Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cult Classic Quest #4 - Escape from New York

Prepare to field old...welcome to the world of Escape from New York, where the future is 1997.

The story? Air Force One has been forced to crash into Manhattan, which has been turned into a maximum security prison. Only one man is tough enough to go in and rescue him...only catch is, the man is about to become an inmate!

Snake Plisskin, ex-special forces, about to be sent in to New York for life, is given to opportunity to be pardoned his crimes if he is willing to rescue the president and his briefcase within 22 hours. The alternative? Death.

Now, Snake doesn't like being told what to do. His rugged stubble and eye-patch means only one thing: Bad attitude. The worst thing you can do as a person who is still alive is to stay the hell out of his way. Forced to comply, he sets off to rescue the president from the Duke of New York, but he has a few tricks up his sleeve...

Okay folks, I love the "Escape from" films, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a remake soon. Snake is played to perfection by Kurt Russell, who chews up every scene he is in like an angry pitbull. That said, the film is quite dated and while it is still enjoyable, it is quite hard to immerse yourself into the slightly dystopian "future" portrayed in the film.

What helps is a great supporting cast, the most well-known of which is the late Ernest Borgnine, who's characteristic silliness brings a slightly lighter but strangely more macabre feel to Snake's adventures in the run-down New York.

That said, it is definitely still worth the watch and I am very exciting about watching the 1996 follow-up, Escape from New York, which I am sure will be fantastic.

One more thing: The Duke of New York has a car that will make even Xzibit go "Damn!":

Cult-o-meter: 5/10 - John Carpenter, king of chaos, manages to create a character that will be remembered way past his sell-by date. Its a slight pity the film itself hasn't aged too well. Beware the 80's cleavage.

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