As a grand old duke of the horror genre, you really have to respect what John Carpenter has to say about the state of the thing. Unfortunately, that can sometimes lead to bitter pills being swallowed and accepting that the supremo probably isn't a fan of everything you love about scary movies and TV shows.
As a case in point, Carpenter just appeared on the Marc Maron Podcast to decry The Walking Dead as derivative. He's already been making friends in the industry by calling Friday The 13th a rip-off, and now he'd like to express similar feelings about Robert Kirkman's finest creation:
“[The Walking Dead] was a movie that George Romero made back in 1968. And they have milked that, and they are still milking it.”
I mean, he should know, given how many people have sought to rip off or remake his work, but is it really fair to say anything with a zombie in rips off the genre's first flagship movie?
Look, it's fair to accept that Romero's classic presented the idea of zombies as cannibalistic reanimated corpses first on film, but even the director acknowledges that he was heavily influenced by The Last Man On Earth (and before that the source novel I Am Legend). Shouldn't we be saying The Walking Dead is derivative of that instead?
Or maybe that's just the way creative culture works: we create, we kill, we reanimate. Someone so well-versed in zombie films should be painfully aware of that fact.
Do you think Carpenter is right? If not, defend The Walking Dead's honour right now in the comments thread.