Escape From New York is one of my favorite films of all time. It was the first R-Rated film I saw. I was just a kid (6 I think) and I was mesmerized. I watched it on HBO during the Saturday premier. I wanted to be like Snake Plissken, minus the eye patch that is. I vowed at that age I would get a big snake tattooed on my stomach. Flash forward, I don’t have a snake, but I have a big dragon tatted on my abdomen now. I own the original poster, framed in all its glory. I have the comic books, novelizations, shirts, board game, you name it. So naturally when a sequel was announced almost 15 years later I was excited. John Carpenter was re-teaming with Debra Hill to write, score, and direct Kurt Russell in Escape From LA the long awaited further adventures of Snake Plissken. I was there opening night and loved it. I cared less what critics and fan boys thought. I got to see Snake on the big screen. And now thanks to the great folks at Scream Factory I can see him on the small screen in a special collectors set to go along with their amazing Escape From New York Set.
Staring out in 1998 Escape From LA finds Los Angeles has become a crime ridden cesspool that is patrolled by the United States Police Force. We flash forward to the year 2000 when a massive earthquake hits LA causing massive flooding and actually splits the state into a separate island. The President tells the world it happened because LA is being punished by God for what it has become. He becomes so popular he ends up being elected President for Life and creates “Moral America”. Turning the United States into a Christian nation he bans tobacco, alcohol, drugs, red meat, guns, even sex before marriage. If you break the law you are shipped off to LA to live or you can choose to be electrocuted. Once sent to LA you can never return. The island is guarded and patrolled night and day. You try to leave you are killed.
Los Angeles is run by a crime lord named Cuervo Jones. He manages to contact the presidents daughter via a holo message and starts romancing her. He convinces her to steal the control unit for a weapon known as “The Sword of Damocles” It’s a satellite weapon that can basically black out the planet. It makes anything electronic dead. The presidents daughter, Utopia steals the control and when traveling on Aire Force One takes an escape pod to LA to deliver it to Cuervo. He plans on storming the US with the help of not only all the criminals of LA but with various third world countries as well. He tells the president if he tries to stop him he will black out the planet.
Well as luck would have it Snake Plissken has just been arrested for gunfighting and is set to be shipped off to LA. The president learns of this and gives him an offer. Go to LA, find the control device and bring it back. If Snake can do that he gets a full presidential pardon for all crimes. The present even stresses that he cares less if his daughter is killed as she is a traitor to the country. Much like in the first film snake is injected with a virus that will kill him in 10 hours. Snake agrees to the terms and takes a submarine to LA to find the device.
Once there we are introduced to a cavalcade of action and characters. In fact the cast is truly amazing. Steve Buscemi as Map to the Stars Eddie, Peter Fonda as Pipeline, Bruce Campbell as The Surgeon General of Beverly Hills, and last but certainly not least Pam Grier as Carjack Malone. The acting is top notch as is the action. A basketball game to the death being a highlight, as is Snake surfing a giant wave with Peter Fonda. Hang gliding, gunfighting, car chases, this has it all. Sure it’s a stylized version of Escape From New York but who cares? It’s a great movie from Top to Bottom! I had a blast watching it 20 plus years ago and I had fun this afternoon as well. Unfortunately all it had was a bare bones release. Well now thanks to Scream Factory that has all changed.
Scream Factory gives Escape from LA the full treatment. The picture is stunning. In fact it looks better than not only the bare bones release from another company, but better than when I saw it on the big screen. The sound is amazing. Not only do all the effects and gunfire bellow out of your speakers. But the soundtrack, which is amazing might I add sounds fantastic. This is the release we have all wanted and needed. Scream Factory has done an amazing job with this one, and not only is the transfer spectacular but its loaded with special features as well.
· NEW 4K Film Scan From The Original Negative
· NEW A Little Bit Off Beat – An Interview With Actor Stacy Keach
· NEW Beverly Hills Workshed – An Audio Interview With Actor Bruce Campbell
· NEW Part of the Family – An Interview With Peter Jason
· NEW Miss A Shot, Get A Shot – An Interview With George Corraface
· NEW One Eye Is Better Than None – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Jim McPherson
· NEW The Renderman – An Interview With Visual Effects Artist David Jones
· Theatrical Trailer
· TV Spots
· Still Gallery
The film is great fun, always has been. It’s a worth sequel to Escape From New York and now thanks to Scream Factory you can experience it the way you always should have. It’s a fun movie that has held up perfectly over time. Do yourself a favor and pick it up right away.
Overall 4out of 5 Stars!