Escape From L.A.
Shooting Script (October 09, 1995)
City Street Opening
A DARK TABLEAU - CITY STREET - LOS ANGELES - NIGHT
Graffiti-smeared walls. Fires raging. Automatic weapons FIRE. Shadowy FIGURES
dash through the southern California night.
An Army Of Terrifying
Figures Climbing Atop A Mountain Of Debris And Raising Their Weapons Into The
Night Sky In The Ruins Of L.A.
WHAM! A TORCH-LIT LANDSCAPE - NIGHT
The ruins of L.A. Rubble, smoke, a lethal wasteland. An ARMY of terrifying
FIGURES climbs atop a mountain of debris. They raise their weapons into the
By January of the year 2001, street gangs, South American terrorists and the
criminally insane capture Los Angeles Island, the once-great City of Angels.
Plissken's Submarine Going Through More Universal Studios Attractions
EXT. UNDERWATER - UNIVERSAL CITY - THE BLACK TOWER - NIGHT
The sub SMACKS into the side of the Black Tower, powers through it, BLASTS out
the other side through a window, tilting and wobbling.
rights itself momentarily but is SLAMMED downward out of frame by a huge dark
looms overhead -- his fist RISING and falling with the currents. Plissken has
maneuvered himself into the wreckage of the Universal Studios Tour.
Plissken hangs on, as small jets of water spray into the cockpit through tiny
cracks in the hull.
Plissken On A Motorcycle Grabbing A Chain And Gunning Down A Mescalito On A
EXT. SUNSET BOULEVARD - NIGHT
Coming right behind him are 4 MESCALITOS on Harleys -- chains, iron bars, and
swords in their hands.
Plissken stares up ahead. The Chevy is still a few vehicles ahead of him.
He guns it when suddenly 2 Mescalitos pull up on either side of him. One of them
swings a chain.
Plissken grabs it with one hand, and with his other hand aims his machine
gun and FIRES!
The Mescalito and bike go flying, and Plissken holds on to the chain.
Pllissken's Chain Intertwining With A Mescalito's Chain
As the other Mescalito riding behind him swings a chain. Plissken swings his.
The two chains SNAP together, intertwining.
Then Plissken squeezes his hand-brake.
He SCREECHES to a stop. The Mescalito keeps going, and is yanked over backward
by his own chain, off the Harley. Finally the Harley flops over, skids,
Plissken On Horseback Chasing Cuervo Jones
SURGES the bike forward, coming up on a Mescalito on horseback who turns and
FIRES. Plissken ducks and the bullet RIPS THROUGH the rear tire. The tire BLOWS
and the bike SWERVES out of control. Plissken LEAPS from the bike and grabs the
back of the saddle.
Plissken pulls himself up behind the Mescalito and wrestles for control of the
mount. Plissken grabs the reins and wraps them around the Mescalito's neck,
squeezing. Plissken SLAMS his arm against the Mescalito, throwing him off the
saddle, BOUNCING onto the pavement.
Plissken GALLOPS ahead, circling a lasso high above his head, POUNDING down on a
biker. The lasso takes flight and finds it mark, the biker's neck.
Plissken pulls the lasso taut, ties the end to the saddle horn, rides his mount
parallel to the biker.
With one quick YANK to the lasso, Plissken pulls the biker off, JUMPS on the
bike and SMACKS the hell out of the horse's rump.
TAKES OFF down the street, DRAGGING the biker by the neck.
Plissken Fighting Cuervo Jones On The Roof Of A Car
speeds up as Plissken moves up to the Mustang five cars behind. He swings off
the bike and jumps on to the trunk.
climbs up to the roof, leaps on the hood, then jumps to the trunk of the car in
front -- leapfrogging, jumping to the next car, the next car...
CUERVO JONES AND UTOPIA
(watching Plissken get closer)
This asshole's starting to piss me off.
Cuervo Jones climbs up onto the rear of the Chevy...
lean out their car windows, FIRING at Plissken...
keeps moving toward the Chevy...
SUDDENLY A HAND
reaches out a car window and grabs Plissken's machine gun. Plissken turns to
snatch it back --
WHEN CUERVO JONES
leaps from the Chevy and takes Plissken down to the roof.
They struggle. Cuervo raises his machete. Plissken grabs his wrist, flips him
over, knocks the machete off into the street, SMACKS Cuervo in the face...
Cuervo kicks Plissken hard in the stomach, sending him staggering. The Cuervo's
on his feet, his hands around Plissken's neck.
Nobody rolls into town and disrespects me, gringo. Not Snake Plissken,
A BOLAS-SWINGING MESCALITO
comes roaring up on his bike, throws the bolas...
as CUERVO ducks, and the bolas hit him, wrap round his neck, the balls THUNKING
him in the face, sending him flying...
Plissken hits the pavement hard. He skids, rolls, and at last SLAMS into the
edge of the sidewalk.
RUMBLES away down Sunset. The hand in the car window still holds Plissken's
Cuervo crouches on the roof, HISSING at Plissken.
Take him out!
lies in the street for several beats, then climbs to his feet, as 4 MESCALITOS
on Harleys pull to a stop and gets off their bikes. The caravan disappears up
The Mescalitos spread out, draw their guns...
BUT PLISSKEN DRAWS
his 2 9mm handguns from their holsters. It happens in an
instant. The street THUNDERS with GUNFIRE. Plissken's guns buck and FLASH. Then
4 MESCALITOS lie dead in the street.
Plissken backs off, hides behind some debris. Pulls out his walkie-talkie.
Pipeline Driving Down Wilshire Canyon
EXT. STORM DRAIN - WILSHIRE CANYON - NIGHT
Suddenly Plissken is...
STRUCK BY A PAIR OF HEADLIGHTS
An old dune buggy comes
bumping along the canyon bottom, sloshing through
water, pulling up next to Plissken.
A Group Of Vagrants Clustering Around The Edge Of The Twin Towers Of Century
City And A Brush-Fire Sweeping Through The Hills
EXT. SKY VIEW OF L.A. BY NIGHT
ANGLE ON THE TWIN TOWERS OF CENTURY CITY
They're like buck teeth, sheered off and crumbling, stuck up in to the sky. A
GROUP OF VAGRANTS cluster around the edge of the building -- the walls of the
floors beneath have been torn away. Desk, furniture, rugs, everything hangs out
over the empty space.
In the hills to the north, SEE a massive
brush-fire sweep through the old Hollywood Hills, across Los Feliz, into
A Bracero Family Having Dinner Is Seen In A
Skyscraper During The Hang Glider Flight
EXT. TOPS OF SKYSCRAPERS - NIGHT
The group of hang gliders sweep past the buildings. A BRACERO FAMILY is having
dinner by candlelight two feet from the edge of a sheer precipice, as the side
of the skyscraper they live in has been torn off. They wave to Plissken as he
Cuervo Jones And Utopia Entering The Happy Kingdom In A Limousine And Gangs Of
EXT. DISNEYLAND - NIGHT
A BATTERED OLD LIMOUSINE
carries Cuervo Jones and a grim-looking Utopia past the ruins of the train and
around the ghost-town square of Main Street. Ahead is the fairy castle, broken
and crumbling, like some relic from a nightmare. Around it are the thrill rides,
tossed in to a jumbled mass by the force of the original earthquake.
CROWDS are waiting. GANGS of every conceivable description. ETHNIC GANGS. FEMALE
GANGS. GANGS OF CHILDREN. Also FAMILIES and HANGERS-ON.
As soon as the limousine appears, the crowds begin CHEERING.
INT. LIMOUSINE - NIGHT
Cuervo Jones stares out at the masses.
They're simple people. They love a party.
(turns to Utopia)
We're gonna throw them one hell of a party when we get to America.
Utopia is silent, sullen. Cuervo raises his hand to her and she jumps, cowering.
Put a smile on your face.
A terrified smile spreads across Utopia's face.
Three Police Helicopters Landing In The Happy Kingdom
Are you ready for the new world? It's already begun.
(looks at his watch)
The attack is now underway!
And the LOUDEST, LONGEST CHEER you've ever heard goes up.
In the sky above, 3 Police helicopters come THUNDERING downward out of darkness,
land in the open area. GANGS rush forward to capture the POLICE PILOTS.
Plissken Rolling Across The Ground On Fire As The Helicopter Explodes
EXT. SMALL CLEARING - NIGHT
dives toward the ground...
FROM BEHIND PLISSKEN - INSIDE
looking out the front, SEE the ground come up, hit!
KABLOOM! Plissken ducks. THE BLADES SMASH THROUGH the windscreen, barely missing
The fuselage jumps and twists in a GRINDING fury. Fire billows into the cockpit,
EXT. HELICOPTER - SMALL CLEARING - NIGHT
Plissken pulls himself out of the door. He is on fire. He dives away from the
chopper and rolls across the ground, just as the flaming mid-section of the ship
EXPLODES in a ROARING FIREBALL.