|Original Theatrical Poster|
One of Carpenter's most ambitious projects to date, Escape From New York (1981) is the auteur at his best. Visually, this is Carpenter firing on all cylinders, creating shot after shot of atmospheric, shadow-laden visuals and a world that feels ugly and spellbinding at the same time. It is also Carpenter's coldest, most cynical film, with nary a character that can be considered a "hero". Here, all characters - including Snake Plissken - are selfish, violent, nihilistic people, looking out for themselves and themselves alone, resulting in a bleak, yet darkly humorous film.
With Escape From New York, Carpenter delivered a hit that looked and felt big, despite costing only $5 million dollars, proving that he was ready for the big leagues. This led to him making what many consider his best film, The Thing (1982), a ferocious, bleak masterpiece of Lovecraftian proportions.
Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.