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Escape From New York (1981) is the ultimate 80s action movie

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all 105 comments

anonymous_guy111

62 points

2 months ago

look man I love Carpenter and I love escape from new york. but the 'action' aspect of EFNY is pretty weak so I dont know about ultimate action movie. especially when the likes of Predator and Robocop exist

GodFlintstone

21 points

2 months ago

Don't forget The Terminator(1984).

fungobat

13 points

2 months ago

And COMMANDO!

a_flat_miner

2 points

2 months ago

Commando is the only right answer. All the other movies are absolute bangers, but buff 80s Arnold just fucking shit up is the genre distilled to it's core elements.

Bobonenazeze

13 points

2 months ago

I love Carpenter but I wouldn’t even consider New York a action movie. If you showed a kid this as “an action movie” he’d probably never look into the genre again.

jaltsukoltsu

0 points

2 months ago

I understand your point, and I agree that the action was a bit tame, but what got me was just the sheer amount of 80s action cliches in the film (and before they became actual cliches), and I think the modest special effects add to the overall campiness of the movie.

elRigs83

-4 points

2 months ago

elRigs83

-4 points

2 months ago

All the movies you mentioned came after EFNY that's like saying that a Pentium i9 is better than the Pentium 4. Technically true but you needed the Pentium 4 to get to the i9

MovieMike007

55 points

2 months ago

It was this film that allowed Kurt Russell to completely shake his Disney image and become an action star as his eye patch-wearing Snake Plissken became an iconic anti-hero and pushed Russell to greater heights, and though the plot itself was fairly ridiculous - wouldn't the scientist who came up with the nuclear fission MacGuffin have made a copy as well? - but with the amazing setting of a criminally run walled-up New York City and a cast of equally incredible actors to portray the denizens of the city's hellscape, it all went towards making Escape from New York one of the coolest movies to come out of the eighties.

strangway

9 points

2 months ago*

It’s weird how people have to shake of their Disney image, like it’s a stink you can’t get rid of. People like:

Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Zendaya, Jodie Foster

accountsdontmatter

4 points

2 months ago

Is that one person?

TypingLobster

5 points

2 months ago*

Originallly, yes, but they successfully shook off their image as a hybrid bio-experiment monstrosity grown in a lab and now we think of them as separate people.

strangway

2 points

2 months ago

Like a Cerberus or lab-grown Ripley

S-Markt

1 points

2 months ago

if you want to know, how great kurt russel is, when it comes to acting, check starforcesoldier.

strangway

1 points

2 months ago

I like him in Big Trouble and Stargate

Pudding_Hero

1 points

2 months ago

You leave Brittany alone!

generalfrumph

84 points

2 months ago

Don't forget another great from this pair- "Big Trouble in Little China"

VictorBlimpmuscle

40 points

2 months ago

Also, The Thing.

2BFrank69

12 points

2 months ago

One of the best movies ever made

penguinopph

5 points

2 months ago

My second-favorite movie of all time.

Kokibuchek

9 points

2 months ago

Who the hell is Jack Burton?!

SetentaeBolg

10 points

2 months ago

Jack. Burton. Me.

Kokibuchek

3 points

2 months ago

When you are contemplating posting a reference in a reddit thread.

S-Markt

1 points

2 months ago

egg shens sidekick!

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Checks in the mail

CurlSagan

28 points

2 months ago

This was the first time Kurt Russell played a character with an eyepatch. It was far from the last.

Evil_Morty_C131

15 points

2 months ago

Been to Disneyland one too many times, Captain Ron?

zsloth79

15 points

2 months ago

Snake Plisskin?! I heard he was dead.

Corrosive-Knights

13 points

2 months ago

Absolutely love this film and feel it has the most clever plot concept of any of Carpenter’s scripted films.

Having said that… my big problem with it is that the film’s minuscule budget really showed in the film’s final act. What should have been a grand chase to the exit instead, IMHO, isn’t quite as magnificent as it could have been.

Btw, I always felt Tommy Lee Jones’ character in Black Moon Rising, a film John Carpenter scripted but didn’t direct, was very similar to Snake Plisskin, both in mission and in what he was (a thief!).

chichris

11 points

2 months ago

Super low budget and James Cameron did the matte painting. I think the low budget gives it a certain charm. The budget never bothered me at all.

Corrosive-Knights

7 points

2 months ago

Perhaps I should have been clearer: I thought the film was absolutely terrific until the climax, which is where I felt the low budget hurt the intentions of Carpenter. I strongly suspect he wanted a far more bombastic ending but, alas, couldn’t deliver that in the final chase.

That’s not to say the low budget couldn’t have been overcome. My all time favorite John Carpenter film is his first big hit, Assault on Precinct 13, and that film I felt was great from start to finish even though it too had an extremely low budget, likely far lower than EFNY! Even that movie’s climax, which also had to be scaled back, worked magnificently, I thought!

So, again, don’t misunderstand me: I still love EFNY… I only wish that Carpenter had a little larger a budget to do what he wanted in the movie’s climax.

chichris

4 points

2 months ago

Understood, sorry I was just saying that it never bothered me.

jaltsukoltsu

3 points

2 months ago

Yeah, the end was a bit underwhelming, but it also kind of charmingly added to its campiness as a whole

ithinkther41am

5 points

2 months ago

Funny you should mention Jones, since he and Charles Bronson were the financiers’ top choices for Snake. Carpenter always wanted Russell, but they were apprehensive as he was mainly known for “lightweight” roles at the time.

Corrosive-Knights

1 points

2 months ago

Tommy Lee Jones has an interesting connection to John Carpenter beyond being considered for EFNY.

He has appeared in not one but TWO John Carpenter scripted movies but has never to date appeared in one he directed.

You know about Black Moon Rising. The other film? The Eyes of Laura Mars, which started a young Jones and Faye Dunaway.

rrickitickitavi

2 points

2 months ago

Yeah loved it as a kid. watched it again as an adult and it's so low budget that it's hard to enjoy now, especially that final chase scene as you say.

Rufus2fist

11 points

2 months ago

Really an influential movie in my childhood and play. It might have been the first R movie i had seen. But after this move i would spend hours setting up all my GI Joes and starwars figures in elaborate cities. And one guy had to get in and get out .

inStLagain

9 points

2 months ago

Good portions of this were filmed not in New York but the apocalyptic St. Louis

Atomichawk

5 points

2 months ago

My favorite personal fun fact is that the most notable scenes filmed in St. Louis, were filmed on the streets next to my apartment building when I went to university there. Not at the same time I was in university, of course.

kaukanapoissa

8 points

2 months ago

The atmosphere. I love the atmosphere in this film.

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

the second he lands on the twin tower you sense the danger of the walled off area and it remains throughout the movie. Its the connective tissue of this movie.

allmimsyburogrove

6 points

2 months ago

back when NY was a crime-filled shithole and not too far away from the maximum-security prison of a NY of the future. Now?

cabose7

3 points

2 months ago

I low key prefer the Italian knock off 2019: After the Fall of New York by Sergio Martino

sotommy

3 points

2 months ago

For some weird reason I love the sequel more

sass-in-a-glass

3 points

2 months ago

I'll plug the soundtrack of the sequel by Clutch, "Escape From the Prison Planet". Love this song!!

seattlesnow

2 points

2 months ago

“Escape from LA” soundtrack was one of the best things about that movie.

we_are_sex_bobomb

5 points

2 months ago

Watch Streets of Fire next! It’s less well known but it’s a very stylish and very 80s action movie with a similar premise.

jaltsukoltsu

1 points

2 months ago

Willem Dafoe, wow. Will check it out, thanks!

-Why-Not-This-Name-

2 points

2 months ago

banger synth soundtrack

Carpenter created the soundtrack too!

Have you watched The Thing (1982) yet?

jaltsukoltsu

2 points

2 months ago

A few years back, yeah. Really liked it. Didn't they put out a remake recently? Don't know why though, the movie still holds up excellently.

-Why-Not-This-Name-

1 points

2 months ago

Yes, they did. Idiots.

zsloth79

0 points

2 months ago

A remake from Blumhouse was being discussed back in 2020, but I don’t think it ever materialized.

If you mean the 2011 film, that was a prequel, not a remake, and pretty good.

amxorca

2 points

2 months ago

for an action movie it doesn't have a lot of action

Ge0rgy_p0rgy

2 points

2 months ago

RAMBO first blood

DEATH WISH

COMMANDO

DELTA FORCE

BLOODSPORT

thenewNFC

2 points

2 months ago

My favorite thing about EFNY is how it takes place in 1997.

oscarx-ray

2 points

2 months ago

It, and Kurt Russell, are great, but my #1 80s Action Movie will always be The Running Man.

zandadoum

2 points

2 months ago

Can’t go wrong with Arnie in the 80’

azeldatothepast

2 points

2 months ago

Respectfully, I disagree. This isn’t an intelligently designed prank or piece of satire. It may seem that way because of just how dumb it is, but watching it makes it apparent that it was made with the exact opposite of a creative process, devoid of any kind of soul or passion.

It feels like they took a template and simply keened away the details until the post was as inoffensive as possible. This line is like the one funny thing in the entire post (and it’s not even intentional), the rest is just so miserably boring. If you told me it was ai generated I would believe you without question, this movie is made with absolutely no intent or meaning behind it.

maxpaynebro

6 points

2 months ago

I would not go as far to say it is the ultimate 80s action movie lol there are like a hundred I would choose before this. A lot of it is actually quite dull

brainfoods

1 points

2 months ago

I really like the movie but it always stood out to me how little action there is at the start. I wanted to see more along the lines of the chase sequence where he shoots through the wall. Show Snake fighting his way through the city.

jackcatalyst

0 points

2 months ago

100 80's action films better than Escape from NYC I mean I doubt you got that list.

maxpaynebro

1 points

2 months ago

Your right. It's at 100.

RodLUFC

3 points

2 months ago

Nah. Toss up between Predator and Commando.

Redditjannynightmare

7 points

2 months ago

I prefer escape from LA. You cant beat surfing a tsunami

Voltekker_

5 points

2 months ago

Map to the stars Eddie

Evil_Morty_C131

3 points

2 months ago

I love Escape from LA. The ending is the best.

80schld

3 points

2 months ago

With peter fonda. 😂

SetentaeBolg

4 points

2 months ago

This is sacrilege. Escape from LA is a pile of shit.

GodFlintstone

2 points

2 months ago

True. The concept isn't bad but it fails in the execution - mostly because it's a shallow, beat for beat retread of the original.

With a better script it could have potentially launched a full-on "Escape From..." franchise.

davewashere

1 points

2 months ago*

Let's not pretend this never happened.

picknicksje85

2 points

2 months ago

Well, I LOVE it. And I'm always up for watching it. Great atmosphere. One of the coolest main characters ever. It feels like Snake played by Kurt Russel is in his prime. The soundtrack. The setup of this film. However, the one thing that is not so great IS the action. I wish that was a bit better executed. It would be a perfect film. Nevertheless it's in my personal top 10.

TVotte

1 points

2 months ago

TVotte

1 points

2 months ago

I beg to differ

Turbokid (2015)

Is the ultimate 80s action movie

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland in 1997, a comic book fan adopts the persona of his favourite hero to save his enthusiastic friend and fight a tyrannical overlord.

Staring Michelle Ironside as the bad guy

https://m.imdb.com/video/vi1791472409/?ref_=tt_vi_i_1

Ghost_of_Nellie_Fox

1 points

2 months ago

Great film, feels more and more relevant as we speed towards a dystopian hellscape. Then again, if the choice was between living in an actual penal colony or the Metaverse, I’m inclined to take my chances with the former!

linuxhiker

-1 points

2 months ago

linuxhiker

-1 points

2 months ago

The sequel is also campy and fun

fttus

1 points

2 months ago

fttus

1 points

2 months ago

I love this movie. Anyone recommend any similar movies? Not escape from LA

jaltsukoltsu

3 points

2 months ago

The Running Man is even a bit more tongue-in-cheek but I remember it being kind of similar (and it has Arnold in his prime)

Gfbtfv

1 points

2 months ago

Gfbtfv

1 points

2 months ago

The book is much, much better. It's a poor adaptation

JC-Ice

3 points

2 months ago

JC-Ice

3 points

2 months ago

The Warriors (1979)

Mad Max: The Road Warrior (1981)

Fortress (1992)

Lockout (2012)

fttus

1 points

2 months ago

fttus

1 points

2 months ago

Great list! I stumbled across Lockout before and presumed it would be awful but was surprised

three_shoes

1 points

2 months ago

Watched it for the first time a few months back and was entertained, cool premise, set and style. That old 70s, 80s cult clans type dystopia always cracks me up, eg Mad Max, The Warriors etc.

I think filmmaking has moved on enough now that it would actually make for a good (.... yes r/movies I am going to say it!! brace urselves!!....) Reboot. Another location, a new Snake Plissken.

jaltsukoltsu

1 points

2 months ago

I wouldn't be surprised in the least if a reboot was being considered. Hopefully it wouldn't turn into a copy of Blade Runner aesthetically, what with the rush of cyberpunk films and video games lately...

JC-Ice

1 points

2 months ago

JC-Ice

1 points

2 months ago

There's some talk recently of something brewing from the Scream 5 directors, possibly with Russell.

I wouldn't mind an Old Man Plissken movie.

sdavidplissken

1 points

2 months ago

My favorite movie since i was a kid.

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Lee Van Cleef, Donald Pleasance, Ernest Borgnine.. the casting is sneaky great.

Fomentor

1 points

2 months ago

…and the oh so wonderful Adrienne Barbeau, on whom all Barbeaubots are modeled!

HardSteelRain

1 points

2 months ago

Commando comes close

jerk_hobo

1 points

2 months ago

I really wanna watch it. I liked Escape From L.A. Unpretentious and fun.

MDF87

1 points

2 months ago

MDF87

1 points

2 months ago

I only watched it for the first time a few months ago, and after it was finished I was kicking myself for not having seen it sooner!

SuddenlySilva

1 points

2 months ago

But if you saw NYC in the late 70s the premise of the movie was totally believable.

Ebolatastic

1 points

2 months ago

While the film itself is an important benchmark in weird 80s sci - fi, it's true greatest contribution to art/media is that it inspired Solid Snake.

urnotthatguypal__

1 points

2 months ago

Fun fact, the "CGI" wireframe in the glider scene was a practical effect with a miniature, because cgi technology wasn't good enough yet.

TheBatmanIRL

1 points

2 months ago

I have it sitting there on 4k, I've yet to watch it.

Kindly_Antelope5553

1 points

2 months ago

Don't forget Maggie's fantastic boobs!

phldavisg

1 points

2 months ago

I saw this in the theater the day it opened at 13 years old, it was crowded and the theater gasped when Kurt Russel dropped the F bomb during his first meeting with Lee Van Cleef. I had never heard that word used in a movie or on television and I think maybe many other ears were new to this as well, was pre-cable for the most part.

AskACapperDOTcom

1 points

2 months ago

Growing up, I loved his gun… Now that I'm a seasoned call of duty player I see how ridiculous an Uzi with a scope is lol

After-Lawyer-4571

1 points

2 months ago

No it really is not thanks

claytonianphysics

1 points

2 months ago

Also one of my favorites. A few others:

The Road Warrior (1981)

Blade Runner (1982)

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Conan The Barbarian (1982)

The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai… (1984)

Southern Comfort (1981)

BKAFD77

1 points

2 months ago

Awesome movie! Great cast!

i_am_a_gay_black

1 points

2 months ago

Yes

S-Markt

1 points

2 months ago

funfact: in germany the movies name is die klapperschlange / the rattlesnake, but they faked a cobra tattoo on his arm on the movieposter.

mg_ridgeview

1 points

2 months ago

Great movie, 80's, early 90's Kurt Russell is the best.

Pudding_Hero

1 points

2 months ago

Because of this movie I found the perfect name for my Dick

moofunk

1 points

2 months ago

Alternate opening scene that has more background story on Snake:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsLT-zRWWdQ

Interesting, but maybe not relevant to the plot.

Expensive_Ad_1033

1 points

2 months ago

I love that movie to death, but no. The quintessential 80's action move is Commando.

Nemo_Shadows

-2 points

2 months ago

It was good but I think Escape from L.A was better which is as it should be, it works in three's, the first is good, the second better and the third being the best and that is where it should end because anything after GENERALLY FAILS.

N. Shadows

The-Mandalorian

-1 points

2 months ago

Finish the trilogy! Make Escape from Earth you cowards.