I have a thing for dystopian movies because they have a great mix of science fiction, action, suspense, and horror. I saw Escape From New York (1981) when I was a kid, and vaguely remember bits and pieces of it. The one thing I remember from my first viewing was the terrifying thoughts of how the world could end up.
I know John Carpenter also composed the musical score, but why does it sound so much like Halloween? Not a big deal, it just stuck in my head at times.
The use of actors from his previous films is cool, like Donald Pleasence as the President, who was Dr. Loomis in Halloween (1978), Charles Cyphers as Secretary of State, also from Halloween, and Adrienne Barbeau as Maggie; she played Stevie Wayne in The Fog (1980). On top of that, we get Kurt Russell in the leading role, Harry Dean Stanton as Brain (he was in Alien (1979) and Pretty in Pink (1986)), and let’s not forget Ernest Borgnine, who I hope doesn’t need further reference.
The costuming reminds me of the Village People, but I guess people would randomly wear stuff like that in a dystopian world. Having most of the scenes in darkness complements the grimy, guttural feel of the film. The story is basic, though politically charged, which is an element in most of the movies in this sub-genre. The action, adventure, and sitting on the edge of my seat suspense is what excites me the most about these movies, and this one in particular.
If you’ve never seen Escape From New York, please, do a hard search to find it. There are so many great things about it that are amazing, and that’s why I give it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.