We’re big fans of John Carpenter‘s work from Halloween and Escape From New York to They Live and Big Trouble In Little China, but while the director’s impact on the film world cannot be overstated, what many people still don’t seem to realize is that he’s also the composer behind the majority of his project’s iconic soundtracks, the exception being The Thing, which was scored by the inimitable Ennio Morricone. If one were to consider the prevalence of synth-based music right now with the fact that the Stranger Things soundtrack is selling out pre-orders internationally being just one example, it could be argued that Carpenter‘s audio work might have even become just as influential as what he’s managed to produce visually.
Last year, the 68-year-old auteur received an unexpected second act in his career when the Sacred Bones label offered to release an album of material that he had been recording with his son, Cody, and god-son, Daniel Davies (son of Dave Davies from The Kinks). These tracks that make up the aptly titled, Lost Themes album weren’t recorded with any real intention of being shared with the public, let alone for any specific project. More or less relaxing in his twilight years, the “recording sessions” that birthed it were simply improvised jams that were created as a means of taking breaks from their extended video game benders. After garnering widespread critical acclaim, the release was followed earlier this year by Lost Themes II, which is arguably more focused and even more impressive than the first. This renewed interest in his work resulted in John embarking on his first ever concert tour presenting a career retrospective, which involved him performing cuts from his new releases, as well as songs from his extensive film catalog, while clips from corresponding movies projected in the background. Along with Cody and Davies, the touring outfit was rounded out by members of Tenacious D‘s backing band. For anyone that let that tour slip past their radar and is wondering whether it was great or not, you can read our detailed 3,500-word review covering the Seattle stop, HERE. [Spoiler alert: it was].
Today, John Carpenter releases the brand new video for the Lost Themes II closing track, “Utopian Facade.” Directed by Gavin Hignight and Ben Verhulst, the same duo that handled the “Night” video from the first Lost Themes record, this new video continues with the pair showing tremendous reverence for the unmistakable tone, feel, and aesthetics that are embedded in Carpenter‘s legacy, first and foremost, while introducing something visually fresh, yet stimulating in its own right. Just as their own work draws influence from the film legend, while existing fully within its own world, the “Utopian Facade” video, which features a female android protagonist shuffling through the woods at night while fending off a crew of horrific mutants, ultimately manages to connect itself loosely to their previous video for “Night.” Exactly how, we won’t say; you can check it out for yourself below.