I love Escape from L.A. and I’m not afraid to admit it

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3. Special FX

In the 22 years since Escape from L.A. was filmed, huge strides have been made in the CGI department. That being said, the recreation of the City of Angels under the San Fernando Sea was pretty impressive.

Even if you never lived in the Golden State, there were enough iconic landmarks that were recognizable. Universal Studios readily comes to mind. The entire dystopian look of Hollywood and Beverly Hills reminded me of Blade Runner in a sense.

The submersible that Snake used to navigate the undersea landscape was very reminiscent of the motorcycles in Tron. It is also pretty inventive to conduct an air raid via hang gliders so props to Carpenter.

Beverly Hills isn’t one of my favorite places, I will readily admit that. However, it was exceptionally terrifying in the Surgeon General’s dungeon. All those plastic surgery experiments gone awry and the necessary prosthetics to create the nightmares added fuel to the fire, so to speak. I still cringe at the “nurses” and their overly collagen filled lips and foam injected boobs.

4. The Basketball Game

Yes, this was a ridiculous concept but points for an original one. Who would have thought that playing hoops would turn into a gladiator contest of life or death? And yet, it does!

Most critics of the film lambasted Carpenter over this scene but I liked it. Yes, that half court bomb that Russell launches to save his life is pretty unrealistic and probably required take after take. But this is an iconic character so his dilemmas should be a bit over the top.

Plus, you can feel Snake struggling to keep his energy up. Every dribble is painful and every shot is critical.

5. Technology

Technology – Escape from LA – Courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Rysher Entertainment

This is different from special FX. What do I mean when I use this term? Some of the devices that Snake uses in the movie are definitely items that are in our present world or are being developed.

Holograms are real. Our military is working on perfecting this technology to “cloak” planes, tanks and even soldiers. So, much like the President (Cliff Robertson) and Commander Malloy (Stacy Keach) when a presence is necessary for safety precautions using a hologram isn’t as futuristic or far off anymore.

The electromagnetic pulse generator that Plissken uses to literally shut the world down at the end of the movie is another tool that our military is developing. Laser beams render EMPs that cause onboard systems on airplanes to shut down thus causing them to literally fall from the sky.

Theoretically it wouldn’t be farfetched to have this as a weapon of sorts for various threats.

Escape from the Cleve?

Wyatt Russell – Courtesy of No Film School

I know that Kurt Russell is past his prime now and action movies are in the rearview mirror. However, something caught my attention when I was revisiting Escape from L.A. the other day. The mention of Cleveland and the fact that the Ohio city was the beginning of the Snake Plissken that we have come to know.

Apparently, something bad went down there and Hershe Las Palmas (Pam Grier) was involved. I am not an advocate for prequels in any way, shape or form. However, I wouldn’t mind an Escape from Cleveland in the future.

Russell’s son Wyatt is a dead ringer for his old man so maybe he could play the younger Plissken. After all, “trilogies” are a thing now. Perhaps, John Carpenter could make this happen. It might make a nice bookend to two really fun, classic science-fiction, horror efforts.

Next: Why Gus Van Sant’s Psycho homage doesn’t work

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