Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

John Carpenter is probably best known for his Halloween series, a franchise that got its birth two years after this film. Before he started making horror movies he bounced around in sci-fi and action. This action film is just as much action/suspense as it is horror.

The premise of the film is that a man kills a gang member after he murders his daughter. He runs into a police station the last night the station is open. A new one has been opened across town and the telephone company and electric company are both shutting the building down the same night. The fallen gang members buddies decide to attack the police station. A rare breed of criminal, daring enough to attack a police station, smart enough to make it look like nothing is going on from the street, but stupid enough to crawl in the windows like zombies while getting mowed down.

It reminded me a lot of Night of the Living Dead because of this, and foreshadows Carpenter moving to the horror genre. The action is quite lame though. The gang shoots up the police station and we get a single camera angle of bits and pieces of glass breaking off the window. Clearly doctors scenes where blinds are broken off screen between frames, and papers fly around from whizzing bullets that leave no marks. Avoid this one and the remake.

Vote: 5/10

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074156/

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