Engaging action siege movie that got me to think about "Night of the Living Dead" but here zombies are replaced with gang-members carrying silencers. The gritty low budget give the movie a realistic documentary feel and the spare but effective synthesizer music add to the atmosphere. Even more shocking is the heartbreaking "meaningless murder" midway through the film that would have passed through censors today.
Carpenter in the raw. Bleak, uncompromising, rough around the edges, but static and calculated in a way that many contemporary low-budget genre pictures aren't. What sticks in the mind? The slow pans across desolate wastelands, the roaming gangs backlit by street lights, the shootouts in the dark. The first of Carpenter's (then) modern-day 'siege films', and one of his best.
Combining as it does to maximum effect Classical Hollywood and exploitation templates, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, a cool customer indeed, will always be my favourite Carpenter. Consciously combining RIO BRAVO w/ NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, Carpenter establishes himself as a savvy operator. It is not just homage. In his writing, direction, and especially his work w/ actors, Carpenter proves himself a genuine Hawksian.
This is Carpenter's breakthrough film. It's a fine film but it's not one of my favorites. Assault on Precinct 13 is rough around the edges to say the least. Still, it's an entertaining film that has clever plotting (Carpenter stealing from Hawks like mugger), is expertly shot, is action packed, & shows a born auteur in the making. Thanks to this film, we got one of the greatest directors in film history.
Darwin Joston may not be Kurt Russell (well, of course he isn't), but as Wilson he delivers a dynamite gentleman criminal routine that makes this early Carpenter almost as giddy as it is gritty, harrowing, and luridly elemental.
Rio Bravo story, Carpenter version. Crime & heroism have elastic boundaries in his 2nd feature film, he directed at the age of 27, with $100 000. Unsuccessful movie in the US, yet acclaimed in Europe. ===== 2ème long métrage de CARPENTER réalisé à l'âge de 27 ans avec 100.000 $. Film boudé aux USA mais encensé en Europe. Le crime et l'héroisme ont des frontières élastiques dans cette histoire de siège & de huis-clos.