Escape from the 80s

14 Jul

This post title may be misleading. As much as I’ve tried I just can’t seem to escape the 80s, an era that I was very much a child of. This was also the age of the VHS player and the emergence of the local movie shop. For a young boy it was a treasure trove of cinematic adventures. I was in first grade when I had the misfortune of breaking my leg at local town playground. So I ended up receiving some monetary compensation (and along with some sweet parachute pants) my family purchased our first VHS player.

It was a bulky, noisy top loading monstrosity but it became the tool of my mass consumption of the wild world of cinema. At first there a definite proliferation of ninjas,chuck norris,horror movies,science fiction and comedies.In particular Escape from New York was a memorable viewing. It was dark,scary, and along with Mad Max, a definitive post apocalyptic experience. It was all too much for my young mind at the time in retrospect. Later I would become a huge fan of Kurt Russell, and would gain an appreciation of the fine work of Harry Dean Stanton,Donald Pleasence, Ernest Borgnine, and Lee Van Cleef . Adrienne Barbeau would especially have a place in my heart as the tough broad who would appear in such personal favorites as Swamp Thing, Creepshow, and The Fog.

But I digress…almost 30 years after realease Escape From New York remains one of my favorite John Carpenter movies and Snake Plisken is still an anti-hero for the ages. Russell crafted a very understated Clint Eastwood like performance as the world weary ex-special forces soldier/convict. He was very much a soldier at heart living for the moment, every which one that could be his last. Calm,cool and deadly Snake was surrounded by a colorful supporting cast of fine actors that really sold the film. This featured another superb soundtrack by Carpenter that fit the mood to a T. Did I mention Chef was the villian? Isaac Hayes as the Duke of New York was killer. A great seminal 80s film that has stood the test of time,and one that has stayed fresh in my memory to this day. Enjoy this slice of 1981!


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