Thursday, September 2, 2010

Escape From New York

For tonight's edtion of...

a cheeky vampire Texan blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in general



How about we try and...

Escape from NYC? No. Escape from my Pants? Yes!


Escape From New York

Info:

Director-- John Carpenter
Writer--- John Carpenter
Nick Castle




Starring--- Kurt Russell
Ernest Borgnine
Issac Hayes
Donald Pleasence
Adrienne Barbeau

Year: 1981

Company: AVCO Embassy Pictures


The Basic Scoop, The Poop, The Lowdown:

In a post-Apocalyptic near future (for 1981 at least :P ) A newly-minted convict and veteran of WWIII against the Soviets (again: Made in 1981) named Snake Plisskin is reluctantly recruited to rescue the kidnapped President of the United States from Pliskin's New York Manhattan Island home...now a quarantined "penal Island" (sounds dirty lol ;) ) for society's worst offenders and political undesirables. If Snake succeeds within 24 hours, he gets a full pardon. If he fails, a fancy-schmancy future weapon collar will blow his head off...literally. Sounds like fun huh? ;)




What's Pretty Good:

You've got to forget almost everything you know about OTHER post-apocalyptic films that either came out around the same time or after Escape for just a moment, or even it's lacklustery, lukewarm sequel. (Snake Plisskin SURFING??? W-T-F??)

For it's time this WAS FAIRLY original (Though The Omega Man and even Mad Max came first!) The atmosphere and setting are just about damn near perfect for the story (Ghetto East St. Louis anyone? ;) ) and no one could argue that in the era when Escape came out, it really did look as though the world was falling apart. (Inexperienced President, a Government long distrusted and hated for years, corruption, a recession, and serious nuclear threats from abroad, gee does ANY of this sound familiar? :P lol )

The basic idea of this movie seemed quite plausible. For the most part, this film doesn't got TOO over the top with the whole "psycho leatherboy biker" costume motif that became oh-so-common to the point of cliche' for movies of this genre, though there ARE a few "weirdos" spiced throughout the film for flavor I guess. For its fairly low-budget (by modern standards at least) there are quite a few recognizable faces (I.e. Mr. Shaft himself, Issac Hayes as the main villain and the near legendary Ernest Borgnine) Not to mention that Kurt Russell really fleshed out a character and truly made Snake all his own, despite Plisskin having begun clearly as a dog-earred action hero cobbled together from the bits and pieces of other action heroes. (Recognize a Clint Eastwood Man With no Name Voice impression when you hear one? )


What Kinda Sorta Really, Really Sucks:

While this is a solid, well-done movie of it's "Hardcore Apocalypse" genre, there's really not a whole lot else to go on as far as a plot is concerned. Issac Hayes' "baddie" character The Duke is little more than a "Man-Caused-Disaster" a foil to keep Plissken running and shooting MOFOS up until the finish line. There are almost no subplots, very little deep character views or much of anything else. In short, if you watch this for the first time, you'll feel like Escape is a bit like Cinematic Chinese food, you'll get a bit of an entertainment boost, but then be left thinking, "Is that it??"




Overall Film Grade: B-

A decent action flick of its time. One that helped put dudes like Kurt Russell and John Carpenter on the map in the actionfest field of filmmaking. Nothing too heavy or deep to digest through your eyeballs here, but if you like all things Post-Apocolyptical, or shoot-um-ups, then you certainly won't be wasting your time watching this one.

---Chet


a cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in general


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