John Carpenter is a horror movie legend — very few directors did more to push the genre forward than he did through the 70s and 80s than he did. When you’re the guy behind Halloween, The Thing, and Christine, you’ve earned the right to be critical of the horror fare being put out these days, and John isn’t afraid to use up all his capitol on that front.
He recently bashed the original Friday The 13th movie as a cynical ripoff of his Halloween film, and apparently he feels similarly about The Walking Dead. On a recent episode of the Marc Maron podcast, Carpenter called the show out for being nothing but a rehash of Night Of The Living Dead.
“[The Walking Dead] was a movie that George Romero made back in 1968,” he said. “And they have milked that, and they are still milking it.”
There’s certainly enough options to choose from when being critical of The Walking Dead, but calling it a rip off of Night of the Living Dead is a bit odd. That was the proto-zombie movie from whence all other zombie fictions come from. It’d be hard to make a zombie flick that didn’t ‘milk’ Night of the Living Dead, the same way it’d be hard to make a slasher film that didn’t share aspects of Halloween. When a movie spawns an entire new genre of horror, you can enjoy the effect it’s had on culture or grumble about it, I guess.