Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

We’ve known for a while now that John Carpenter, the legendary director of films like Halloween and The Thing, is a big video game fan. And it’s not just horror, although he has praised The Evil Within and Dead Space (the latter of which owes a tremendous debt to The Thing). He loves Borderlands and Assassin’s Creed, and like anyone who’s been sucked into Bungie’s massively popular online shooter, he’s both a fan and critic of Destiny. But in a fun interview with FACT, Carpenter talks about the genesis of his love for games, which goes way back to playing Sonic The Hedgehog.

He originally bought the game for his son, but Carpenter remembers being the one who got addicted to it, attracted to its visuals and music. “There was something about the whole sound and feel of the Sonic games and suddenly I’m so much younger and it’s the ’90s,” he told FACT, delivering just about the best, most pithy summation of Sonic The Hedgehog’s appeal as anyone ever has.

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His Sonic love didn’t end in the ’90s, though. “I even like the one where he turns into a werewolf,” he told FACT, referring to 2008’s Sonic Unleashed, a game that’s about as good as Sonic ever got in 3-D—until the sun goes down and he turns into a wacky, elastic-armed “werehog.” Luckily for Carpenter, and all of us, Sonic Mania finally arrived in 2017 to redeem Sega’s blue blur with a brilliant throwback to his glory days. Be sure check out the rest of FACT’s interview for some of Carpenter’s thoughts on that game and on the series’ infamous drowning music.