Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Assault on Precinct 13

In 2005, somebody got the really dumb idea of remaking this movie as a serious political statement flick about police corruption. God what fools these mortals be.

The original 1976 production of Assault on Precinct 13 is B movie making the way it was meant to be. Lean, tight, and straight to its own weird and wild point. This early low budget indie production by John Carpenter (made between Dark Star and Halloween) takes the basic premise of Rio Bravo and Night of the Living Dead (just replace zombies with the Blood and the Crips) and then throws the whole mix into a Los Angeles ghetto with lots of guns and ammo.

Add in some surprisingly solid performances by Austin Stoker as a straight-laced cop fresh out of the academy and Darwin Joston (doing a strong impersonation of Robert Mitchum) as a condemned prisoner with a thing for existential statements (as well as bits of dialogue freely lifted from Once Upon a Time in the West) and you have a drive-in movie that is almost too good for the drive-in.

It is also one of Carpenter's finest movies. Just don't expect to go anywhere near an ice cream truck after seeing this sucker.

And yes, there is the major trivia point. It is actually Precinct 9, Distinct 13. But Precinct 13 looked a lot better on the poster.

Assault on Precinct 13 on YouTube for free

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