Archive for the 'Escape from New York' Category

Behind the Scenes: Escape from New York (1981)





The shots were taken by unit still photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker and appear in her book, On Set with John Carpenter: The Photographs of Kim Gottlieb-Walker (Titan Press, 2014). I found them at Deep Fried Movies, where there’s an interview with Gottlieb-Walker and more photos.

That’s James Cameron in the last photo, obviously. I talk about Cameron’s involvement with Escape from New York here and here. Cameron “idolized” Carpenter, and Carpenter was very impressed with Cameron. The look and grit of Escape from New York is all over The Terminator, and a number of scenes from Aliens mirror scenes from the Carpenter classic: Hudson getting dragged into the floor by the aliens is a riff on the woman (Season Hubley, Russell’s wife at the time) getting dragged into the floor by the “crazies”; Hicks shooting out the window before jumping through it plays on Snake shooting out a door during one of his escapes; and “the thing with the knife” that Hudson makes Bishop do is a direct homage to Carpenter’s first film, Dark Star.

Carpenter had originally approached John Dykstra, straight off of Star Wars, about doing the effects for Escape from New York, but Dykstra allegedly quoted him an outrageous amount, and Carpenter, royally pissed off, hired Roger Corman’s New World Pictures crew instead. That’s a subject for another article, however.

Manhattan Miniature from Escape from New York (1981)




In the first two photos, Bob (dark hair and beard) and Dennis Skotak, two legends in the visual effects field, work on the model. In the third, Bob inspects the finished product. To achieve the computer navigation sequence as Plisken is flying his glider into the city, reflective paint was applied to the edges of the black buildings, which were then shot under black light. While reportedly James Cameron’s idea, it was almost certainly John C. Wash. Cameron was a director of photography on the film (as was Dennis Skotak), and he did some great matte work as well.

(Images via Matte Shot and Fuck Yeah Behind the Scenes)

Movie Theater Marquees: Escape from New York (1981)

EFNY Marquee 1981

If this is Escape from New York playing in New York, that’s pretty cool. Even better if it’s Manhattan.

Sign me up for Firecracker, also from 1981: “She’ll mix seduction with destruction in the screen’s first erotic Kung Fu classic.”

(Photo via Daniel Aull/Flickr; video via Shout Factory)

TSR’s Escape from New York: The Game (1981)

EFNY Cover


EFNY Board






EFNY Instr

Toshiba Digital Camera



Really? I must have seen this movie a hundred times when it first came out on video (it’s still one of my all-time faves), but I had no idea there was a game. The cool illustration on the instructions title page is by Bill Willingham. You can see his signature on the plane. The second drawing—the “crazies” coming out of the sewer—might be an Erol Otus. Isn’t that an “EO” in the top right corner?

I would love to play this baby.

(Images via Board Game Geek and eBay)




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