Archive for July 11th, 2011


the 30th of john carpenter’s escape from new york


July the 10th, 1981 was the opening day for one of John Carpenter’s finest films. Escape from New York was released across the nation and I was there on opening night. Hi friends,, It’s been a while since I have been able to blog but I couldn’t miss the 30th anniversary of  EFNY!!! All I can say is what a awesome ride and what an incredible film. John Carpenter was on the rise and “Escape” marked his third feature release as director and also his third film in partnership with producer Debra Hill. Escape is a basically a western set in a slightly futuristic setting. 1997 to be exact and all that John loved and was inspired by from Howard Hawks and John Ford shows with a great homage on the screen. The story was written by Carpenter and his friend Nick Castle, and along with their very imaginative tale Carpenter also scored the film and his music adds a very intense mood and feel to the motion picture.  This has always been one of my Favorites and I find it so hard to believe that opening day was 30 years ago.. Thanks and Happy Anniversary John for sharing your great talents on the screen… You are a master at what you do and your films are so uniquely yours!!! Here is a quick synopsis of the film so if you haven’t seen it yet, stop here and put this one on the top of your list. If you have then carry on and enjoy the text and images to follow. For unknown reasons the city of New York has been turned into the main prison for the entire United States. A security fence has been constructed around Manhattan Island and is patrolled by the United States Police Force. If your sentenced to prison, once over the wall your on your own and life expectancy is rather short. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is en route to be processed when Air Force One is hijacked and crashes inside of the prison’s confines. Prison Security Chief Hauk (Lee Van Cleef) has 24 hours to get the president and a special cassette recording out before the Hartford Summit ends. A failed rescue plan leads Hauk to offer Snake Plissken full pardon if he can get in and save the president. Plisken, once a war hero takes the offer but not without a price. Hauk injects Plissken with what he says are antibiotics but in fact are tiny explosives in his artery’s that have a 24 hour limit before they go off. Once Plissken finds out about this he is far more determined to succeed at his mission. Armed with guns, throwing stars and a whole bunch of devices that would make James Bond Jealous, Snake fly’s in a glider called the gulf fire and lands on top of the world trade center and begins his search for the president ( Donald Pleasence). Along the way Snake encounters the drudgery of what New York has become and his lonely search gains ground when he meets Cabby (Ernest Borgnine) who knows where the president is, Cabby takes Snake to meet Brain (Harry Dean Stanton) and his squeeze Maggie (Adrienne Barbeau) who work for the Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes) who has the president and is going to use him as their ticket to freedom. A failed attempt to rescue the president by Snake puts him into the Dukes Barbaric world. Snake is forced to be sport in a gladiator style ring and fight for his life. Brain comes up with his own plan and steals the president and is later joined by snake who has escaped from the arena. This motley crew makes a break for the heavily mined 64th street bridge pursued by the Duke. After battling the mines and the loss of Brain, Maggie, and Cabby, Snake and the President make for the wall at the end of the bridge where Hauk’s men are waiting to rescue the two. A final shoot out with the Duke takes place and the President himself serves his revenge with a lethal volley of bullets from an M-16. Once over the wall Snake gets the charges burned out of his neck with only seconds to spare. As the movie comes to a close we see the president getting cleaned up for an emergency broadcast to the summit. A face to face a conversation takes place between the president and Snake and it is quickly realized that the sacrifices that Plissken and and those involved to get the president out are meaningless and quickly forgotten. The film ends with a very nice little twist and the credits roll!!!

the prison layout

the prison called New York, Matte painting

the deal is made

coming into land, a beautiful VFX shot


the Duke and his court

the President

the ring


July 2011
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