October 2, 2013

Escape from New York

If you've forgotten how wonderful Escape from New York is, here are some reminders:

Snake Plissken: His past is so checkered the movie won't even tell us about it. Why is he infamous? Why does everyone think he's dead? How Brain double-cross him in the past? And how did he lose his eye? Filling in our own holes [intended!] is far more fun than anything the movie could offer, but really, even his mysteries are shrouded in mystery.

Full drag cabaret: Four guys in Victorian style drag, accompanied by a gypsy-bohemian band, sing the catchiest song known to man to a theater speckled with solemn criminals. Either the seedy audience takes theater very seriously or they are completely unmoved by anything. Except for Ernest Borgnine who is bouncing in his seat with glee...

Cabbie: It's always a good time when Ernest Borgnine shows up in a film, but this is our favorite of his later roles. Cabbie is fun, cowardly, full of convenient timing; no one could have done it better.

Green grids of the future: It's easy to take shots at Si-Fi missing the mark on their future technology, but this movie makes it hard to know where to start. Maybe the mobile phone that is larger than any object we've ever seen placed to someones ear. Maybe the tracking device that is a red dot on a mostly unmarked grid. Maybe the super top secret government information recorded to a audio cassette tape...

The supporting cast dreams are made of: Lee Van Cleef, Adrienne Barbeau, Harry Dean Stanton, Isaac Hayes, Tom Atkins, and Donald Pleasence as the President! If you asked for more, you'd just be greedy!

A soundtrack to stand the test of time: Uniquely minimalistic and dark for electronic music at the time, it was as influential to electronic musicians then as it is now. It's arguably the best Carpenter/Howarth collaboration, and it's a soundtrack well worn in our house.

Really, you should just watch Escape from New York again! You missed your shot to see it on the big screen, but that should just get you more motivated to get out and see Escape from L.A.

(Pssssst, hey! If you're a Carpenter soundtrack dork too, check out DrokkSymmetry, or Umberto, you likely won't be disappointed!)

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