Escape from New York (1981) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review)
Director: John Carpenter
Where to get it: Go to Wal-Mart
In the future, crime is out of control and New York City is a maximum security prison. Grabbing a bargaining chip right out of the air, convicts bring down the President’s plane in bad old Gotham. Gruff Snake Plissken, a one-eyed lone warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables.
And here we have a lower budget action film from the man that gave us Halloween. While it’s the early 80s and I assume it took some time for action films to really earn their titles. Escape from New York seems to let me down a little on the action side of things. Sure Kurt Russell runs around with an eye-patch and looks like a bad ass, but there isn’t a whole lot of things getting blown up. This could be a product of its time or budget, but I’ve been spoiled by other 80s action flicks. One of which Carpenter directed himself that also starred Kurt Russell, Big Trouble in Little China. I still did love the bleak and darkness the film presents. That doesn’t do a whole lot for the HD transfer, but it does help the atmosphere. And Snake is of course a very cool character.
And I think the cast and characters might be what makes this film as good as it is. From Isaac Hayes as The Duke to Donald Pleasence as our President to Adrienne Barbeau as The Brains lover and bodyguard who has a name I can’t recall, but I do recall her rack looks marvelous and is well on display. Toss in some Tom Atkins and I think it’s a safe bet to say that you will like the cast and their characters just fine. It is a cool story and we even have time for an Ox Baker role as he fights Snake to the death. All we are missing seems to be more things being shot and blown up, but it is what it is. And what it is turns out to be pretty acceptable and cool for the most part. It takes its time getting started, but never does get boring after Snake hits the NY.
– I think they forgot to add them in