Logline: Snake Plissken, a convicted bank robber, is hired by the government to retrieve the President whose plane has crash landed in Manhattan, now a maximum security prison.
After two successful horror films (Halloween, 1978 and The Fog, 1980), John Carpenter returned to his science fiction and action roots with this cult favorite. Escape from New York was produced on a modest budget and despite this, features some impressive visual effects. While the action is a bit tame, Escape is a solid film featuring one of the most memorable anti-heroes to emerge from the 80s – Snake Plissken.
Escape from New York includes an impressive cast, most of which are Carpenter regulars. Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, and Charles Cyphers all make appearances. It marks the second of several collaborations between Carpenter and his lead Kurt Russell. The film features a great electronic Carpenter score.
Produced on a budget of $6 million, Escape from New York grossed over $25 million at the box office. While perhaps not the glorified cult classic many make it out to be, Escape from New York is a solid futuristic adventure nonetheless.
Rating (out of ****): ***