Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Scream Factorized: ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 ""

Monday, October 28, 2013

Scream Factorized: ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13

I'm sure most genre fans know John Carpenter's theme music for HALLOWEEN, as it is beyond iconic(and even made a cameo as a ringtone in the recent film PARANORMAN). Carpenter's theme to ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is far less widely known(mostly because the film itself is underseen). Said theme is so cool and so memorable that once you hear it, you will never ever forget it. It's a ringtone-worthy tune for sure. So as is often the case with Carpenter films, this music sets the tone perfectly right away for this dark and seedy urban cityscape. It immediately has that feeling of gritty 70s. The gang members of Street Thunder establish themselves as seriously evil right off the bat. There's a scene with an ice cream truck that leaves no doubt that these guys are on a homicidal rampage and there is just no stopping them.
Like Mr. Carpenter I too am a huge fan of Howard Hawks and his film RIO BRAVO. Carpenter even goes so far as to credit himself for editing this film under the name John T. Chance(John Wayne's character in RIO BRAVO). It's hard not to think about Howard Hawks when watching ASSAULT. Especially with the Napoleon Wilson character in partiuclar, who feels like he's channeling Bogart in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT or something. The interplay between he and Laurie Zimmer even makes her feel like the Lauren Bacall to his Bogart in some way. It's also hard not to think of Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD when the siege on the police station begins. Carpenter's THE THING is my favorite movie of all-time and I love the claustrophobia of its single location. ASSAULT has a similar vibe and it seems like Carpenter was sharpening his tools for the masterpiece that was to come just 6 years later.

This is yet another great-looking stacked special edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
It includes two Audio commentary tracks. The first is an excellent one from John Carpenter himself. It's a nice solo commentary with plenty of great info for fans of this cult classic.
 The second track features Tommy Lee Wallace who was art director on the film and did sound effects editing among other things. Wallace talks about his history with Carpenter(which goes back to grade school), and his involvement in ASSAULT.
Sound-wise, there's also an isolated score track, a 5.1 mix and the original mono 2.0 mix.
The disc also has several featurettes: The first is a 23-min John Carpenter/Austin Stoker interview which is actually a Q&A recorded at the Egyptian theater in Los Angeles after a screening of the film in 2002. The other supplements include two more featurettes -'Bishop Under Siege with Austin Stoker', and 'The Sassy One with Nancy Loomis' as well as the theatrical trailer, radio spots and a stills gallery.

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