When Air Force One is hijacked by terrorists, the President goes into an escape pod and crash lands in Manhattan which has been turned into a ravaged, lawless city for convicts. The police are unable to manage a rescue and so they entrust the assignment to one man named Snake Plissken. Skillfully directed by John Carpenter, Escape from New York is a suspenseful and scary action picture.
The setting is effective for a horror film with lots of dark spaces suggestive of many dangers. It’s also got dozens of crazed scavengers. Considering the odds against the lone hero, the chances for success seem impossible. But Kurt Russell makes a hard bitten, no sentiment type of protagonist with an ability to fight on. Donald Pleasence is the President who turns out to be corrupt. And the convicts are a vast array of crazed characters being led by Isaac Hayes. Lee Van Cleef is also there as Snakes’ commissioner who masterminds the operation. And Ernest Borgnine has a role as cab driver. This makes for a casting to be fairly enthusiastic about. It does however have unnecessary nudity and violence that can deter audiences. But ultimately this is a survival story about how its characters will accomplish and survive the harsh conditions around them. It’s a suspenseful story with a catchy soundtrack and to go with it.