I saw this with some friends about a year ago. We expected it to be entertaining in an ‘over the top action’ way.
We were all disappointed. It wasn’t over the top at all, so much as just really boring. Not a whole lot really happened in the film. It was a great premise for a B movie, but they didn’t do much with it. The protagonists just kind of wandered around, got captured a lot, and failed their way to victory. It didn’t have the over the top campiness of Army of Darkness or the stylized action of a Tarantino style flick. There were a lot of unnecessarily long shots of helicopters landing and failed attempts to create a kitschy version of bicycle-gang anarchy, and other than Kurt Russell’s performance none of it really worked at all.
^it wasn’t meant to be ‘over the top’ in any way really. you just went in with the wrong expectations. it’s a mood flick, primarily.
Escape From L.A, however, is extremely camp and over the top.
Yeah, a lot of people think that Carpenter’s films are low-grade popcorn flicks or complete failures altogether, but you really have to be in the right frame of mind to watch most of his films. If you’re expecting to see Army of Darkness and/or Tarantino-styled (laughable, but I’ll let that slide for the moment), then you really have no concept of the type of films Carpenter makes (no offense, but it’s obvious).
Not a lot happened in the film? You mean the dangerously real fight scene in the ring with spiked clubs (they were using real clubs with real nails sticking out of them), the car chase scene at the end of the film, Snake’s first encounter with the night people crawling out of the sewers, the hilarious quirks of Donald Pleasance’s version of the President, and Harry Dean Stanton (not to mention Isaac Hayes)! I don’t really see how all that can be construed as “boring” and “not doing much.”
But anyway, it seems like you were expecting to see (like Joks already suggested) Escape from LA rather than NY.
Bring on a Criterion of this film!
I saw Escape from NY long before Escape from LA and ended up being somewhat disappointed in EfLA. EfNY is one of my favorite films.
EfLA isn’t bad, quite entertaining, just not on par, I thought.
Just listen to that score. The imagery and tone and editing pace are all totally in sync with everything the music evokes.
“In the Mouth of Madness” is my favourite Carpenter, followed by Prince of Darkness, Ghost of Mars, The Thing, The Fog, Escape from New York (and L.A, which is not that bad), They Live, Big Trouble … , Starman, Halloween, Vampires.
… and in Prince of Darkness
It’s about time to pop this back into the DVD player again. Halloween’s coming up – better pull out Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness as well. His films hold up.
“I thought you were dead”
This was a great film back in the day. At university we must’a seen it 20 times. Eff’ing hilarious, like THE WARRIORS go sci-fi. Kurt Russell played a million miles from type which was really a surprise after all those kiddie flics he did, and Lee Van Cleef/Ernest Borgnine/Isaac Hayes/Harry Dean Stanton, what a wild bunch. Donald Pleasance was the perfect sniveling president too. The sequel was so bad it wasn’t funny, maybe because it took it self too seriously instead of playing it with tongue in cheek like EFNY did. Really alotta fun.
You needed to watch Escape from L.A if you were looking for something more for pure fun with a bunch of mates. Escape from New York is actually a pretty well made film, for such a tiny budget that it had.
One of my all-time favorite films. It holds up well for me.
Yeah Headgear, it really is a fantastic film. I agree it holds up well even today for me too.