"Escape From New York" - stupid film, but.... Classic or Dud?

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Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 6 March 2004 09:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 6 March 2004 09:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Easily Adrian Barbau's finest hour.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 6 March 2004 10:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

100% Classic.

jel -- (jel), Saturday, 6 March 2004 12:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Classic for the "punk" dude
Classic for Harry Dean Stanton
Dud for inspiring "Escape From L.A."

udu wudu (udu wudu), Saturday, 6 March 2004 12:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Classic for the "punk" dude

Watching it this evening, I could swear that guy is Michael Biehn, who'd later play in "The Terminator". IMDB disagrees, however.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 6 March 2004 12:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Picture this dude with big frightwig hair.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 6 March 2004 12:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I always thought it was the ratty guy who played Pieter de Vries in Dune. Hm.

, Saturday, 6 March 2004 13:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I got a plan... it's called... operation SAVE-ASS!"

"shit shit shit SHIT SHIT SHIT!"

(okay not 'escape from new york').

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 6 March 2004 14:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Escape From New York" is beautiful but only hints at the greatness that "Big Trouble In Little China" would be.


adam (adam), Saturday, 6 March 2004 17:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Most of Hollywood's best comic book movies were made from original material rather than adapted from actual comic books. Escape From New York is a classic of the genre.

Aimless (Aimless), Saturday, 6 March 2004 17:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

this is a film that really SHOULD have had "down in the park" on its soundtrack. then it would've been PERFECT. and i am 100% serious.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Saturday, 6 March 2004 18:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I saw Escape From NY after They Live and Big Trouble and The Thing and found it pretty disappointing. But I'd be up for reappraising it.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 6 March 2004 18:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Beyond Classic. Reading Alex's summary, I don't even understand the criticism. One of the great NYC anxiety films.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Saturday, 6 March 2004 19:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the film is great. a perennial saturday-afternoon flick, as it were.

Kingfish Cowboy (Kingfish), Saturday, 6 March 2004 19:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

great film! best viewed in a double-feature w/ the warriors.

stockholm cindy (Jody Beth Rosen), Saturday, 6 March 2004 19:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

See, I was just thinking of that as a comparison point.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 6 March 2004 19:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh come now...."the Warriors" is SOOOO superior!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 6 March 2004 19:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"stupid film"?!?!?!?!

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 7 March 2004 00:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well, isn't it? I mean, it's still great, but c'mon....TELL ME it's not stupid.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 7 March 2004 00:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

it's amovie that tthinks with its dick. it's not stupid it's different

:|, Sunday, 7 March 2004 00:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

maybe alittle stuppid yes but manly stupid

:|, Sunday, 7 March 2004 01:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Totally classic. The sequel was rubbish because of the really stupid surfing scene.

Ste (Fuzzy), Sunday, 7 March 2004 01:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well, surfing is stupid.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 7 March 2004 21:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

by the way, CLASSIC

s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 7 March 2004 22:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

You know, after the speech at the beginning, I was pretty disappointed by the Warriors too. Overhyped.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Sunday, 7 March 2004 22:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wrong. Twenty push-ups for that, Anthony.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 7 March 2004 22:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The bad thing about the Warriors is that their leader, the coolest one, gets killed right away.

Dan I. (Dan I.), Sunday, 7 March 2004 22:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but Swan takes over....and he's cool!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 7 March 2004 22:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Meanwhile, Ajax gets himself arrested and humiliated by Mercedes Reuhl!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 7 March 2004 22:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In Riverside Park, no less.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 7 March 2004 22:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Has anyone picked up the new Escape From New York DVD yet? Carpenter has a commentary track on it, but I was wondering if Russell was in on it too. Their commentary is the total highlight of the Big Trouble... and The Thing discs.

Also, EFNY is total classic.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Tuesday, 9 March 2004 00:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love it on the Big Trouble commentary when they start yakking about their kids' efforts in hockey.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 9 March 2004 01:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oooh...Carpenter commentary sounds great!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 9 March 2004 01:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
It's on AMC right now. Again.

i say this sheerly as an observation and without misogynist or sexist intent -- Adrian Barbeau's breasts were a thing of jaw-dropping splendor.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 29 July 2004 02:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Or were they two things?

St. Nicholas (Nick A.), Thursday, 29 July 2004 13:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
Also John Carpenter totally has the mind of a twelve year old boy, which I intend as a sincere compliment.

I agree, and it's what I detest most about his movies.

EfNY is watchable, Russell is sexy (and doing a laidback Clint Eastwood impression), but sorry, the opening half-hour is even more deadly w/ the exposition than usual for Carpenter. And the jokey American Bandstand ending? Are we not sposed to take the second-reel "human survival hangs in the balance" w/ the president's summit meeting seriously? I prefer a hero with some non-solipsistic moral connection even in dumb stuff.

The head on the parking meter is the best laugh.

Snake Plissken (played in unintentionally hilarious camp fahsion by Mr.Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell).

You've gotta be kidding. KR ain't stupid.

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

i dunno, dude, have you ever seen captain ron?

the schef (adam schefter ha ha), Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

The problem with Captain Ron is everything BUT Kurt Russell!

kenan, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:27 (ten years ago) Permalink

ok that is a good point but agreeing to do that movie indicates a certain lack of intelligence. or that he owed a lot of money to someone.

the schef (adam schefter ha ha), Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:31 (ten years ago) Permalink

they can't all be Used Cars or Silkwood.

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

no, captain ron is one of the worst movies i've ever seen, is the thing.

the schef (adam schefter ha ha), Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

i mean the pull quote on the box just says "FUNNY", i mean honestly with all the local station hacks willing to be bought in this world, the best they could do is "FUNNY"

the schef (adam schefter ha ha), Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

haha Martin Short can suck the life out of anything, I'm convinced. He's a comedy vampire.

kenan, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

Martin Short was fucking great on SCTV. Then it was time to earn.

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

god i love this movie
and john carpenter
i feel like i have rediscovered something and it's changing my life all over again
and i'm not even a 12-yr-old boy!

rrrobyn, Monday, 19 May 2008 23:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Personally I love Big Trouble in Little China, who's with me?

chap, Monday, 19 May 2008 23:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think this is my spring/summer of john carpenter (realized i've never seen 'ghosts of mars' or 'vampires' all the way through, so, hm)

i think it will rule

rrrobyn, Monday, 19 May 2008 23:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

ernest borgnine and i have the same birthday

rrrobyn, Monday, 19 May 2008 23:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Jeez, Rrobyn. I'm a Carpenter fan, but those are both terrible movies.

Oilyrags, Monday, 19 May 2008 23:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

you know what is surprisingly entertaining and competently written? the novelization of this movie.

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Tuesday, 24 April 2012 02:14 (five years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

"this is the weakest of the Carpenter/Russell troika but it is still great."


really enjoy the pieced-together open-endedness of this. fits the post apocalyptic crisis mood/premise far better than a tight, snappy plot.

Kurt slays in this and I do mean fuiud

deejerk reactions (darraghmac), Sunday, 18 October 2015 23:43 (two years ago) Permalink


Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 October 2015 01:53 (two years ago) Permalink

Here is a thing that I meant to post last month & forgot

Not sure if it means anything but it's an interesting piece of esoterica


Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 October 2015 01:54 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure I'd call it weak - that is, there's nothing I wish was better - but it's definitely the most classically b-movie of the Kurt/Carpenter bunch.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 19 October 2015 01:54 (two years ago) Permalink

xpost Plausible that Escape from LA was done as a passive-aggressive cash grab. Doesnt make it any better though...and pity the fool
who pored over it for hours but, bravo
I guess? idk

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 October 2015 01:56 (two years ago) Permalink

Ugh, I'm not sure I saw "Escape from LA" a second time after an advance preview I caught. Total bummer, and I'm not sure recycling some specific shots (and more than recycling the entire first film) counts as "symmetry" so much as laziness. All I really remember, though, is being distracted by the presence of the actress who used to be in "My So-Called Life."

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 19 October 2015 02:01 (two years ago) Permalink

I love this. Tough to pick a russell role between snake/ macready/ jack burton, three amazing roles. Also showing amazing range.

nomar, Monday, 19 October 2015 02:17 (two years ago) Permalink

I paid theater money to see Escape from LA, Vampires, and Spiders from Mars or whatever that nonsense was called

Hours of my life, gone

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 October 2015 02:22 (two years ago) Permalink

ghosts of mars is spectaaaacularly bad. i mean like if carpenter hadn't done a BUNCH of schlock it would have to be a parody. highlight is when a character does a narrated flashback of all the scenes we just saw, to bring another character up to speed. "so then i went down the hallway..."

also when the one alien ghost is screaming on the hill like BAAGAAWUGGALAAAAAA, that was great. he sounds like Strong Mad.

Gorefest Frump (Doctor Casino), Monday, 19 October 2015 04:02 (two years ago) Permalink

whereas, like, 'prince of darkness' is just ... boring.

Gorefest Frump (Doctor Casino), Monday, 19 October 2015 04:02 (two years ago) Permalink

so boring

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 October 2015 04:56 (two years ago) Permalink

Prince of Darkness is not boring! I'll watch that movie all day. Maybe it loses some steam in the overly-long opening sequence, maybe Jameson Parker has some offputting conversational gambits... Once they finally go to the church lock-in, it's great. Wish Dennis Dun had been in more movies.

Otoh, I saw that Vampires was on Amazon Prime streaming the other day and decided to give it a go. Made it 15 minutes in maybe? I just found myself second-guessing every single move any character made.

how's life, Monday, 19 October 2015 13:53 (two years ago) Permalink

I love how boring Prince of Darkness is. I love that budget/or lack of narrative imagination determined that it's like the most apocalyptic scenario possible played out in the most modest of situations. Like, a handful of folks padding around an old church while the fate of the world teeters on the brink. Talk about the banality of evil.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 19 October 2015 14:16 (two years ago) Permalink

Prince of Darkness is awesome, maybe my favorite Carpenter after The Thing.

Resting Bushface (Phil D.), Monday, 19 October 2015 14:18 (two years ago) Permalink

Think I've watched this Escape from NY about 20x times (uk tip: catch repeats on itv4 often). Plot is hammy - sophistication isn't what I was expecting. That's fine.

Soundtrack is superb. Dean Stanton is the best of supporting cast; Pleasance follows close by. Disagree on Russell, I suppose you could mistake the lack of expression for a 'couldn't be bothered' but fits the Snake tough-street style. Only relative flaw is there wasn't enough of him and van Cleef. Would see a sequel where they were a team (as van Cleef was offering by the end). Instead we got Escape from LA.

Saw the last hour of this after coming back home last Fri - renewed my appreciation of the tape switch.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 19 October 2015 14:26 (two years ago) Permalink

I remember being incredulous about Prince of Darkness until it got to the scene where Alice Cooper kills the nerd guy from Riptide with half a bicycle, then I realized it could do anything it wanted. it's like the pacing of the fight scene in They Live applied to an entire movie.

Milton Parker, Monday, 19 October 2015 17:40 (two years ago) Permalink

Prince of Darkness isn't peak material but it's still v good and pretty batshit imo

Οὖτις, Monday, 19 October 2015 21:17 (two years ago) Permalink


Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 October 2015 21:29 (two years ago) Permalink

man between this thread title and the aliens one

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Monday, 19 October 2015 21:30 (two years ago) Permalink

i wish i could conjure back up the particular way i was annoyed and bored by prince of darkness, cause i'm remembering these bits and pieces that were good. it just felt like this ridiculously large cast all pacing around independently of each other. like we're still meeting new people an hour into the movie, and nobody seems really aware of anything else that's going on. there's this sense of non-urgency or disconnectedness, people having weird my-dinner-with-andre conversations about the anti-god equation off in a separate movie from the people trying to escape the green slime. it would feel dreamlike if it felt like it was on purpose, i guess.

and then there's like a twenty-four hour montage, sun setting, sun rising, as dennis dun (IIRC) slowly tries to break through a wall with a chair or a spoon or something, and in the last ten minutes he tries to get the people on the other side to actually help? the creepy computer was cool i guess.

Gorefest Frump (Doctor Casino), Monday, 19 October 2015 22:59 (two years ago) Permalink

vampires is the carp nadir afaic. james woods is one of those guys who is exceptional in the right role and this wasn't one of them.

what I most remember abt that movie oddly is that is was one of gregory sierra's last screen roles before his apparent retirement. I love when old school dudes show up, but this was no 'deep cover' kinda role for him.

nomar, Monday, 19 October 2015 23:03 (two years ago) Permalink

I saw that in the theater and man so baaaaaad. apart from the guy who gets sliced in half. that was funny.

Οὖτις, Monday, 19 October 2015 23:04 (two years ago) Permalink

According to the original book's author John Steakley, the film contained much of his dialogue and none of his plot.

nomar, Monday, 19 October 2015 23:09 (two years ago) Permalink

thing I remember about Vampires was just lots of misogyny, like every other vampire was a woman who was being tortured or burst into flames

also sealed my lifelong distaste for James Woods

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 October 2015 23:50 (two years ago) Permalink

I actually called Carpenter on that at the press junket (way back when), and iirc his and everyone's defense was they're not women, they're vampires! I guess he had a point, but still ... not biting.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 00:47 (two years ago) Permalink

"not biting"

Gorefest Frump (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 01:17 (two years ago) Permalink


Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 05:04 (two years ago) Permalink

why dress them in gendered clothing if their gender is irrelevant, why not make them more animalistic etc etc

it was a choice & a bad one, and that's a cowardly answer "but but theyre just vampires"

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 05:07 (two years ago) Permalink

As a kid I was a bit obsessed with Frank Doubleday as Romero, he stole every scene. it took me years to find out his actual name and the name of the character, he's also the guy that shoots the kid in Assault On Precinct 13


MaresNest, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 11:13 (two years ago) Permalink

Holy shit. I'd never made that connection before! I can't stand that scene though, even though it's what sets everything in motion.

how's life, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 11:40 (two years ago) Permalink

don't order the vanilla, kid!

wizzz! (amateurist), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 13:06 (two years ago) Permalink

This is my favorite carpenter OST right now. So krautfully delightful.

I liked but was vexed by PoD when I watched it w couple of years ago. I wanna see it again. I like jarringly quiescent genre stories. I'm a huge fan of In The Mouth Of Madness (not that it's quiescent but it's late carpenter that no one mentioned)

banned on ixlor (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 14:07 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, much prefer In The Mouth of Madness to boring old Prince of Darkness (tho POD has a mildly interesting commentary track where Carpenter sometimes seems quite irritated by his co-commentator Peter Jason).

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Tuesday, 20 October 2015 14:20 (two years ago) Permalink

PoD is frustrating, so many of the main roles are taken by bland, soapy actors which is a real shame as it has a couple of genuinely great bits, the 'this is not a dream' transmission sequences, the guy with the wobbly voice who says 'pray for death' then his head falls off cause he's made of bugs , the old homeless lady licking the Priest's hands.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 15:36 (two years ago) Permalink

But PoD does look really great in HD and the soundtrack is just a really menacing, slow building bassline with some ornamentation.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 15:41 (two years ago) Permalink

PoD definitely foreshadows the later truly incompetent films

nevertheless it is transmitting from the year one... nine... nine... nine

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 17:21 (two years ago) Permalink

flipped through Ghosts of Mars last night on youtube due to this thread. had never dared before. it is pretty bad.

>also when the one alien ghost is screaming on the hill like BAAGAAWUGGALAAAAAA, that was great


Milton Parker, Tuesday, 20 October 2015 17:26 (two years ago) Permalink

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