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Escape from LA – Episode 176

47 Responses to “Escape from LA – Episode 176”

  • Sour Crowd:

    I saw this movie only once or maybe twice and I thought that I had liked it…, I guess? Maybe I should watch it again. Too bad it was more of a remake instead a new story.
    Anyway, nice review, as always.

  • demonknight:

    How old are you, man? You mention your wife being ten or so years younger than you, and then you pull out Halloweentown and My Date With the President’s Daughter references!

    I expected this to be an Exploring and not Sleepaway Camp, but hey, for a movie I don’t like, this was some top notch stuff.

    • Cecil:

      It’s all her fault! So many Disney shows/movies I’ve endured over the years. (ok, I admit, I enjoyed more than a few of them) I think I threw a Cadet Kelly reference in one time. My wife is addicted to Disney Channel.

      I do miss the early 2000s Disney. Now, I’m just not feeling it. The movies are abysmal and the shows are all cookie cutter versions of each other. Even Stevens was a very good show. Kim Possible, Dave the Barbarian, and Phil of the Future were all good. Now, Wander over Yonder, ANT farm, and Dog with a Blog? Ugh. (although Gravity Falls is awesome)

      I am covering Sleepway Camp in a way that I don’t think it has ever been covered before, hence it being an exploring video. I’m not focusing solely on the twist, which by this point everyone knows already.

      • Melissa:

        Actually, believe it or not, the twist to Sleepaway Camp is of the few that hasn’t become public knowledge. Granted I’m sure many in the horror classic community of course know about it, but, because it’s not completely mainstream, the twist is pretty much safe. So I’d suggest putting a spoiler warning in your ‘Exploring Sleepaway Camp’ video anyway, at least just to be safe.

        • Jeffrey:

          I haven’t even seen the damned thing and even I know the twist. It is shocking how popular that movie has become in the last ten years!

          • Melissa:

            Well, I guess I stand corrected, huh? But yeah, it is a amazing how not only this film but other films like it become popular. I just love to see the process of how something like that starts. i mean your watching movie, realize it’s good and then boom! Suddenly, everyone around you not only has seen it but thinks it’ good as well.

      • demonknight:

        Gravity Falls is even better if you watch Rick and Morty. I love em both! Jesus, I forgot about Dave the Babarian!

  • Nick:

    I was wondering if I could submit a request. If you see this, do you think you can review movies: “Tales From the Crypt Demon Knight (1994)”, “Urban Legend (1998)”, “The Faculty (1998)”, “Demons(DemonΓ¬)(1985)”, “Campfire Tales (1997)”.And if you want to review a terribly funny “horror” movie that involves larping and an angry baboon trying to break down every door it comes in contact with, review “Shakma(1990)”. Hope you see this Cecil! Thanks πŸ™‚

    Nick W.

    • Jeffrey:

      Wow those are some pretty good suggestions. The only one I think qualifies as a good bad flick would be “The Faculty”. “Campfire Tales” and “Urban Legends” I think are pretty good. Those two movies are so similar I think they’d make a great double feature. But I think “I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer” is the most bizarre and unnecessary horror film I’ve ever seen. Demon Knight is pretty good but if anything deserves Good Bad Flick treatment it’s Bordello of Blood.

      • Nick:

        Love your idea about the double feature. One slasher, one anthology, both of which are about urban legends. Haven’t seen Bordello of Blood yet, but I will look it up. Vampires right? Meanwhile, you should watch Shakma.

        • Jeffrey:

          “Bordello of Blood” is another Tales From the Crypt presents… The title I’ll admit is very misleading. The fact that its a Tales From the Crypt movie and its about a whore house of vampires it contains very little nudity. I wouldn’t even say that’s what makes it particularly bad, but it doesn’t hurt. The story is pretty lame too. Altogether I think From Dusk til Dawn did the same thing only way better.

          Campfire Tales is a bit underrated I think. Its cool to see these classic stories you’ve heard dozens of times come to life. Its a bummer it didn’t have a sequel. As it just so happens I was at a record store about a year ago that had a few copies of Campfire Tales on VHS but I passed on them. In hindsight I wish I hadn’t. Its been a long time since I’ve seen that flick. I’m sure I can catch it on youtube if I really want to see it though.

  • Gary O'B:

    God this is an awful film. How can anyone one take credit for writing this movie when it has no original ideas. We are all aware of Carpenters fantastic body of work but it seems that he has really lost his mojo. This was such a disappointment, as was The Ghosts of Mars and The Ward.
    If He and Russel had given him the movies he deserved, Snake Plisskin could have become one of cinemas most memorable characters, even a rival to James Bond.
    What I love about your older film reviews is that now matter how badly made/cheap they are, you still found something positive to say about them that makes them worth checking out. I guess it’s because these are films that you obviously love or have a soft spot for.
    I just don’t get that feeling from this review.
    Escape from L.A. has nothing to endear it, but I do have a soft spot for it………….it’s a peat bog on the west of Ireland !

    • Suje:

      I think part of why it doesn’t seem like Cecil’s heart is in this one as much as others was because he didn’t choose it – this (along with the other January movies to still be done) were voted on by the fans of the website. This is what they chose – while I’m sure that Cecil still likes the movie, it probably wasn’t one of his top choices. This wasn’t my pick either, and I’m waiting anxiously for the other movies that were chosen for January.

      • Cecil:

        I do like it but I just didn’t have as much on it as I would have liked to talk about. Still, it is a fun movie despite the glaring problems. A shame it promptly ended the character of Snake and now we have to deal with a remake.

    • Cecil:

      I don’t think its so much that he lost his mojo, just that it was taken away by the studio. With production costs rising, there was more studio heads trying to mold the film into what they wanted vs what he wanted. With the smaller movies he had more control because there was less at stake and he had greater control. The Ward wasn’t his fault, he was just a hired gun.

      LA I enjoy but its just that it pales in comparison to NY.

  • jack:

    The bad CGI is what makes this movie enjoyable especially the surfing scene. πŸ˜‚

    Was waiting for the Snake? SNAKE?? SNAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKEEE!! reference although I would have included it at the end of this scene when he enters the code.

    Wait a minute! Snake. 666. End of the world. Blind in left eye (Dajjal according to Islam) Is Pliskin the anti-Christ? 😈😲

  • Steve:

    When I think about John Carpenter I draw a line in my head after They Live. Everything before it is “real” classic Carpenter. Everything after just seems like Carpenter imitating his earlier stuff. There are flashes of brilliance (In the Mouth of Madness is awesome and I love Vampires, mainly because of James Woods just owning his role), but something just wasn’t the same. I really think that as Carpenter got older (and more frustrated with making studio movies) he just wasn’t as into movie making as he used to be. His post-1990 movies for the most part just feel like he’d rather be doing something else.

    • Cecil:

      Its not so much that he wanted to do something else, its just that the new order of studio heads took over and it became increasingly difficult for more fringe directors like Carpenter to make the movies he wanted to make. Sure, he had lots of cult movies but none of them were blockbusters. They were looking to give tons of money to the next wave of music video directors to make expensive flashy garbage that made lots of money quickly and then faded into obscurity.

      Listening to Carpenter you can tell he still has the passion, just not the funds. If he did a kickstarter to do a smaller film, I would be totally for it. Sadly, with the exception of more recent fan bases (Veronica Mars, Zach Braff) movie kickstarters usually fail. I have a feeling even if he tried for like a million, he wouldn’t get it.

    • Jeffrey:

      What about “The Fog”? I can’t be the only person that likes that movie. But I’d sooner watch a bad Carpenter flick than anything Wes Craven has been involved with in the last 20 years. A bad Carpenter flick I feel is still enjoyable whereas a bad Craven flick is nigh unwatchable.

  • Cristiona:

    I thought he’d be taller…

    I always kind of enjoyed this movie, even though the cg is just atrocious. Even for the time it was awful. To bad.

    I have to say, though, it has one of the most nihilistic endings I’ve seen in a long time. Also, it has a truly badass soundtrack.

  • Melissa:

    I am a little sad that both Taslema and Pam Grier we’re killed. I love Pam Grier and I thought that Taslema was funny.

    I admit I’m a bit surprise that this ended up on this show and not some of Carpenter’s other works like “Vampires”, it’s sequel “Vampires: Los Muertos”, “The Ward”, “Prince of Darkness” or “In the Mouth of Madness”.
    Great review though.

  • Mike:

    I agree that if it came out in 1986 it might have resonated more instead of being a parody. I saw it on VHS when it 1st came out and completely forgot about it until a few years ago when I happen to catch it on cable in a hotel. The bad CGI was mesmerizing; the surfing scene was pure gold.

    Was this the 1st appearance of the Peter Fonda ” I’m the cool old hippie” cartoon figure? And I like Peter Fonda too, I always get a kick when he shows up things.

  • Jr.:

    Ahhhhh yes it’s finally here. I have to say, even thought I love Escape from New York better, this movie is endlessly entertaining. One thing you did point out that I never noticed was the endless bad CGI. Those helicopters man!

    This movie scared the hell out of me back in the day. Living near LA, there always the fear of earthquakes that can come at any time. 8 year old me wasn’t very happy.

    It’s too bad that they had to rehash what happened in the first movie plotwise, but something tells me they didnt have too much of a choice in order to get the movie made. With the rumors of a new remake recently, I hope they go with a new reason to actually, “Escape from New York.”

    I had come up with a plot recently for a new remake for the original movie. It involves Snake going to New York for a job when the Cold War becomes hot. The city is attacked from both sides. While trying to get out of the city, he’s contacted by both sides to retrive some sort of superweapon. I think it plays off the recurring theme of Snake constantly being involved with some sort of authority. But thats just me, we’ll see what happens if the remake comes out.

    Too bad Valeria Golino doesnt act anymore. She’s a total babe.

    Thanks, Cecil! Great review!

    • Cecil:

      Earthquakes are scary. We had one here in the east coast a few years ago that was nothing (a major rarity out here) but it freaked me out.

      I guess we’ll see what happens with the remake.


  • Roy:

    Although it’s not perfect, I have a soft spot for EFLA, due to the mockery of LA culture and the cast (Pam Grier as a he/she, Bruce Campbell as the surgeon general, Steve Buscemi as the turncoat and Cliff Robertson as the Prez). Jeff Imada, the film’s stunt coordinator, had a bit part as one of Grier’s goons.

    Plunging the planet into chaos was a dick move, but that’s Snake’s way. I love that line: “Welcome to the human race.”

    Can’t wait for “Madness” and remember…”The stores are all open!”

  • Jeffrey:

    I’d like to point out that this is for some reason one of only a few appearances by the band Tool on a soundtrack. Don’t know what the story is (whether it was a label decision or a favor for someone associated with the production) but Tool isn’t known for loaning its music out for commercial properties.

    While I gotta admit I love New York waaaay more than LA, this one still has a special place in my heart. My copy of is a hand-me-down of a hand-me-down VHS tape. My brother “inherited” it from a couple of friends and when he abandoned VHS I “inherited” it from him. The casting of these films kills me though. The first one has Isaac Hayes and Donald Pleasence. The second one has Peter Fonda, Bruce Campbell, Pam Grier, and Stacy Keach. Only John Carpenter could get these actors together.

    • Cecil:

      I think Tool, like Nintendo, is just really protective of their content.

      I hope Carpenter gets to make at least one more great movie. He can’t go out on The Ward. (which wasn’t a terrible movie but wasn’t a Carpenter movie)

      • Jeffrey:

        Tool is just kind of a weird band. I’ve been a fan since Aenima and the band rarely does interviews and insist on not being photographed during concerts. Tool seems to be one of those bands that think they’re creating high art as apposed to good music. I love their music but the band’s eccentricities and pretentiousness almost ruin it for me. By the way in case you didn’t already know this Adam Jones from Tool prior to his commitment to the band did sculptures and creature effects in Hollywood. His credits include “Predator 2”, “Terminator 2”, and “Jurassic Park”.

      • Jeffrey:

        Also Nintendo protective of their content? Ever see a little movie called “The Wizard”?

  • Keith:

    Great video Cecil. I absolutely hate ‘Escape from LA’…it’s one of the worst, if not THE worst, John Carpenter movie. I understand that he was going for parody with this, but using the Snake character to tell this story was just the wrong choice. ‘Escape from New York’ was a gritty, tough-guy flick…this was Adam West’s Batman comparatively speaking. It’s tone was wrong for the characters…it’d be like doing a sequel to ‘Assault on Precinct 13′ (1976) as a musical. My expectations were so high when this movie was released, I was looking forward to seeing it for weeks, and I ended up walking out of the theater angry at the Surfin’ Snake part. I have to admit the only bit I enjoyed in the film was the plastic surgery people scene…99% of that has to do with Bruce Campbell as the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills. Everything else sucked. At least I know how the movie ends now…thanks for that! Can’t say I really missed out by not staying to the end credits back in the day. Looking forward to your video on ‘In the Mouth of Madness’…the last truly great Carpenter movie.

  • Ike Carr:

    I had read that Carpenter had always intended this flick to a parody of sequels, hence it’s rather goofy nature was intended. But the audience was expecting a straight man flick, not comic relief.

  • Astrakhan:

    Someone at the Onion AV Club must be a fan of yours, because they just posted an article about this video.

  • Timo:

    I’ve read a fan theory that the shitty state of the country in this movie is largely due to how Snake screwed up the cassette in the previous one. I like that idea.

    Didn’t the studio push for the film to be released several months earlier than originally planned and that’s allegedly the reason for the bad greenscreen effects?

    • Cecil:

      That’s a pretty interesting spin.

      I had heard that but unfortunately, it is one of the Carpenter films that isn’t spoken about too much so I couldn’t find any solid evidence that was the case. It would make sense because that has happened before with other films as well as some video games. Ultraviolet had its budget cut and was pushed out the door even though some of the effects were not the final render. That’s why some of the visuals look great and others looks terrible. Such a shame, the film had a great vision but the studio took the money and funneled it towards other things.

  • bastardjackyll:

    “So I don’t get the antidote from you?”

    I loved the movie, I could still go for a sequel, but only if it’s “Escape from Las Vegas”, I think we can fit a few more cities in before escaping Earth.

    • Cecil:

      That part was pretty awesome.

      I would have liked for them to do more “Escape” movies in different places but without the whole “government forcing him to do it” angle. Also, it would be great if they went back to it being more serious and less satire. Although with the remake coming I’m expecting a carbon copy of the original with zero charisma.

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