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Episode 153 - Escape from L.A.: LIVE!

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Can't believe how many people are outraged about the paywall thing. Not because they don't have valid points, just that their outrage should be directed at how NO ONE ON THIS EPISODE WOULD ADMIT THAT ESCAPE FROM LA IS THE BEST!

 

First of all, it is obvious that the movie was supposed to be an absurdly formulaic remake of the first movie. This is why literally every single plot point is paralleled, and then upped in ridiculousness - the fight to the death becomes basketball to the death, Cabbie becomes the absurd Buscemi character, destroying the tape because Snake hates being told what to do becomes destroying all of technology because Snake hates being told what to do, etc. I found it very upsetting that no one got that this was a choice and was meant as meta-parody. Admittedly the movie fails to make the parody as winkingly obvious as modern films like 22 Jump Street have learned to, but it's a fun choice, that I think should be applauded.

 

When Jason guessed that Snake Plissken was meant to be Russell's attempt at Clint Eastwood's man with no name, I was galled. The character was borderline campy in its larger-than-life, iconic original form, but by this time Russell is really leaning in hard. After him and Carpenter made possibly the most campy-fun movie of all time with Big Trouble In Little China, I have to give them some benefit of the doubt in terms of their intentions here. I mean the guy is un-killable, is the first man to survive HORSE-sport, and can surf on a fucking tidal wave, he is clearly not meant to be taken all that seriously as a character. This is also the only of their movies where Russell shares a writing credit, and I truly feel that this was his and Carpenter's chance to just have some extremely self-indulgent fun.

 

Then there are the effects. To me, much like in Lawnmower Man, the terrible 90s effects are the icing on the delicious cake of this movie. Sure, the terrible CGI takes away some gravity from some of the scenes in comparison to Escape From New York, particularly in the helicopter scene, but it is because they went all in on the special effects that they were able to push the plot to the absolute limit in terms of set pieces, explosions, helicopter crashes, sharks, and oh yeah that one time where SNAKE CAUGHT UP TO A CAR SURFING ON A FUCKING TSUNAMI!

 

I'm obviously a big fan of this movie, and was very much expecting HDTGM to give it much more love. But I guess in the end this is really a movie most enjoyable for the Carpenter-Russell superfan. After all the classic films they made together, and their varying levels of fun, suspense, and campy-ness, it is just great to see a film where they are just going all out and truly enjoying themselves. Escape from New York and The Thing are two of my favorite films of all time. But I will always have a weird inexplicable love for Escape From LA, which drove that weird-looking N64-style 3D submarine straight into my heart.

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Zombi's main influence is a band called Goblin who did the music for a bunch of movies by Dario Argento, whom Carpenter is a big fan of. And yes, they fucking RULE!

I don't know what the context of this comment is, but I fucking love Zombi (as well as Goblin). My favorite album from Zombi remains 'Spirit Animal.' Check it out, kids! Get that spacey prog weirdness!

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Okay. If you love it for the camp factor, that's one thing, but I'm totally not buying the "it's a brilliant meta commentary on the first film" argument. Carpenter is one of my favorite directors, and he's an expert at mixing camp with more serious themes to make excellence (most notably in They Live, but almost all of his films have a level of camp to them that makes them work for me).

 

He just turned the camp up here, and it doesn't work for me as well as it does in, say, Big Trouble in Little China. Maybe it's because they took an established character and made him into something ridiculous. Maybe it's because Big Trouble in Little China recognizes its own silliness from the very first scene. Or maybe it's because Escape from New York is one of my all-time favorite movies that seeing a pale imitation rubs me the wrong way.

 

Carpenter has said on several occasions that he feels LA is the more mature film, and I can't believe he and I are watching the same movie every time I hear or read that.

 

I don't dislike this movie, and I think it's fun as a kind of silly camp movie. But it's definitely NOT a meta-comedy film.

 

Also, someone way back at the beginning of the thread said the didn't think the effects were that bad, and I have to wonder if they were watching it on their phone or an old box tv or something. That helicopter was totally on par with this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Niiu8Urodf4

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Okay. If you love it for the camp factor, that's one thing, but I'm totally not buying the "it's a brilliant meta commentary on the first film" argument. Carpenter is one of my favorite directors, and he's an expert at mixing camp with more serious themes to make excellence (most notably in They Live, but almost all of his films have a level of camp to them that makes them work for me).

 

He just turned the camp up here, and it doesn't work for me as well as it does in, say, Big Trouble in Little China. Maybe it's because they took an established character and made him into something ridiculous. Maybe it's because Big Trouble in Little China recognizes its own silliness from the very first scene. Or maybe it's because Escape from New York is one of my all-time favorite movies that seeing a pale imitation rubs me the wrong way.

 

Carpenter has said on several occasions that he feels LA is the more mature film, and I can't believe he and I are watching the same movie every time I hear or read that.

 

I don't dislike this movie, and I think it's fun as a kind of silly camp movie. But it's definitely NOT a meta-comedy film.

 

Also, someone way back at the beginning of the thread said the didn't think the effects were that bad, and I have to wonder if they were watching it on their phone or an old box tv or something. That helicopter was totally on par with this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Niiu8Urodf4

 

Im pretty sure that at some point budget and editing wrestle all power away from the director's original vision (if there really was one) so the usual quality standards of that director may just not apply.

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Question:

 

Was Pam Grier doing an impersonation of a man's voice or were they dubbing in someone else? Either wouldn't surprise me.

 

Correction:

 

The hosts wondered how a guy could become uber president after an earthquake, but the long exposition at the beginning of the movie glossed over the fact that he made a prediction based on Biblical text that something huge would happen to strike down a sin filled city, and he specifically said it was an earthquake, and when it happened caused public support to go almost totally in his favor allowing him to move into a permanent position. I actually would have liked it if it had been revealed that the president had something to do with the earthquake, since this movie was already dealing with uber shitty sci-fi elements, in order to solidify his power. Then when Snake betrays him at the end, it could have revealed the whole situation with LA was his doing from the start.

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A few things about this awful movie. (ETA: I had more fun watching the YT clip of Wakaliwood above than this movie)

 

Plutoxin is revealed to be basically the flu. However, Snake is infected via a skin scratch, which is not the way flu virus is transmitted. Influenza virus is mainly transmitted through aerosolized droplets; it has rarely been detected in other bodily fluids like blood. And you wouldn't develop symptom within mere hours of being infected. I think Snake had a case of a placebo effect.

 

The president seems to be all about living a moral life in the new MURICA, but isn't what he did to Snake and his own daughter super amoral?

 

In the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills scene, Taslima says the people there have had so many procedures that their muscles have turned to Jell-O. Not gonna get into it, but I think everyone knows that's impossible. Also impossible? Surfing a tsunami.

 

I thought it was hilarious that they had VR technology, yet they still have to make "tapes" of the VR experiences.

 

What happens to Eddie? He's on the getaway helicopter, but when he sees the incoming missile, he jumps off. Then, he yells "hey, you get back here, Plissken!" and we never see him again. First, you're the one who jumped off first, asshole. Second, does he not see that the helicopter is on fire?

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What happens to Eddie? He's on the getaway helicopter, but when he sees the incoming missile, he jumps off. Then, he yells "hey, you get back here, Plissken!" and we never see him again. First, you're the one who jumped off first, asshole. Second, does he not see that the helicopter is on fire?

 

I don't know, but I wish the fire would have burned that shit off his chin.

 

(Also, Wakaliwood is the best thing ever)

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90% of the time, during the live QnA, people get up there, say they have a question, and then make a statement.

 

Tim Curry Guy isn't having that, though.

 

"This isn't a question so much as it's a statement: would Kurt Russell be as famous without that hair?"

 

Proving that nobody at the live shows knows what a question is, and I love it.

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For the best because Torosaurus is a terrible name

 

For a second I read this as a random slam on me.

 

Also, for the record, the gayest dinosaur is the Biversitops.

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So...seriously. Does anyone have anything to say about Escape from LA?

 

No! I wanna kvetch about Paywallgate too, ad nauseam...

 

 

1. Can we talk about how Snake's big plan to screw the President over and take the Earth back into the dark ages hinges on Eddie's impromptu idea to dot a disc with nail polish and pass it off as the satellite control disc? I mean, shouldn't Snake, not Eddie, have come up with this idea, seeing how the ol' pull-a-switcheroo-on-president thing is basically in Snake's wheelhouse? And what was Snake's grand plan if Eddie didn't make a fake satellite control disc play.

 

2. About that nail polish: I've seen my wife paint her nails more times than I can count, and it takes a while for the nail polish to dry. In this film, Eddie dabs a small dot of nail polish on a teen-tiny disc (which is pretty impressive in its own right) and simply closes the case holding the disc. I would have loved to see a cutaway of Eddie gently blowing on the red nail polish dot for a solid minute, waiting for it to dry before he slides the case closed.

 

3. In the 90's, I used to work at a Tower Records subsidiary called Tower Outlet. It was basically a bargain basement depository to sell over stocked products that were either returned, slightly damaged or too old to send back to the manufacturer, like CDs, books and rental VHS tapes. Needless to say, we had a shit-ton of Escape From L.A. VHS tapes, and nobody wanted them. After awhile, the manager just started giving them away free with a purchase of three VHS tapes or more. A short time after, a customer came back to return this movie because she wanted us to know exactly how awful she (rightfully) thought it was. She could have trashed it, or donated it, but no: she took time out of her day to return this free VHS tape specifically to tell us how awful Escape From L.A. was. I guess she figured yelling at us was the next best thing to yelling at John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.

 

4. I'm sorry first poster on this thread, but the CGI and story in Escape From L.A. are absolute dog shit, even by 1996 standards.

 

5. Since everyone in the movie keeps mentioning it, whatever it was that took place in Cleveland sound infinitely more interesting than what's going on in this film. I mean, besides being a more juiced-up version of Escape from New York, Escape From L.A. completely blew any and all opportunities to tell us more about Snake Plissken, clue us into more of his back story, see him take part in one of those famous heists, or anything. Here we have this great anti-hero; this bad-boy rebel we all wish we could be, sneering at society's laws and living the life of a gruff, one-eyed street wise outlaw, and he's wasted in a film that is a near-shot-for-shot retread of the better film that came before it.

 

6. Does anyone else think the tail of Snake's cobra tattoo wraps around his dick and/or balls?

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also ... heads up

 

15802030_385421915139660_3556645255128285184_n.jpg?ig_cache_key=MTQyMTkwMDUxOTg3Mzc2ODE1Mg%3D%3D.2

 

q7PzEqO.jpg

 

Special appearance from Blake Plissken for staying in character while people misunderstand your joke. Some DDL shit right there.

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I'm really happy I woke up and read Paul's messages. I'm constantly blown away by how much effort Paul puts into communicating with the listeners. I have faith Paul will do what is best for the podcast.

 

Vis-a-vis the Howl thing, I think people misinterpret the issue. It doesn't matter how cheap Howl is, people inherantly don't want to hand over money for things online. It's a hurdle for new listeners especially. Doesn't matter how low the hurdle is, most people won't jump it. How many times have you been one of those file hosting sites and paid for membership to download without the wait timer? No one does that shit.

 

It's not a matter of not loving these podcasts and being grateful to the people who make them. Otherwise we wouldn't be here. There just doesn't seem to be a good business reason, so it seems like it will just restrict access. It inhibits people's ability to share and spread the podcast and for new people to get into it and expand the commmunity and listenership. That means less growth which means less advertising revenue. I don't think the attitude "well if you don't want to pay for old podcasts you're not a big enough fan" or "get them somewhere else" is helpful. This Howl thing isn't much of a hurdle for regulars but for new people, and I love this podcast too much for it to be stunted by that. Excluding listeners, even if its more of a psychological than (relative) financial hurdle is just going to hurt the podcast.

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WARNING!!! VERY LONG AND FULL OF FACTS AND FIGURES!!!

 

Boy oh boy, where to even begin on this one. So Snake is infected with the Plutoxin-7 virus and given a a clock counting down from 9 hour 31 minutes and 14 seconds until he succumbs to the virus and dies. From this point in the movie we can see how long it takes for events to unfold and how long it takes to travel from A to B. So let us take a look at...

 

Snakes incredible journey

 

Luckily enough we are regularly given times and specific location markers during Snake's journey through LA. However not everything is directly mentioned or seen so some of these locations are rough approximates. The journey begins at 07 Firebase. Based on its location on the map shown and given that parts of the surrounding area were sunken and not ripped away from the mainland, this would place it approximately around the location of Stetson Ranch Park. When the submersible is launched Snake has 08:08:27 remaining. When he arrives in LA he states that he's at Cahuenga Pass with 07:45:32 remaining on his countdown. It took him 22 minutes and 55 seconds to travel approximately 27km which means the sub was traveling at about 70kmph. This is well above the the current fastest personal submersible which travel at only 20kmph. From Cahuenga Pass he travels west and we see him at the intersection of Mulholland Dr and Woodrow Wilson Dr. From here he doubles back and heads to the Capitol Records building before doubling back again to Grauman's Chinese Theater. From there he's told to go to Sunset Blvd yet for some reason instead of heading south a block he decides to once again double back east because when he gets to Sunset Blvd we see a street sign saying he's in the 5600 block. At this point we get another countdown check in with 07:00:01 remaining. Snake has spent the last 45 and half minutes walking roughly 16.5km for a rough walking speed of 21 kmph. From here we have the motorcycle and car chase and when all is said and done we see him walking by Eddie's shack which is by the street sign for Sunset Blvd and North Doheny Dr. It's worth mentioning at this point Stacey Keech tells him he has seven and half hours left but yet when the car chase started he had exactly seven hours left. After this he heads east into Beverly Hills and we see him taken in by Bruce Campbell who has set up base at the The Beverly Hills Hotel. After Snake and Hot Shots escape into the sewers we see Snake check his timer yet again. The time remaining now is 5:05:20. It's hard to calculate traveling speed because we don't know how long they were out for and how far they went after the escape. After the two leave the sewers they are in Korean territory and Hot Shots tells Snake to take the Vermont exit and head south. Given that information we can assume in Koreatown town near South Vermont Ave, or about 12km away from the Beverly Hills Hotel. Shortly there after Hot Shots is killed and he checks his countdown again. It reads 4:10:23 so they traveled that approximate 12km in 54 minutes and 57 seconds for a rough walking speed of 13kmph. At this point Snake gets in a car with Eddie and is tricked and knocked out. We see him awaken in the inner workings of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with 3:22:31 remaining. Next he does some jogging, shoots hoops, escapes into the sewers, gets shot, and washes away into Wilshire Canyon. Now the only Wilshire Canyon I could find is all the way in San Bernardino which is far away and would still be attached to the mainland. Rather we are led to believe that after the earthquake Wilshire Blvd collapsed creating a canyon for Peter Fonda to surf in. And it's at this point it becomes near impossible to track Snakes journey exactly. After the surfing, Snake drives to Hershe's hideout at the Queen Mary which is washed ashore in the city somewhere not far from Wilshire and downtown. From there they hang glide with 34:39 remaining to the "Happy Kingdom" which they get to 14 minutes and 26 seconds later. This means Hershe's boat could be anywhere from 30 to 55km away from Disneyland. From Disneyland Snake gets aboard the helicopter and heads back to 07 Firebase. We see him check his countdown timer for the last time before it runs out shortly after leaving the park and he's got only 2:28 remaining. He crash lands North of Firebase and when he emerges from the crash the countdown runs out. So we can assume he was in the air for roughly 2 and half minutes and if go by our assumed location of the base, it's about 87km away. This means the helicopter had to be traveling of speeds of 2088 kmph or just under Mach 2 which is four times faster than the current fastest helicopter. So all together in the span of 8 hours and 8 and a half minutes, Snake traveled about 214.6km. That is roughly all the calculable speeds and distances traveled in this movie.

 

Included is a picture of the first ten legs of the journey for a visual aid.

 

k4qxojz.png

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tearingme.gif

 

Look guys, I get it. Everyone gets it. We've heard every argument at this point. And everyone has stated their case. Could we please get back to talking either about Escape from LA (which I finally finished), gay dinosaurs (which is why God extinct'd them) or this Blake fellow I'm very eager to meet now that I can finally listen to the episode?

 

Pro or con, I honestly don't really care. I'm seriously fine either way. I just can't take the bitching anymore. Either create a new thread (that the rest of us can ignore if we choose to) or direct your complaints to someone who can actually do something with them. Paul understands the problem and is doing what he can, but he doesn't own Earwolf. Also, literally no one has made a single argument--either way--that hasn't been made before. I'm tired of reading everyone's attempt at writing the very BEST persuasive argument by just rewriting and rewording the same damn things over and over again. At least make it funny or interesting. Write it like you're Tommy Wiseau or something.

 

GOD!!!!

 

FUCK Guys!!!

 

Seriously, I'm done now. That's the last I''m going to say about the subject.

 

...

 

...

 

...The fact Snake insists people gets his name right, but refuses to call Hershe by her chosen name is so fucking hypocritical and homophobic. This movie has a chronic case of the dumbs.

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Okay. If you love it for the camp factor, that's one thing, but I'm totally not buying the "it's a brilliant meta commentary on the first film" argument. Carpenter is one of my favorite directors, and he's an expert at mixing camp with more serious themes to make excellence (most notably in They Live, but almost all of his films have a level of camp to them that makes them work for me).

 

He just turned the camp up here, and it doesn't work for me as well as it does in, say, Big Trouble in Little China. Maybe it's because they took an established character and made him into something ridiculous. Maybe it's because Big Trouble in Little China recognizes its own silliness from the very first scene. Or maybe it's because Escape from New York is one of my all-time favorite movies that seeing a pale imitation rubs me the wrong way.

I believe we've talked about this before long ago, but I am a massive Carpenter fan as well. Now, I won't ask you to pick your favourites of all his work, but of his five collaborations with Kurt Russell how would you rank them? For me I would The Thing at the top no hesitation, but second is a toss up for me between Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China. I think Big Trouble might just edge it out though. Then Elvis and Escape from LA last.

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WARNING!!! VERY LONG AND FULL OF FACTS AND FIGURES!!!

 

Boy oh boy, where to even begin on this one. So Snake is infected with the Plutoxin-7 virus and given a a clock counting down from 9 hour 31 minutes and 14 seconds until he succumbs to the virus and dies. From this point in the movie we can see how long it takes for events to unfold and how long it takes to travel from A to B. So let us take a look at...

 

Snakes incredible journey

 

 

giphy.gif

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Look guys, I get it. Everyone gets it. We've heard ever argument at this point. And everyone has stated their case. Could we please get back to talking either about Escape from LA (which I finally finished), gay dinosaurs (which is why God extinct'd them) or this Blake fellow I'm very eager to meet now that I can finally listen to the episode.

 

I agree completely!

Does this mean we can discuss the works of Chuck Tingle or save it for the mini-sode?

 

Somewhat NSFW...

 

 

enhanced-11497-1422505698-12.png

 

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Does this mean we can discuss the works of Chuck Tingle or save it for the mini-sode?

 

Somewhat NSFW...

 

 

enhanced-11497-1422505698-12.png

 

 

By Odin's snow white beard we better!

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So long as we're combining possible movie universes, I hereby propose that Bruce Campbell in Escape From L.A. is actually... an Evil Future version of Dr. Jack Startz from Behind the Candelabra!

 

 

Jack-Startz-01.jpg

 

Dr. Jack Startz has begun to go mad, performing experiments on himself. He has witnessed America turn away from his brand of surgical self improvement and towards a fundamentalist Christian, social conservative philosophy, one that views Los Angeles (the city that gave him a home, a way of life, and a career) as a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. How can he rebuild his practice? How can he make himself wanted by America again? How can he, perhaps, keep his star clientele (like Liberace) alive forever? Or maybe even.... bring them back from the dead? This would not only give him an eternal source of income, but an eternal sense of purpose in a world that has rejected him.

 

After the giant earthquake that physically separates Los Angels from the rest of the country, it is then that Startz suffers a psychotic break and is mentally and spiritually separated from any semblance of sanity. He begins kidnapping and mutilating any ex-American citizen stranded/imprisoned in Los Angeles unfortunate enough to come into his clutches. After being a walking symbol for the shallow, fruitless pursuit of physical perfection personified by his obsessive attention to his own face, he is now a symbol for the dark dystopia that is America. Still obsessed with cruel, damaging stereotypes, but even more self-hating, more morally corrupt, and willing to commit any sin to achieve immortality, be it physical or spiritual.

 

John-Carpenters-Escape-from-LA-Surgeon-General-of-Beverly-Hills-Bruce-Campbell.png

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Correction and Omission: Toward the beginning of the movie, when Stacy Keach and Michelle Forbes are filling Snake in on his mission, Michelle Forbes pulls out a miniature VR unit and plays back a recording of Rayanne stealing the black box. And then later Keach and Forbes are revealed to both be holograms. Would a hologram need a little box to project another hologram? I mean, couldn't the person running the holograms of the two cops also project the hologram of the VR recording?

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Is that real?

I thought I made that up in my head because its such a dead on comparison.

 

I read an interview with Dean Ambrose, I wish I could find it now, because when they broke up The Shield, one of the things they discussed was their ring gear, because they wanted them all to wear long pants, and a sleeveless shirt because they had all become synonymous with that look.

 

So they had Reigns keep the established "Shield" look, because they wanted to give him an extra shove as a good guy, they wanted Ambrose to switch to jeans and a wifebeater, but they discussed Rollins' gear, and Plissken's outfit was brought up as a jumping off point.

 

Obviously, he's modified it now with other colours, but there's still that template

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I don't know what the context of this comment is, but I fucking love Zombi (as well as Goblin). My favorite album from Zombi remains 'Spirit Animal.' Check it out, kids! Get that spacey prog weirdness!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txj7UBJi0Is

So I finally finished the podcast and listened to the part where the guests call Jason insane for listening to Zombi, which just makes me love Jason even more. Listening to Zombi is the least insane thing you could do!

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By Odin's snow white beard we better!

This is something I have known about for a long time but I never really got it. It's not really in the furry camp as it is dinosaur on human, I just can't place who it's really for. It always reminds me of the PFT bit about the sexy bee Halloween costume.

 

So long as we're combining possible movie universes, I hereby propose that Bruce Campbell in Escape From L.A. is actually... an Evil Future version of Dr. Jack Startz from Behind the Candelabra!

I love this. Watching the movie this time, I couldn't but think how Bruce Campbell here looks very much like Handsome Jack from the Borderlands games what with the stapled on face and all..

94466-handsome-jack.jpg

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