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Escape from L.A. (Collector’s Edition): Blu-Ray Review

Available now on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is John Carpenter’s 1996 “Escape from New York” sequel, “Escape from L.A.”. A box office bomb when released theatrically, the second Snake Plissken adventure didn’t quite recapture the same gritty and dark sci-fi action that audiences had grown to love since the early 80’s. John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Kurt Russell decided that the right way to go, was to give the film more of a satire feel. At times, that decision worked, especially with the inclusion of supporting characters, played by Peter Fonda, Bruce Campbell, Pam Grier and Steve Buscemi. Carpenter hasn’t had much experience with comedy. The only other films he has directed that share a similar tone as “L.A.”, are “Big Trouble in Little China” and “They Live”. The latter being the best.

For those unfamiliar with “Escape from L.A.”, Snake has been captured by the newly formed World Police. In exchange for his freedom (and his life), he must enter the island of Los Angeles (which had been separated from the United States after a major earthquake). The island is occupied by people who were deemed undesirable by the U.S. The president’s daughter stole a black box that control’s the world’s power and delivered it to the hands of the terrorist/leader Cuervo Jones (Georges Corraface) who resides in L.A. Snake has 10 hours to retrieve the box and bring it back to the U.S. or the toxin he has been dosed with will kill him.

“Escape from L.A.” is not very good, but at the same time, it is not the least bit dull either. Carpenter keeps things moving along pretty-quickly, having Snake drop-in on some seriously destroyed L.A. landmarks. The visual effects that were bad, even for the 90’s looks much worse now, but they kinda ad to the film’s charm. The Snake on a surfboard sequence is one of my favorite badly aged moments.

When it comes down to it, I love watching Snake Plissken almost as much as Kurt Russell loves playing him. I know that there is almost no chance in hell that we would get a third film, but I would be thrilled to see some sort of Old Man Plissken film come to life with Russell, front and center. Better yet, have Snake team up with Jack Burton from “Little China” and cast Russell against himself.

The new disk from Shout! Factory included a beautiful new 4K scan from the original negative and new interviews with actors Stacy Keach, Bruce Campbell and George Corraface, plus more. If you are a fan of “Escape from L.A.”, I recommend adding this one to your collection.

Bonus Features

  • NEW 4K Film Scan From The Original Negative
  • NEW A Little Bit Off Beat – An Interview With Actor Stacy Keach
  • NEW Beverly Hills Workshed – An Audio Interview With Actor Bruce Campbell
  • NEW Part of the Family – An Interview With Peter Jason
  • NEW Miss A Shot, Get A Shot – An Interview With George Corraface
  • NEW One Eye Is Better Than None – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Jim McPherson
  • NEW The Renderman – An Interview With Visual Effects Artist David Jones
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

By: Marc Ferman