POD is EASILY Carpenter's best film ever, after The Thing
The only film that Carpenter ever made that is better than POD is The Thing.
Other than The Thing, POD blows all of his films out of the water easily.
POD does have a few problems though. The biggest problem is that it is way too long. The first 30 minutes could have been condensed into 10-15 at the max. Way too much time is wasted on boring and unnecessary scenes, like showing the crew move in and set up their gear.
Along the same lines, the film drags during the gestation period. The guy jumping out the window then climbing back in, the Asian guy making stupid jokes at the zombies, the rest of the crew sitting around a room and brooding...all of that could have been edited down a ton in order to trim the film's fat.
Those were the bad parts of POD.
These are the great parts that make POD way better than all of Carpenter's other films, except for The Thing:
POD has many excellent horror elements that are extremely scary:
- The lead homeless zombie guy who kills the nerd with the bicyle.
- The zombie who tells them to pray for death and then implodes and falls apart because he is infested with millions of cockroaches.
- The scenes transmitted from the future.
- The catatonic woman who types out satan's thoughts on a computer screen.
- All of the scenes with the gestating demon zombie woman --- that's AAA-quality make-up and special effects...and it utterly annihilates the CGI-infested garbage that filmmakers today would use instead...in fact, now in 2016, POD's special effects still looks better than 99% of the CGI-infested effects that have appeared in almost every film from the mid-1990's to 2016. For POD's effects to beat the crap out of almost all effects made almost 30 years later is quite an accomplishment...and there is no sign of the CGI-crapfest of effects slowing down...so who knows for how long POD's effect will continue to reign..probably for another few decades, at least, if not forever.
- The final two scenes that comprise the ending (the final transmission from the future, and satan-in-Katherine's body, in bed with Brian) are brilliant, and they undermine the cliche happy ending that 99% of Hollywood movies have.
On top of those horror innovations, POD also has some very interesting SciFi innovations:
- satan as a deadly & sentient ooze that expands itself to take over mankind.
- the existence of an evil mirror universe and mirrors as a portal to it
- video transmissions to the future received by the human brain (these are simultaneously excellent horror and SciFi scenes).
Other than the The Thing, no other Carpenter film has horror or SciFi elements anywhere near so good as the ones I've just mentioned from POD. Accordingly, other than the Thing, no other Carpenter film is anywhere near so scary or entertaining or as interesting as is POD.
I've seen people on this board say The Fog is better. That's a joke. The Fog put me to sleep. While watching The Fog, I kept waiting for something interesting or scary or entertaining to happen. Yet it never did. All that happened was people sat/stood around talking in the most boring way possible for the whole film. I think all of the professional critics who give The Fog acclaim are on crack.
I've seen people on this board say things say They Live is better. That's a joke too. Roddy Piper has almost zero acting ability and his inability to act kills the believablity of the film 100%. In addition, They Live is boring as heck too. The aliens in it are not the least bit scary. They Live is good as an anti-capitalism political message, but as entertainment, it sucks.
I've seen people on this board say Escape from New York is better. Oh please. That too is a very boring film. And it plays like a silly cartoon. I.e. the Duke is a black pimp stereotype; and it also has tons of other goofy characters like one named "The Brain" and another named "Cabbie;" not to mention "Snake" himself, who is like a cartoon-caricature version of Russell's character from The Thing, etc.
I haven't seen Assault on Precinct 13 yet so I can't comment on that, but I highly doubt that it can match POD.
From Halloween, Michael Myers is a semi-decent horror monster, but for the most part, Halloween is a typical generic "slasher" film, and much inferior to Friday the 13th. Yawn.
I've seen people on this board say In The Mouth of Madness is better. It does have some very scary scenes and a creepy atmosphere, but its moronic ending turns it into a terrible film that jumps the shark big-time.
Most people agree that Carpenter's post-1994 films all suck (other than his MoH episode), so no need to discuss them.
So what's going on with all the hate for POD? It makes no sense. POD's problems of being overlong are not so large as to ruin its great elements.