January 6

John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, 1981

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2017 season opener of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to start the year off with a bang, tackling a cult classic that mash’s genres and became a forerunner for a decade or more for Future Noir / Sci-Fi films alike; forecasting a bleak future for the 1980s and beyond with its commentary on society. The boys are taking a trip to the Manhattan Island Maximum-Security Prison in futuristic 1997, in John Carpenter‘s classic, Escape From New York, from 1981.

Escape From NY

Having already designated director John Carpenter the ‘patron saint’ of SNMS, Dion and Blake mince no words when singing the filmmaker’s praises for his body of work in this era. After briefly lamenting about the format change MTV went through years ago, seguing from music video to reality show, the boys get right into the nuts and bolts of the film–laying out the historical context for when the script was first written and then the climate later, circa 1980, when it was eventually put to screen. Another resource the boys like to utilize while discussing a film is the movie tie-in novelization, to fill in the blanks to any exposition left out. Here they discuss, in detail, the immense backstory that is spelled out in the Mike McQuay book adaptation, giving us sizable background on the iconic character Snake Plissken (played brilliantly by Kurt Russell) and Police Commander Bob Hauk (played by the legendary Lee Van Cleef), as well as the third World War waged and the events that led up to the actual decision as to why that society ultimately turned the island of Manhattan into a Super Max Prison. They go through the various stories of how the amazing cast of supporting actors was assembled to fill out the other roles within the film, to help ground this fantastic tale with a firm foot in reality. They also explain the creative process John Carpenter goes through as a composer, using this film as example and his first-time collaboration with composer Alan Howarth. So what troubles lay ahead because of the shoestring budget? What corners (if any) had to be cut in order to get this movie finished? What city was this film actually shot in? What other established actors were considered for the lead role? And what up-and-coming director worked on the Special Effects Unit of this film; who would later go on to create some groundbreaking Sci-Fi films in his own right? Well grab your MAC-10 machine guns and molotov cocktails, your injections of micro-explosives that will, in 22 hours, rupture your carotid arteries and buckle yourself in, because we’re flying the Gullfire over Leningrad in this all new 2017 edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

Take a look at the alternate opening of the film, a bank robbery scene that Carpenter ended up cutting and then was thought to have been lost forever.

Check out this great interview with director John Carpenter about Escape From New York.

Have a look at the official 2016 John Carpenter music video for Escape From New York.

Here is demo footage of the never-released Namco Video Game, Escape From New York.

Lastly, have a listen to Episode One of Broken Sea Audio Productionsaudio drama of Escape From New York.

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Posted January 6, 2017 by admin in category Action, Adventure, Classic, Crime, Fantasy, Sci Fi, Thriller

4 thoughts on “John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, 1981

  1. Jose A. Rivera

    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who posts on the website…and I absolutely have no problem with that!

    Funny you guys mentioned the Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York crossover comic. I’ve been buying it and it’s a lot of fun. The writer definitely nails down Snake and Jack, and it’s hilarious that they really don’t get along. Oh, and Hauk is in the comic.

    It’s a story that really shouldn’t work, but it totally does. It’s ridiculous and fun.

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      Hey Jose! I think you may be completely right and may be of a select few who realize and then even go through the trouble of posting on our actual site. But we love you that much more for it. You are certainly in an inner circle of listeners that have a platinum status, that Blake and I are SO grateful for, that we couldn’t ever possibly replay.
      I have not read the comics but it has peaked my interest and plan to very soon. I am a comic reader, so I look forward to checking it out. And if you’re telling me they but Lee Van Cleef in there, I’m all in. Ha. Yeah, can’t wait to check it out.
      Hey, really though, you are the man. Thank you SO MUCH for your support and patronage, and we hope you continue to enjoy the ‘sausage’ we continue to churn out in 2017. Take care, and talk soon. -Dion

      Reply
  2. Jose A. Rivera

    Thank you very much, Dion! That was really nice to hear.

    I love the show. The guys over at Junkfood Cinema did a plug for the show last year and I decided to give a try and listen to a few episodes. I found Saturday Night Sleepovers to be right up my alley because you guys are close in age, you have similar stories/experiences, you and Blake are more about the positives than ripping something apart, and you’re fellow New Yorkers. It’s a show I love to come back to every two weeks and take with me on the train, at the gym or if I’m putting stuff together in my first apartment.

    Coming to the site is great because of the little extras you throw in like links or pictures. If I’m one of the few who comes on here and posts to the site, hey, makes it more special for me.

    All the hard work you and Blake do for the show really is appreciated. Keep up the amazing work, tell those wonderful stories and I’ll keep coming back time and again!

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      Jose, you are the man. Thank you sooo much for the kind words and your continued support. We are so happy to hear you how much you enjoy the podcast, and we are so humbled to have you as a supporter. We couldn’t do it without the continued support from guys like you. Thank you, and thank you for always checking the homepage. You certainly seem to be the #1 patron. Lol Thank you.

      Reply

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