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1,631 Ratings

Assault on Precinct 13

Directed by John Carpenter
United States, 1976
Action, Crime, Thriller


The lone inhabitants of an abandoned police station are under attack by the overwhelming numbers of a seemingly unstoppable street gang.

Our take

A cult classic from one-man band John Carpenter (who wrote, directed, scored and edited the film) this is the quintessential B-movie that became a director’s big breakthrough. So successful, Assault on Precinct 13 enabled Carpenter to subsequently reinvent the slasher with his horror hit Halloween.

Assault on Precinct 13 Directed by John Carpenter
Shot on a shoestring and packed with brutal, unrepentant violence . . . Assault on Precinct 13 was reviled upon its release as exploitative trash and then reevaluated after the massive success of Halloween. Forty-two years later, it stands as perhaps the starkest illustration of its creator’s gifts for staging and sustaining on-screen carnage.
May 29, 2018
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…John Carpenter was inspired to make a film that loosely followed the George Romero template, drawing a line from the heaving faceless masses of “Night” back to the prison-siege framework of Howard Hawks’s “Rio Bravo”. It proved a thoughtful connection. The resulting film, “Assault on Precinct 13”, plays out in the intersection of its two seemingly incompatible influences — a Western without the West, a zombie film without zombies.
November 19, 2013
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If Assault on Precinct 13 takes place against an abstractly minimal depiction of New Hollywood angst and fear, it nevertheless emerges one of the most optimistic classics of the period, even taking into account the murder of a little girl getting an ice cream cone.
November 15, 2013
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