This week, there are two, count ’em, two John Carpenter films screening in Chicago. The Gene Siskel Film Center has They Live, which plays as part of its ongoing tribute to 80s American cinema, while the Music Box has midnight screenings of Escape From New York. Despite a less-than-stellar recent output, Carpenter remains a uniquely flamboyant film stylist, known for his genre alchemy, penchant for the metaphysical, and strong sense of allegorical storytelling. His films are richly detailed and brimming with personality, so much so that his work has distinguished itself from virtually every comparable piece of 80s genre cinema. What more can we ask of a filmmaker? Check out my five favorite Carpenter films after the jump.