Escape From New York
Director: John Carpenter

Cast: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnie
Review by Brian M. Sammons

I do not like writing reviews like this, but then I do not like getting my hopes up for a brand new edition of one of my favorite films of all time, only to have those hopes dashed when I finally get the new Blu-ray version of Escape From New York and see it’s the very definition of a lack luster, bare bones, and most basic version of this excellent cult favorite flick that MGM and Fox could have been bothered to release. In case I’m being too subtle, I DO NOT LIKE THIS BLU-RAY! Not one little bit. There are a couple reasons for that so let me run them down for you.

First, the picture looks like it has only been enhanced the tiniest bit, if at all, from the previous DVD release. When old movies like the Man With No Name series, not to mention such heavy weights as the Godfather films, both of which were filmed long before New York, come out on BD looking vastly superior than when they did on DVD yet this one looks about the same, that is puzzling. What is completely inexcusable is when the new Blu-ray comes out and it has zip, zero, and zilch for any special features. Now if this was some forgotten little film that no one knew or cared about and there had never been any special features for it in the past, that would be one thing, but that is not the case here. Years ago MGM put out a special edition 2-disc DVD that was packed with extras, so what the hell happened? Did they lose all that extra content somewhere? Because they sure as hell aren’t on this disc. This pathetic BD doesn’t even have trailers. That’s right, not even a trailer! Even the most backward, basic, el cheapo DVD of some never heard of ’70s grindhouse flick will have a trailer for it. Well not this movie. Hell, even the Blu-ray’s main menu looks incredibly cheap.

The only thing I can think is that MGM, who’s in one hell of a hole financially, wanted to make a few bucks by releasing the cheapest BD they could in an attempt to milk the fans of this movie that, chances are, already own this film on DVD. Well I’m sorry for MGM’s money woes, I truly am, but that is a very slimy thing to do.

If you’ve never seen this amazing John Carpenter action epic about the ultimate one-eyed badass named Snake, going into New York, which in the far flung future of 1997 has been turned into a city-sized prison, in order to save the President of the United States, then you’re missing out on an ultra-mega-great film. However this limp little Blu-ray is NOT the way you want to see this movie. Do yourself a huge favor and get the previous, and now relatively cheap, DVD special edition. Not only does it basically look and sound the same as this “high def” version, but it comes with tons of extras and goodies. If you already own this movie on DVD, or hell, VHS for that matter, then there is no reason to upgrade to this travesty. Well, one maybe, this version contains both the bare bones Blu-ray and the bare bones DVD in one package. I’ve got to give the makers of this incredibly missed opportunity credit for that one little thing, but nothing more. Here’s hoping that someone gets it right the next time they try to bring Escape From New York to the new format.

Consider this Blu-ray vehemently and violent NOT recommended.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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