Every couple of years I re-watch a select bunch of movies to remind me who I am. Escape from New York (1981) is one of them, but tonight’s viewing was tinged with melancholy because I learned that most of the cast are now dead.
Nothing makes you feel older than seeing your childhood heroes stolen forever by that implacable thief, time.
Goodbye Lee Van Cleef (1989, 64 years), Ernest Borgnine (2012, 95 years), Donald Pleasence (1995, 75 years), Harry Dean Stanton (2017, 91 years), and Isaac Hayes (2008, 81 years). Farewell also to Frank Doubleday, the ghoulish and unforgettable Romero, who died in 2018 aged 73.
Adrienne Barbeau is still alive. Famous for THAT cleavage, the director (her husband John Carpenter) didn’t give ‘Maggie’ much to do except jiggle. In her autobiography, Barbeau said: “What I didn’t know is that when I said my lines I was usually walking down a flight of stairs. No one was even listening to me, they were just watching my breasts.”
She had lines?? Shit. Guess I’ll have to watch it again…
Kurt Russell as the inimitable ‘Snake Plissken’ is still alive, 70 years of age, with a back catalogue of hits and misses that include an execrable sequel to this cult classic — Escape from LA (1996) — which not even Snake could rescue. Russell has been acting solidly since 1962, but ask me to name any of his characters, and only Snake comes to mind.
About a year ago, I read with trepidation that they are considering a reboot. 20th Century Fox own the rights, and Australian producer/director Leigh Whannell wants to cast Kurt’s son Wyatt Russell as Snake. Whannell’s cautious: he knows the film’s cult following would tear him a new one, so he’s promised to “tread carefully“.
Wyatt Russell as the new Snake? Yeah, nah. Wyatt himself is edging away cautiously, having described the idea as “career suicide 101“. So maybe leave it the fuck alone? Especially if some of the early media is true, and New York won’t be a prison, and the baddie will be a “playboy heir to an agrochemical and biotech corporation” fuck off.
Urgh! Thor as Snake? And Summer Glau as … ??
The problem is that ‘Snake Plissken’ only happens once. As alpha-male as they get, there aren’t too many actor with that level of testosterone. Jason Momoa maybe, channelling Ronon Dex from Stargate: Atlantis (2004-2009), which you know really kinda makes him Kurt Russell’s understudy!
Anyway, let’s hope Fox/Whannell don’t find time for a reboot, ‘coz they might get the bright idea that Snake Plissken needs an LGBTQI+ update. That I won’t pay to see. You can’t ruin James Bond and Snake Plissken in the same decade!
Leave us something, you assholes!