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*film no.6 +no.7 +no.8 of Xanax & Strippers: The Todd Gaines Movie Challenge*
Challenge no.13-A movie on Todd's mullets list
Challenge no.18-A John Carpenter film
Challenge no.24-A film starring Tom Fucking Atkins
John Carpenter helped to scar me for life with his happy family reunion in Halloween back in 1978. Three years later however he'd deliver one of the coolest science fiction characters cinema would ever meet. Escape from New York is without a doubt my favourite Carpenter film, and also features Kurt Russell's most memorable role as Snake Plissken, a renegade ex-special forces mercenary with more attitude than almost all of Tarantino's creations put together. A science fiction film set in the future (1997) where Manhattan Island is now a maximum security prison where every undesirable in the US is dumped, New York is more a rotten apple than The Big Apple. A dystopian nightmare, we see Russell's Plissken given 24 hours to rescue the President after Air Force One goes down inside the city. No disrespect meant to Carpenter, but this is as good a B-Movie as Hollywood had ever produced with epic scenes, some iffy visual effects, and a thrilling plot that shows imagination. Two Sixties and Seventies tough guys enhance the cast, stalwarts Lee Van Cleef and Ernest Borgnine both bring their own brand of craziness to proceedings, but it just adds to the film's cult status. With Isaac Hayes, Donald Pleasance, Harry Dean Stanton, and one of the Seventies' most incredible busts courtesy of Adrienne Barbeau sealing the film's legacy towards that of greatness, Carpenter's film never disappoints.
I first saw this on late night television in the Eighties and it struck a chord. In my early teens this film and The Blues Brothers were my favourite films, and although the sequel damaged the reputation of this slightly, this still remains a brilliant thriller with just the right amount of action and attitude.