Bloody-Disgusting is quietly reporting that John Carpenter’s ghost story The Ward is finally seeing domestic release, debuting June 8th on VOD and getting a limited theatrical release on July 8th.
Look, I realize most of you couldn’t care less and that John Carpenter’s career has been in the toilet for a good 15 years now, but this news just makes me sad. Here is a guy who was once arguably the greatest genre director of his time now relegated to the dustbins of what is basically the straight-to-video market. It may not be exactly the same as seeing Orson Welles stoop to wine commercials in the 70’s, but it’s close. I know people who have worked with Carpenter in the last decade, and they all say the same thing; he’s burnt out on the movie business and doesn’t care anymore. He just wants to collect the occasional paycheck, smoke cigarettes and play video games. Which is fine, but man, it’s a bummer for those of us who remember the time when a John Carpenter movie was something to get excited about.
I’m not going to lie — I’ve heard bad things about The Ward. Not Ghosts of Mars bad, but from all accounts it’s your garden variety ‘ghost in a mental ward’ type picture. I will see it because I will always check out the latest output from Carpenter; this is the man who gave us Halloween and The Thing, two of the greatest horror movies of all time. But as I watch The Ward, I may weep softly at the sad demise of this once giant among directors, who seems intent on not going out with a bang, but a whimper.