Carpenter Build An Anything Goes Plot (Houston Chronicle/Aug 02/1996/US) By Lewis B. Parks


FILMMAKER John Carpenter took an anything-goes approach to writing his Escape From New York sequel, Escape From L.A., which opens next week.

A remote-control device that can shut down all electronic equipment on Earth? Sure. A president's daughter leading a revolution against her fanatical Christian Right dad? Why not?

Perhaps his wildest idea came in having his leg-shot antihero, Snake Plissken, surfing an earthquake tidal wave down Wilshire Boulevard into the back seat of a bad guy's convertible.

"I have never seen that in a movie before," said Carpenter, who co-wrote the film with star Kurt Russell and producer Debra Hill. "It was more outrageous and absurdist humor than anything else. It's right on the edge."

When Carpenter needed a surfer named Pipeline to help Snake catch a wave, who better to play the part than Peter Fonda? The face may not mean anything to younger viewers, but for those old enough to remember Fonda, 57, as the star of cheap teen movies, not to mention Easy Rider, it's an instant laugh. Hey, dude.