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.
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.
Magnificent opening that sets inception for foreshadowed avalanche of action and violence brings the best out of low budget - controversial murder scene and rich personalities, while simplicity, tension and music create an unique atmosphere that gives a flavor of horror in a form of the exploitation action-thriller. Thanks to its mixture, it's the kind of cult classic that hardly feels dated even by today's standards
Proto-80s-Carpenter missing out on what the 80s brought (mainly neons), but edges itself into the era (way before) with heavy synths and high contrast cinematography. It plays around with horde horror tropes, although Carpenter's usual reliance on motiveless villainy doesn't particularly work well in the case of this film's realism, giving it a weird surrealistic thread that's left hanging. Worth revisiting though.
John Carpenter's second work as director is a thrilling, fun, exciting, and bloody action-thriller. He mixed the theme from Howard Hawks western - Rio Bravo and George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead into a fun-ride movie. Not to mention for its infamous "ice cream" gunshot scene...
Carpenter’s “urban Rio bravo” is like a mixture of socially conscious action film and a zombie tale. The attackers despite being alive and armed with fireguns act as simpleminded and get slaughtered like the undead, which gives an extra dimension to the fear of violent gangs. And then there’s the music: a classic of electronic music without which the film wouldn’t be as good as it is.