color Out of Space, which was an interpretation of H.P. Lovecraft. When I was watching The Thing last night, I looked at the sequence with the dogs, where they’re transforming in the holding area; there’s a shot in Color Out of Space where I’m shooting these transforming alpacas, and they used in-camera effects they borrowed from [The Thing]. I think they were trying to achieve that effect of the huskies transforming—only, in this case, with alpacas. And I’m having a nervous breakdown as I’m blowing them away with my shotgun.”