Nearly 25 years and an endless amount of viewings later, John Carpenter's "Escape from NY" still ranks high among the chosen few, quintessential cult films of the 80's. This is, simply put, one of the coolest productions ever with legendary characters, ingenious plot and pitch-black humor. Kurt Russell, with eye patch and nihilistic 'you-don't-like-it-go-to-hell' attitude, plays the role of his life as anti-hero Snake Plissken, recruited by his authority-nemesis Bob Hauk to bring back the American president who crashed with his plane in New York. One problem though; ever since crime rose with 400% in 1987, New York has become one giant and demarcated prison where criminals determine their own "civilization". Offered no other choice, Snake infiltrates NY for his mission
and for a personal race against the clock. Especially the first sixty minutes of this movie are terrific, since there constantly is the introduction of new and imaginative characters. Class-A actors play all these utterly cool characters, which makes it even more memorable! Apart from Kurt Russell, "Escape from New York" also stars icons like Lee Van Cleef ("The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"), Isaac Hayes ("Truck Turner"), Donald Pleasance ("Halloween") and Harry Dean Stanton ("Repo Man"). Even the smaller supportive roles are well distributed, with the underrated Tom Atkins as Van Cleef's sidekick and Adrienne Barbeau in a very sexy part. The downfall of America's number one city is atmospherically portrayed and Carpenter's own music score creates an excellent mood of despair. The action sequences are impressively photographed and John Capenter professionally camouflages that his film is, in fact, and independent production. My only slightly negative remark is that the story should have had a better, more explosive climax. Particularly because the first hour is so great, the ending seems quite tame. But, what the hell, this movie is a must for every film lover! In 1996, Carpenter also made "Escape from L.A." and even though it's good entertainment, it can't compete with "NY".