Arts & Culture News

Guess Where Director John Carpenter Will Attend the Next Texas Frightmare Weekend?

Renowned horror director John Carpenter is finally coming to Dallas with a visit to the Texas Frightmare at the Irving Convention Center.
Renowned horror director John Carpenter is finally coming to Dallas with a visit to the Texas Frightmare at the Irving Convention Center. Amy Sussman/Getty
We're scared. Something really strange is going to happen in May and we fear that it may cause a paradox that could unravel the very fabric of space and time as we know it.

Up will become down. The sky will turn green and the grass will turn blue. Disney will decide not to produce any Star Wars or Marvel movies or shows next year.

What could cause such a hellish rift in our conscious existence? Director John Carpenter will finally come face to face with (wait for it) John Carpenter Freeway.

We have the folks at the annual Texas Frightmare Weekend horror convention to blame for blinking us out of the universe. They invited the acclaimed composer and horror director of such classic films as They Live, Big Trouble in Little China, Christine and the original Halloween and The Thing movies to their gathering on May 26–28, 2023, at the Irving Convention Center at 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd.

Carpenter will be there in person on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, signing autographs and shaking hands with what's sure to be a long, long, long line of fans.

The full schedule of events for Texas Frightmare Weekend hasn't been set yet. However, Carpenter will probably do a live Q&A with fans and maybe even sit in on a screening of his famous films unless, of course, we're all erased by some giant quantum eraser.

Carpenter has made some of the most recognized, studied and praised horror movies of all time. His first feature Dark Star, released in 1975, started as a short film that he made as a student at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema. The following year, he released another future classic, Assault on Precinct 13, an action homage to filmmaker Howard Hawks who's best known for classics in multiple genres like the original gangster tragedy Scarface, the screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, the film noir The Big Sleep and the John Wayne Western Rio Bravo.

Carpenter revisited Hawks' work again in 1982's paranoid horror splatterfest The Thing based on Hawks' 1951 film The Thing From Another World in which a crew stationed in a remote outpost in Antarctica is invaded by a violent alien creature that eats and can pose as other living beings.
Music is also a big part of Carpenter's legacy. He wrote the scores and soundtracks for almost all of his movies including the iconic theme for the stabby serial killer Michael Myers, which has carried through all of the sequels, remakes and reboots of the Halloween films. He recently released a new song for the upcoming Halloween Ends film called "The Procession."

It also doesn't help that we actually came very close to testing Father Time's patience long before Texas Frightmare gave the middle finger to fate by bringing John Carpenter closer to the John Carpenter Freeway. The Alamo Drafthouse opened a movie theater in 2018 as part of the grand unveiling of the Toyota Music Factory complex. Alamo Drafthouse COO Bill DiGaetano and then-creative director James Wallace created a John Carpenter motif for the movie theater featuring a huge mural of scenes from some of Carpenter's famous movies as well as posters from his films throughout the building that are still there.

Thanks a lot, you guys. Really nice. All of our plans following the end of May will be canceled now, which means we're not gonna get to see the new Barbie movie. 
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.