Rageaholic Cinema: ESCAPE FROM L.A.


“No smoking, no drinking, no drugs, no women…
unless, of course, you’re married… no guns, no fowl language, no red meat.”
“…Land of the Free.” Kurt Russell: Your time is now.
Now, I know what you’re sayin’: ‘Razör! You’re reviewing Escape from L.A., but you haven’t
reviewed Escape from New York, yet!’ Your command of the obvious is knockin’ me
on my ass, slick! The simple fact is: I may one day review Escape
from New York. It’s a bitchin’ movie, a balls-out classic and I have no shortage of opinions
on the subject. But Escape from L.A., I firmly feel, is one of the most underrated, unjustly
reviled, and mythologically misunderstood action films… in the history of this spinning,
cerulean orb. Fuck Kung Fury! Because Blood Dragon: The
Movie has already been made. Its name is Escape from L.A., it had the misfortune of being
made in 199-goddamn-6… and nobody at the time understood what it truly was. Not a chronological
sequel. Not a dark, cyberpunk epic. But one of the finest examples of a simultaneous parody
and celebration of the action film genre, as a whole.
And let’s be real… Rex Power Colt? Cybernetic genitalia and all?
…is Kurt Russell’s bitch. In Escape from New York, Snake Plissken was
renowned the world over as a bank robber, gunfighter, and all-around uncontested badass.
But by Escape from L.A. – which takes place in the distant future of 2013 – his sheer
badassery and renown borders on the goddamn messianic.
As such, he’s plucked up by the newly-formed U.S. Police Force, injected with a bio-chemical
timebomb, and plopped into a major American city which is now walled off from society
and functions as an open-air penitentiary for the ‘dregs of human society’ or alternately:
Californians. His mission: To secure a potential doomsday weapon from the clutches of the President’s
runaway daughter and her bangin’ titties. Sound familiar? No one gives a fuck about
you or your powers of basic pattern recognition. Shit’s about to blow the fuck up. Identify
that pattern, ass-face. The president’s daughter, incidentally, is
boning down with the most historically accurate filmic depiction of Che Guevara in recent
memory, hence the danger of total annihilation. Of course, before we can commence with the
combustion, Con Stapleton from Deadwood has to process the bastard, leading to the first
of many moments of unbridled ‘fuck yeah’. “So what happened to you, ‘war hero’? You
were the best we had. Now you’re just like one of ‘them’. What do you have the say, Plissken?”
“…call me Snake.” After learning he’s been unwittingly infected
with a virus more fictitious than our president’s origin story, and outfitted with firearms
the size of a small child… it’s time for Snake to change into his… ‘stealth gear’.
A… polycarbonate weave of durite malfusi– Oh fuck it, it’s goddamn leather. Which naturally
leads to a ‘gearing the fuck up’ montage. I’m not even going to pretend this isn’t what
happens every fucking morning in the Kurt Russell household. Soundtrack and all!
If you just achieved orgasm and evacuated your bowels in unison – a process that, over
the course of watching many a Kurt Russell film, I’ve come to refer to as ‘ejacuating’
– don’t be frightened. It always hurts the first time.
“IIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” Now, let’s see… protagonist named Snake,
loaded into a one-man stealth submersible to infiltrate an enemy stronghold for the
purposes of frustrating a deranged and incendiary madman’s plot to fire a doomsday weapon at
the United fucking States…? It’s… it’s ENTIRELY possible I’ve seen this somewhere
before… except with glacial pacing, shittier acting, and less gameplay, but that couldn’t
possibly be the fucking case! “Metal Gear…? It CAN’T be!”
“…you KNEW??” Just remember, Kojima fanboys, in penning
your predictable rebuttals… ‘homage’ is spelled with an H! You’re welcome! Now make
like that H… and be silent. “His reactor’s starting to overheat.”
“Slow it down, Plissken, you’re overloading the power plant!”
“You slow down, dickhead, I’m the one who’s dying.”
After crashing through a sunken skyscraper, careening past the sunken ruins of Universal
Studios and dodging a goddamn shark – because this is Blood Dragon the fucking MOVIE – Snake
at last washes up on L.A. beaches that are only marginally more polluted than they are
today and encounters the nosiest roving surf hippie on planet earth.
“You look kinda’ familiar…” …aaaaaaaand FUCK Solid Snake!
Following his GPS to a tranny whorehouse in search of one of the missing team members,
he’s unsurprised to discover the man’s found his new calling as a Cutlery Block. And that
cutlery block’s knives belong to a man who – from the very moment of his introduction
– is hell bent on being murdered by Snake fucking Plissken. Ejacuating a second time
is perfectly healthy, rageaholics. “Hey, one-eye! Look at my face when I talk
to you, shit-heel!” Sauntering onto Sunset Boulevard, Snake unwittingly
stumbles on Faux Guevara and the President’s Daughter – who, thanks to changing into those
leather booty shorts I will, hereafter, be referring to as ‘Nnnnnffffff’. Flanked as
they are by a gang of bikers, this presents the movie with the opportunity to fashion
literally the most mountain-smashingly amazing combination in this medium’s long and storied
history: Snake Plissken. Wielding a gun roughly the
size of James Cameron’s ego. RIDING A MOTHERFUCKING HARLEY!
Of course the gun doesn’t last long, but then… neither does anyone the fuck ELSE!
But naturally, when he comes upon a drunken mariachi musician on fucking horseback going
the speed the American legal system… he knows he’s met his match. And thusly… he
must do… the following. Shield your eyes, rageaholics. The first three rows may get
wet. “Nobody rolls into town and disrespects me.
Not Snake Plissken, not nobody.” Sadly, Plissken is soon defeated by a… length
of weighted rope and bucked off the iron horse… into the waiting clutches of Faux Guevara’s
henchmen… …who are about to take part in one of the
most punch-me-directly-in-the-testes kickass pistol duels you will ever witness. Snake
Plissken… you may proceed… “What do you say we play a little… Bangkok
Rules…?” “Nobody draws until this hits the ground.”
“…Draw.” Having now enseminated the entire moviegoing
audience, Snake finds himself hot on Cuervo’s trail once again, where he happens upon reason
#2 for why it should be illegal to say this is a bad movie. Because nothing with Steve
Buscemi in it can be remotely construed as ba–
–THAT DOESN’T COUNT, TERRAN GELL! ‘Map to the Stars Eddie’ sells, you guessed
it! Maps to the stars! Which seems like a prime opportunity for Snake to discover where
the fuck he – and the plot – should be going… but plots? In Blood Dragon: The Motion Picture?
Fuck THAT noise! Snake happens upon a gaggle of ringwraiths
having a chinese fire-drill at a local medical plaza, but crouches in the bushes to observe
them from cover, presumably because he’s tuckered out from single-handedly wiping out Hell’s
Angels! Only to discover he isn’t alone: “Shhhh! Stay down! They’re gonna’ see you!
This is their second shift. You make ONE move and we’re done! And don’t make noise. If you
wanna’ make noise, go and find another bush.” “You’re the one makin’ all the noise.”
Thanks to JoanJett Von Sloppytits, the noise, and presumably titties – attracts said ringwraiths,
who promptly abscond with the pair and bring them back to their operating theater…
“What are they…?” “Surgical failures. They live here. Too many
implants and face-lifts over the years. Their muscles turn to jell-o. The only way they
survive is to have fresh body parts transplanted over and over again.”
–But enough about Nikki Cox. Because it’s BRUCE CAMPBELL O’FUCKING CLOCK!
“I can do nothing with this one. Ahhh! Wheel it away! I can’t work with garbage like this.
Now these two… they look very good.” “…my God, they’re real!”
Let’s see: Working opposite Kurt Russell in a John Carpenter film, being paid millions
to savage Valeria Golino’s cans in her prime… I don’t know what kind of womb-rending liquid
machismo is coursing through your veins, Mr. Campbell, but bottle that shit and sell it.
Because I believe the rest of us are entitled to a solid mill and a 5-minute no-pants grope-off
with Kristen Bell, good sir. Snake, however, is unimpressed, and flies
the coup, with JoanJett Von Sloppycans in tow. But it isn’t long before she’s developed
a taste… for snake meat. “I know a place where we could crash… if
you want. My boyfriend and I broke up tonight.” Yeah, sure. Let’s pretend that fucking matters.
You’d mount this cycloptic fuck in a crowded airport terminal if you had to, bitch. Memorize
the look in her eyes, rageaholics. Because that’s the look that says ‘I don’t give a
fuck where it happens, it is imperative that you wear me like a tank-top in the next five
seconds.’ After moseying past only the second worst
L.A. traffic jam this week, Snake has another run-in with Sloppycans… who promptly has
a run-in with a stray bullet. And the coincidences keep right on coming,
as Snake stumbles on Steve Buscemi a second time. Well this seems too good to be–
–an obvious setup from Cuervo. Emboldened by Plissken’s capture, Faux Guevara
promptly hatches the most diabolical facet of his plan for the complete domination of
the human race: Playin’ fuckin’ B-Ball!
Surrounded by gun-wielding, cranky minorities and using a court slippery with human blood,
if Snake fails to score 10 points in 40 seconds, he’s filled with enough lead to pass as a
chinese children’s toy. So Philadelphia rules, then?
And in full, leather fetish gear and knee-high motorcycle boots… he fucking does it. How?
Because Snake. Fucking. PLISSKEN. Which is, naturally, Faux Guevara’s cue to
say fuck it and open fire with a sniper rifle! When his vengeance is abruptly thwarted by
Michael Bay cinematography. “NNNGGGG!”
After setting off a car bomb and disrupting Cuervo’s get-away, Snake flees down a sewer,
where he has a heart-to-heart with ‘NNNNFFFF’ and – despite technically being hired to assassinate
the shit out of her… takes one look at dat ass and says ‘eh, the hell with it’.
…for about 5 seconds, before John Carpenter remembers he’s 2/3 of the way through a Snake
Plissken film… and for some reason the man still has the use of both of his fucking legs.
“Oh not another one!” “AHHH!”
“He’s dead. He’s history. And I did it! I killed him, man! I shot him!”
“Good. So then you know where he is. Bring me his head.”
Apparently all of California’s sewage ends up in the same place, and shockingly, that
place isn’t Charlie Sheen’s bedroom. Washing up on Wilshire Blvd, Snake once again encounters
his Hippie Stalker… who informs him that, thanks to the rash of suspiciously well-timed
earthquakes… it’s tsunami time. Yes. That means exactly what you think it
means. That Snake Plissken… is about to surf down
Wilshire fucking Boulevard… on a god damn tsunami! Savor this moment, rageaholics. Because,
like Miley Cyrus hitting a note that isn’t flat… this happens once in a motherfuckin’
lifetime. Surf’s the fuck UP! That is, until he spots
a runaway plot device and crests a fucking tsunami so he can carjack the fuck out of
Steve Buscemi, who leads him to Faux Guevara’s only major rival in the region: An archetypal
sassy black woman with a weave that doubles as the fuckin’ AIDS quilt. He soon learns
the bitch is packing some major heat, and not merely of the .32 calibur variety.
“You’re Carjack Malone!” “Not anymore…”
“Do you two know each other?” “Well, the more things change, the more they
stay the same, huh, Carjack? Glad to see you’re still packing a little gun between your legs.”
“…it’s a MAN, BABY!” But with Cuervo set to ambush a stealth helicopter
at Disneyland, their problem becomes one of simple transportation.
That is, until John Redcorn pipes the fuck up with the suggestion of the century.
“No. Use the air. Burn the Santa Anas. The night wind.”
“What are you talkin’ about?” “Death from above.”
One day, I will own a physical copy of Escape from L.A.’s script. Because before I die,
I need to see the words ‘Snake Plissken… wielding an uzi… on a fucking hang glider’
actually typed on a sheet of paper. We’ve got hand-to-hand combat, more explosions than
participants, uzi-toting, hang-gliding trannies and a mid-air rocket-launcher duel! Smoke
’em if you’ve got ’em, because this ain’t even a climax. It’s a ten-minute cumshot with
bullets. When the dust settles, Snake finds himself all alone with… ‘Nnnnnfffff’…
narrowly avoiding the Matterhorn in a burning helicopter.
The helicopter slams into a field just moments after ‘Nnnnffff’ had the good sense to bail
the fuck out. Snake walks away from the burning rubble, because fuck you and your physics.
Cornered by the President and a General who is literally only in this film because Lee
Van Cleef is not immortal… it looks like Snake has no choice but to hand over the remote
for the doomsday device… that is, until the General smells a rat and thinks to check
in the girl’s jacket… and discovers Snake has pulled the old switcheroo…
…or has he? “This is the President of the United States.
I now demand an immediate retreat of all forces now threatening this great nation.”
“Mr. President, the Cuban Theater Regression remains mobile.”
“E.T.A. in minus four minutes.” “Four minutes… bring the aiming coordinates
for Cuba and Mexico online.” “Cuba. 7-7-9.”
“7-7-9. I now render… this Final Solution…” “Welcome to your very own Map-to-the-Stars!
Sure we all know the Big One–” “I hope it was worth it. For now you ARE going
to die.” “…everybody does.”
“Kill him! And bring me… the REAL unit!” “Sir, we’re still broadcasting.”
“Good! Let ’em watch! Do it! DO IT!” “DO EET! DO EET! COME ON! KILL ME! I’M HERE!”
“FIRE!” “He’s not even here, he’s a hologram!”
Weeeeeeeeell sheeeeeeeeeit! Snake has the remote, and either he’s a Metal fan… or
he’s about to invent the canon ending to the original Deus Ex…
“WHO ARE YOU?!” “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”
“D-daijobu desu ka?” “…Katta. Keikaku douri!”
“He’s entered the World Code. Sir, that will shut down the entire planet.”
“For God’s sake, don’t do it, Snake!” “…the name’s PLISSKEN!”
Well, it’s no rocket launcher-induced exploding antagonist, but destroying the planet Earth’ll
fuckin’ do. Cut… and goddamn print. I don’t give a fuck what Gene Siskel, you,
or anyone the fuck else has to say about this movie. Escape from L.A. is the greatest action
parody EVER. Whereas other films – like Machete or Shoot-Em-Up or literally anything Quentin
Tarantino has ever pinched out – are constantly handing out fourth-wall-shattering winks and
nods in-between dismemberments… Escape from L.A. is a parody without the condescension
of a wink and a nod. It trusted its audience to get what it was trying to do. And trusting
movie audiences of 1996 to get anything predicated on ironic subtext… was John Carpenter’s
first fucking mistake. Watch this movie. Love this movie. BUY this
movie. And, if at all possible, Mr. Russell… make
a goddamn sequel to this movie. Escape from Las fucking VEGAS is exactly what Bruce Campbell
ordered! Call me RazörFist.
God – fuckin’ – SPEED!

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