Escape from L.A. (John Carpenter, 1996)

I guess John Carpenter was going by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy, because this was the exact same movie as Escape From New York, with some minor switches:

New York = L.A.
criminals = “undesirables”
captive President and tape macguffin= captive black box macguffin
plane = submarine
Ernest Borgnine = Steve Buscemi
Lee Van Cleef = Stacy Keech
Harry Dean Stanton = transvestited out Pam Grier
rabid sewer maniacs = plastic surgery gone wrong zombies
The Duke of New York = some South American wimp
death match with spiked clubs in Grand Central = basketball game of death at L.A. Coliseum
exploding capsules in the neck = some virus
climactic drive over the mined bridge = climactic hangglider fight over Disneyland

And Snake? Well, thank god that was the only thing that stayed exactly the same (except of course for his big fuck-you to the fate of the world at the end, which is infinitely more badass and drastic than the first time around). I love Escape From New York, but frankly, one Escape From New York is enough, because while I definitely liked this one (especially how you just feel like it’s supposed to be almost a parody of the first one with how similar they are, with this one just a little more over-the-top), I’ve definitely seen it before.


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