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“Have You Paid Your Dues, Jack?

It’s been some time since horror director John Carpenter has released a film that’s been worthwhile. Has he lost his touch, or is something else bothering his process? We’re not sure, but we have to give Carpenter a pass for terrible films like Ghosts of Mars and Vampires, and even that insipid Masters of Horror episode “Pro Life.” (His first MoH episode, “Cigarette Burns” was actually great, though.) Why? The dude’s tenured. Check out the evidence: Big Trouble in Little China was the best thing to happen to kung fu flicks since Crippled Masters. The Thing was a lesson in how to shoot a badass sci-fi/horror movie. And then there’s In the Mouth of Madness, maybe his best film ever. When an insurance agent (Sam Neill) goes looking for a missing writer in the surreal town of Hobb’s End, he stumbles into a twisted world where humanity has been warped by fiction. What’s great about the film is it’s a true psychological horror – you never know precisely what the hell is real and what isn’t.

Now you can relive Carpenter’s halcyon days, because In the Mouth of Madness is screening as part of Late Night Horror Flicks at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). The month-long series will showcase one classic horror movie each Thursday at 10 p.m. On the docket are Frailty, Slither, and The Cellar Door, a South Florida premiere. Ticket prices are just $5 for each film. Call 954-525-34556, or visit
Thu., Feb. 7, 2008


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