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Friday, November 1, 2013

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (Scream Factory Blu-ray): A White-Hot Blu

A White-Hot Blu-ray of Love. That’s what you’re getting with the new Assault on Precinct 13 disc. I own three different versions of this after acquiring this disc and am in a pretty damn good place to let you know that this edition is the superior buy. It contains some new stuff, a great transfer with tremendous audio and fantastic original and traditional cover art. The only set back? You might not necessarily feel the need to upgrade to the new Scream Factory disc if you have the previously released Blu-ray because it may contain some new features and great artwork, but that might not entice the casual viewer who owns the previously released Blu. DVD folks, get ready for THE FUTURE and upgrade to Blu-ray. The price is right.

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Isolated and cut off from the city inside a soon-to-be-closed L.A. police station, a group of police officers and convicts must join forces to defend themselves against the gang called Street Thunder, who have taken a blood oath to kill someone trapped inside the precinct.

Trailer (not from Scream Factory):


When discussing a movie like Assault on Precinct 13, a movie so viewed and reviewed and loved, I find it difficult to provide more than simply a technical review of the disc. I don’t want this to turn into one giant Carpenter lovefest (which it nearly has already, and I haven’t even mentioned the great J.C.s name). The BBC described it as having been“often described as a melding of Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo and George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead”. While I’m aware that Carpenter is a huge Hawks’ fanatic and takes great pride in turning traditional siege movies into wholly other horror or science fiction features, I had never thought about Assault on Precinct 13 in terms of a Romero influenced picture. It came out approximately eight years after Romero’s masterpiece and Carpenter is an indie filmmaker at heart (and was when Assault was made he was as green and on his own as anyone). More or less that Night of the Living Dead is a siege movie in itself strikes me as interesting because it absolutely is I’ve never thought about it quite in those terms. To me it’s the epitome and foundation for which all other undead features can be judged and from which all modern zed word flickers find common origin. It’s as much of a Hawks’ picture as it is a Romero original and its influence on Carpenter’s works should be easily spotted. So Night of the Living Dead… also influenced by Rio Bravo? Now I really want to have that five second conversation with Romero that I planned for Monster Mania this past year, but was unable to have.

I suppose this is your formula. Substitute gang of maniacal bad guys for zombies. Input anti-hero. Only this time…maybe they’ll all get a happy ending. How about the little girl, murdered early on in the picture? Doesn’t that just feel like the zombie kid found in the farmhouse in Night of the Living Dead. So that’s where I leave it. Something new for me to think about in the historical influence of Romero’s classic while enjoying original Carpenter thought Frankensteined out from the minds of genius filmmakers.

Let’s talk about special features. There are new interview features with actress Nancy Loomis Kyes and art/director sound effects designer Tommy Lee Wallace. These new interviews for Scream Factory releases are always high quality fare. There’s an audio commentary with J.C. himself, an interview with J.C. and star Austin Stoker as well as the theatrical trailer and radio spots. Some new stuff here, but mostly features you’ve seen before. The Scream Factory release does have new material, so there’s a reason to upgrade.

Assault on Precinct 13 on Blu-ray is available for Pre-Order. Arrives November 19th!


Buy a bottle of something strong and have your own White-Hot Night with those you love and a new Scream Factory disc.

-DoC TERROR

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