Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Escape From New York (1981)

Film of 2012 #64

The John Carpenter film starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, New York has been walled off as a maximum security prison and the inmates are allowed to run free. A Terrorist takes Airforce One and crashes the plane and the President is played by Donald Pleasence ejects and lands in New York and the army have to get him out. So they use Snake as the best at what he does to go in and get him out. He meets Ernest Borgnine as the Cabbie and runs into Isaac Hayes who is the Duke of New York and the person who runs the city. Lee Van Cleef as Hauk and Adrienne Barbeau as Maggie round out the cast from this 80's cult favourite.

Scored by John Carpenter this film is another of his very strong 80's films with a strong cast and interesting story, even if it is a bit contrived. This film looks at a society where criminal actions and violence reach such a peak that it becomes viable and acceptbale to shut off New York and turn it into a prison and as plot point in a film it is good as it gives you a famous city to run around and you can make up your own rules as anything goes. There is some interesting thoughts on how far people would go to survive with some of the lower class criminals running around the sewers eating people and others trying to make some form of living by doing what would be considered a normal job, such as Cabbie. This falls into the Action genre with some social commentary but really it is about the fight scenes and the chase scenes and the desperation of Snake trying to get the president. There is also another story with the problem being there is a threat to the whole world safety based on what the president has in his brief case. 

I really enjoy this film with Kurt Russell totally over acting in the role of Snake and really playing the bad-ass. The score and direction from Carpenter paint a really dark and scary future and there is very little light in the story, I would say this is a 4 star recommend if you enjoy anything that Carpenter has done in the past.


  1. I love this film. I'd even class it as a favourite. Just goes to show a limited budget needn't spoil the fun if there's a good imagination involved.

  2. Very true it shows that with a little imagination you can create new worlds.