John Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy and After - Hybrid Class

October 19, 2021


Carpenter scholar Robert C. Cumbow illuminates the thematic connections within the Apocalypse Trilogy and a pair of the director’s underseen 2000s gems.

This class will be presented in person at the SIFF Film Center and livestreamed via Zoom. Register below for either in-person attendance or for virtual access.


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Tuesday, October 19, 2021
7:00–9:30pm PT
$25 Sustainer | $15 Regular | $10 SIFF Member
SIFF Film Center Classroom (live) and livestreamed via Zoom Webinar. Zoom meeting details will be emailed to virtual ticket purchasers shortly before the scheduled event.


John Carpenter's "Apocalypse Trilogy" (The Thing - 1982, Prince of Darkness - 1987, In the Mouth of Madness - 1995) was not conceived as a trilogy, but Carpenter later dubbed these three films as such because of their thematically connections and their “bleak endings.” Carpenter scholar Robert C. Cumbow brings his enthusiasm for Carpenter's filmography to SIFF with a focus on how Prince of Darkness merges theoretical physics and modern technology with the gothic supernatural, and how Carpenter wades hip-deep into the maddening, creature-haunted world of H. P. Lovecraft with In the Mouth of Madness. But that’s not all: Cumbow also illuminates Cigarette Burns and Pro-Life, the two underseen hour-long films Carpenter contributed to Showtime’s Masters of Horror series, and shows how both of them extend the themes and vision of the “Apocalypse Trilogy.”


Registrants are encouraged to have viewed or be familiar with the films that are the focus of this class. There will be multiple video clips and potential spoilers for the films. To stream online, click the title below for current platform options.

Seattle lawyer, teacher, and writer Robert C. Cumbow has been writing about film for close to 50 years. For SIFF he's dissected PsychoVertigoThe Thing, and King Kong, and has taught a series of seminars on the films of Douglas Sirk. He's the author of The Films of Sergio Leone and Order in the Universe: The Films of John Carpenter. He has taught courses in westerns, horror films, vampire films, taboo films, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Kathryn Bigelow, Stanley Kubrick, and David Lynch. Much of his work, new and old, can be found on the Parallax View blog. He practices with the Seattle firm of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn and has been legal advisor on several locally-made independent films. In addition to SIFF, Bob has taught film courses at University of Washington, Seattle University, Northwest Film Forum, and the Women's University Club.