News > Introduction > In Memoriam




The Escape From New York & L.A. Page - A Tribute to Snake Plissken (
http://www.theefnylapage.com) is created, designed, paid for and maintained by a Swedish nut called Andreas Johansson born in the familiar year of 1981. I rented and saw Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. almost back to back in 1997 and something just clicked. They were perfect for an outsider like me. Finally I had a character I truly could relate to and find sanctuary in. The site was founded in 2002 and it aims to be the most authoritative source for all things regarding Escape From New York, Escape From L.A. and Snake Plissken on the net. Therefore I recommend revisiting it and the pages on it because I don't report everything I add, change or do. Furthermore, contributors are mentioned throughout the site and I thank each one of you for your interest and help.    

I would also like to thank former sites such as Assault on Webpage 13, A Tribute to John Carpenter,
Escape From the Net, From 1997 To 2013..., I Heard You Were Dead, Russell Muscle, SnakePlissken.net, The Snake Plissken Page, The un-official Snake Plissken Page for their effort, time and inspiration. I still have a few stuff found on these sites. Many thanks!


Photos




With John Carpenter (Weekend of Hell/Oberhausen/Germany: 06/11/16)



With Adrienne Barbeau (Weekend of Hell/Oberhausen/Germany: 06/11/16)



With Tom Atkins (Weekend of Hell/Oberhausen/Germany: 06/11/16)



Exclusive Joe Alves USPF Eagle Sign Autograph



Comments (Note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the contributors, commentators and interviewees within this site etc.)


Snake Plissken
Snake isn't your average movie hero. Some would call him to be an anti-hero but I agree with John Carpenter who considers him to be an absolute hero. Snake just happens to be a very disappointed
dark angry cynical innocent bad ironic sociopathic world weary self sufficient war veteran who just wants to be free, stay alive the next 60 seconds and move on in a very dark, totalitarian and corrupt world. What's interesting about him is that he's so true to himself, incorruptible and individual and it makes him the most honorable and likable character in Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. We don't care when he destroys the tape in EFNY or shuts down the earth in EFLA. In fact, we root for him. He makes a cruel statement about humanity and the state of things and there's something we can learn here. He strike many chords in us and he truly is one of the most intriguing, complex and unique movie character out there. He's been a great inspiration in my life and I created this site to honor him and keep this underdog's legacy alive and kicking. 

Escape From New York
What I really enjoy about these movies is that they're inspired by true events. There's some truth and possibility in them. The first draft of Escape From New York was written in 1974 and was a reaction to the Watergate scandal and also to the increasing crime and urban decay going on in New York during this time. The Vietnam war and the Iranian hostage crisis were also current at the time. It looked dark and instead of making an utopian vision of the future John Carpenter did the exact opposite. He showed us a very grim and bleak future. A world gone too far. Escape From New York is a dark cautionary tale mixed with a unique blend of film noir, western,
science fiction, thriller, action and satire. It can also be viewed as a dark comedy. It dares to make fun of authority. It dares to be really cynical. It dares to show us one of the most ironic ending in cinema history etc. This is why I think this movie holds up and works so well. There's an honest, authentic and also a very entertaining and timeless stylish quality about it. The political satire still works and the overall themes still resonates to this day. It doesn't matter if Carpenter's vision didn't come exactly true. It's still something that we fear and can happen and deep down it's something we'd still like to see happen just like Mr. Carpenter has pointed out. What also amazes me is his ability to do great things out of limited budgets. This movie didn't need a big budget. It needed John Carpenter and his crew. There's many reasons why this movie has become such a cult classic. It really deserves it.

Escape From L.A.
Every time I watch Escape From L.A. I have a blast. This is one of John Carpenter's bravest and most sardonic movies to date. It's basically a rehash of the first movie but set in another city and once again Snake is forced to do a similar mission he doesn't care about that really won't change things much, hence his saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." This movie could easily have been a sell out but by making it as a parody and a full-fledged satire makes the movie funnier, edgier and something that stands on its own. Snake was never really a sequel kind of character in the first place so I have no problems with it. Snake himself would probably like this movie more than the first one. They talked about doing a sequel in 1986 but there was nothing happening at that time that could inspire them to come up with something of relevance. However, around ten years later they realized that Los Angeles had become a perfect place to escape from. All the increasing earthquakes, floods, riots, fires, crimes, drive-by shootings and people living in denial due to the funnier aspects L.A. provides gave them inspiration. The timing was right for another escape and I hope more people will give it another chance. This is another John Carpenter movie ahead of its time and it raises some very interesting questions about freedom. 2013 has past but the movie still feels as relevant as ever. It also has the best ending in a movie ever. I salute Paramount for taking a chance on such a subversive movie like this. Kurt Russell said it best: "You either have a sense of humor or you don't - sometimes you need a little time to sit back and have a laugh."

Escape From Earth
Snake escaping from Earth would've been a blast to see and it would be a perfect continuation and conclusion to the Escape series. If more had supported Escape From L.A. I'm sure John, Kurt and Debra would at least have considered it despite it being somewhat of a joke. Oh well. I'm however very satisfied with the two that we got.


John Carpenter
My favorite director of course. He can direct any genre and still put a personal stamp on them. There's a reason why he puts his name above the title. He's John Carpenter and he makes John Carpenter movies. He often writes his own screenplays and composes the music for his own movies as well. His movies also have an interesting and unique tendency to get rediscovered and appreciated later on and become cult classics. There's something about them that lasts. There's more than meets the eye about his work. I also dig his masterfully suspense, stylistic skills, old school sensibility, anti-sentimentality, honesty, dry sense of humor and hatred of authority. His music too of course. Very much so. He's simply John Carpenter and in Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. he really sets his wonderful rebellious nature free.

Kurt Russell
Some actors are just meant to play certain roles and Kurt was born to play this part. His iconic performance as Snake Plissken is one of the big reasons why we keep watching these movies over and over again. John Carpenter said it best: "
He made Snake his own, which is what I wanted him to do. He gave him more depth and dimension, and makes you care a lot more for him than I thought would be possible." It's impossible to imagine another actor as Snake Plissken. Kurt was certainly not a child actor in Disney movies anymore etc. This is one of the many gifts Kurt has. He can play any part in any genre and unlike many he dares to take chances and go his own way. This together with his ironic and charismatic side on and off screen makes him a very intriguing guy to watch. He truly is one of the more underrated actors out there. Above all this he's also a surprisingly grounded guy with a great and strong personality. He's his own man and a genuine guy. Kudos to that.

Debra Hill
She was described by John Carpenter as "a real pioneer in this business, who opened the road for women". She was also an environmentalist as a Board Member of Women in Film and a Founding Board Member of the Earth Communications Office (ECO). Aside from producing she also wrote Halloween 1-2, The Fog and Escape From L.A. with John Carpenter (EFLA with Kurt Russell too). She wrote the whole brilliant Beverly Hills part in EFLA for instance. She also produced some really remarkable movies like personal favorites such as The Dead Zone and The Fisher King etc. The list goes on. She was also the driving force for the many Snake projects going on in the early 2000s. She truly was a remarkable woman and it was truly sad to hear about her passing in 2005 due to cancer. However, I hope someday her dream will become reality.
When she was honored by Women in Film in 2003, Hill said: "I hope some day there won't be a need for Women in Film. That it will be People in Film. That it will be equal pay, equal rights and equal job opportunities for everybody."

The Deleted Opening Sequence
Everything is great about this opening sequence except that it demystifies Snake and softens him. It's a great introduction to Snake's world and having him robbing a Federal Reserve Bank makes sense. Snake doesn't care about the money. Listen to how he says the following line to Taylor in the tube train after the robbery: "Congratulations, you're a billionaire!" That line and deliverance sums up a lot who Snake is. He just wants to stick it to the man whenever he gets the chance. Taylor being shot by the USPF at the end refusing to surrender is also a very powerful scene. You really can sense that Taylor was Snake's last living friend. However, this scene also shows us a softer and more humane side to Snake when he decides to go back for the shot Taylor and tries to talk him into surrendering. I'm sure many out there would prefer to have this scene added into the movie, but I have to agree with John Carpenter that it feels out of place from the rest of the movie and demystifies him. The movie works better without it and the more we don't know about Snake the more intriguing and powerful he becomes.
We kind of already know what's happened to him and what he's been through. This is essential viewing for Snake fans though.

Escape From New York Score
When I heard the Main Title in the opening credits of the movie for the first time I knew that this movie was gonna be special somehow. It sets the tone immediately and the music is one of the reasons why this movie works so well. It's eerie, simple, dark and very effective and it suits the movie perfectly. Adding Claude Debussy's Engulfed Cathedral to the mix was also a brilliant move during the glider flight into New York. I still listen to this soundtrack to this day and it never fails to send shivers down my spine. However, I have some problem with the new mixing on certain tracks on the expanded version of the soundtrack. I still prefer the original ones in the first release.


Escape From L.A. Score
A very interesting and different score. As much as I wanted the movie to be scored by John Carpenter only I think he did the right choice to bring in Shirley Walker too. Escape From L.A. is a more action packed adventure movie than Escape From New York and the music they made for the movie really suits it. Carpenter's minimalistic electronic style together with Walker's bombastic orchestral style is an interesting and unique fusion that goes along great to Snake's strange odyssey. The remixed Main Title is also a pleasure to hear
.

Escape From L.A. Album
Heavy metal and such
is really not my cup of tea except for a few bands. However, the songs suits the movie and White Zombie (and Rob Zombie) is one of these few bands I really appreciate in this genre. Their song The One is a song I really get a kick out of and it ends the movie perfectly.

Escape From New York Special Edition DVD
Everything is great about this DVD except for this: The documentary was a little too short and I really missed Ernest Borgnine in it. Snake Bites trailer montage looked like a fan made thing that was found on YouTube. Why no more deleted scenes? Why no more documentaries? The Inside John Carpenter's Escape vintage featurette would've been very appreciated since the same company's (MGM) Special Edition DVD of The Fog included the Inside The Fog vintage featurette produced by the same guys. Interviews about the score and special effects would've also been appreciated.

Escape From New York Collector's Edition Blu-Ray
Everything is great about this Blu-Ray except for this: Region 1 encoded, no additional deleted scenes and no Inside John Carpenter's Escape vintage featurette. I especially enjoyed the Big Challenges in Little Manhattan featurette since it also has many previously unseen photos. All additional extras are a treat as well.

Escape From New York Movie Tie-In Novel
I enjoy this book. It fleshes out the characters and the escape universe more while still being true to the movie. It has a different back story of what caused the increased crime and how New York was turned into a prison etc. It's a fun read, but I still prefer the original movie because it's perfect the way it is and I personally think it works better without these additions. I think the gas explanation simplifies things, softens it and makes the story unnecessary bleaker. I also dislike Mike McQuay's more humanized approach to Snake. He kept the deleted opening material that softens him and we also get to know his feelings more with very mixed results. We also get to know more about his war past in Leningrad and that he lost his eye due to gas. By the way, we also get to know that his parents were killed by the USPF from a hostage situation. Not my cup of tea at all. However, the Steri-Chamber is an interesting addition.

Coleman Luck's Escape From L.A. Script
Turning L.A. into a lunatic asylum is not such a bad idea and it has interesting, inventive and dark comedic qualities in it. In fact, many of Coleman's ideas ended up in John Carpenter's, Debra Hill's and Kurt Russell's drafts and some even in the final film. However, I really dislike the idea of this being a prequel to EFNY and I really have a problem with the whole clone thing involving Snake. It's an interesting and provocative concept, but most Snake fans would've hated it.


Peter Briggs Escape From L.A. Script
Only a storyline has been provided by Peter but this seems to be a more straightforward action thriller than the other versions. It only takes place a couple of years after the first movie and Snake's consequences is taken in consideration. Snake is also a bounty hunter in the beginning of the script which kind of would've been fun to see and Rehme is also back. In this version Snake agrees to do a mission to find out why Fresno Bob (yes the Fresno Bob) has begun working
for scumbags in a mercenary Cartel. Could be interesting.

Escape From New York Remake
To remake Escape From New York would be a crime against nature. How many other remakes of John Carpenter's movies could stand on their own feet? The only one I can think of is Assault on Precinct 13. I will probably never watch it again but it was all right. Escape From New York is so associated with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell and Snake Plissken is an offspring of both of them so a remake of this kind just feels wrong on so many levels. As much as I want to see Snake resurrect on the big screen again it just won't be the same without Carpenter and Russell.
Escape From New York is also a cult movie and cult movies should be left alone in my mind. There's absolutely no point whatsoever to remake a movie as unique as this. It holds up for a reason and if people feel they need to update this movie I feel sorry for them. It will most likely be another bland and generic remake anyway. A higher budget and more action doesn't mean shit if it can't carry the spirit of the original. John Carpenter's movie is rather restrained in some areas, but that means that the audience get to participate and fill in the blanks for themselves and I think it just benefits the movie. Do we really have to see Manhattan being evacuated and the wall being built for instance? Of course you can comment and deal with more current subjects and issues with it but without Carpenter's involvement it will probably just feel forced. This project is doomed from the start in my mind so please surprise me if you have to do it. At least it could spark an interest for the original for a new audience. Bottom line: As long as Mr. Carpenter receives his check I'm fine with it.

The Adventures of Snake Plissken
In this comic book Snake is hunted by a cyborg that is based on Snake himself! Sure, it's a fun idea, but it feels out of place and it's too far-fetched for my liking. It's a very one-dimensional affair. Snake is basically just a more muscular cartoon version of himself. However, I do like that the USPF are in it. I also like that Snake in this comic book has a little more charisma than the one featured in Snake Plissken Chronicles. The artwork isn't bad either. This comic book only had one issue and I think I speak for most fans that it was for the better.


John Carpenter's Snake Plissken Chronicles
What's good about this comic book is that it's less over the top than the previous one and it has great artwork. Although, the resemblance with Kurt Russell isn't quite there. The closer to the likeness of Russell the better for me. However, this is yet a very
one-dimensional affair. It's action over substance and Snake needs more than that to work. Not even the USPF or Bob Hauk are in it either. To be frank, I don't think Snake is a character that suits the comic book format. In fact, I don't think Snake is very suited to be exploited at all. Less is more with Snake and he never really was a character that John Carpenter intended to make a franchise out of in the first place. It makes the movie and character more powerful. We don't need to know his past or more about him. We kind of know all these things already and you can't offer him anything, you have to force him with his life to get him to do anything. Although, he could be bored and in need of some money sometimes or end up in trouble but in general, all Snake ever wanted to do was to get even with the authorities, strike a blow for his own beliefs and move on and he got to do that in the movie. It's a perfect ending for the character. His circle is complete and I think it can only go downhill from here. I think John Carpenter and Kurt Russell were aware of this and therefore decided to have a little fun with the concept when they decided to bring Snake back for another adventure in the second movie. This is another comic book I won't miss.

Escape From New York
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This comic book falls in the same trap as the previous Snake Plissken comic book. It mistakes the movie as a straight up action movie when it's more of a film noir. For instance,
in the beginning of this comic book Snake escapes from Liberty Island in a helicopter, lights a cigarette and battles several helicopters. It would've been so much better and suitable if he just disappeared without a trace and then just show up someplace.
I'm also not in favor of a continuation of Escape From New York. You can read my previous comment about that. For me and most other fans there's only one story left and that's Escape From Earth. Why follow the same path as the previous comic book when it's clearly that it should've been an Escape From Earth comic book? Instead we got an Escape From New York comic book that seems more inspired by Escape From L.A. (?) and not in a good way. The lackluster artwork and cheesy moments rubs me the wrong way. Snake Plissken needs a writer like Alan Moore or Frank Miller and an artist who can give him dignity and a personality. Frankly, it feels like a hack job. Fans of the movie and Snake deserves something better.

Big Trouble In Little China/Escape From New York
Yawn.


"Escape" TV Series
This sounds like a terrible idea. Snake working for the President before the events in EFNY trying to bring normalcy to devastated cities around the world. It would've been an interesting concept if it wasn't Snake related. I have absolutely no desire to watch this. It feels unnecessary and it wouldn't be the Snake I like so much. I'm grateful it didn't got made.


Cancelled Projects
The thing I was looking forward the most was the video game. Playing Snake in this game with provided likeness, motion capture work and voice by Kurt Russell and cooperation from John Carpenter and Debra Hill would've been very interesting. I actually think this could've been a great game if it could capture the look and feel from the first movie. Snake and his universe would really suit a video game. The anime movie could also have been interesting since Kurt would provide his voice here too. John and Debra would also help them out with the screenplay and there was a rumor saying that Carpenter would do the score. I still feel that Snake is best suited for live-action movies, but it would've been interesting to see what they could've done with it. The Novels too. I'm willing to give everything a chance. I don't desire new Snake stuff except for a third movie with John and Kurt and maybe a video game, but it sure would be fun if something good was made. Snake deserves more attention if the right people gets involved.