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Assault on Precinct 13: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]

Austin Stoker , Darwin Joston , John Carpenter    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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Assault on Precinct 13: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] + Night of the Comet: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray + DVD] + Body Bags: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray + DVD]
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Product Description

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Before making the original Halloween into one of the most profitable independent films of all time, John Carpenter directed this riveting low-budget thriller from 1976, in which a nearly abandoned police station is held under siege by a heavily armed gang called Street Thunder. Inside the station, cut off from contact and isolated, cops and convicts who were headed for death row must now join forces or die. That's the basic plot, but it's what Carpenter does with it that's remarkable. Drawing specific inspiration from the classic Howard Hawks Western Rio Bravo (which included a similar siege on disadvantaged heroes), Carpenter used his simple setting for a tense, tightly constructed series of action sequences, emphasizing low-key character development and escalating tension. Few who've seen the film can forget the "ice cream cone" scene in which a young girl is caught up in the action by patronizing a seemingly harmless ice cream truck. It's here, and in other equally memorable scenes, that Carpenter demonstrates his singular knack for injecting terror into the mundane details of daily life, propelling this potent thriller to cult favorite status and long-standing critical acclaim. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

• New & existing extras including a new interview with actress Nancy Kyes who covers her career working in Carpenter films including Halloween 1-3 and The Fog.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Andrew
Format:DVD
Yes it is being remade for release in 2005! But before you go out and see that you MUST see the original. Carpenter's 1st studio film!
Based on Howard Hawks Rio Bravo, it tells the story of a police precinct under siege, where Police and prisoners have to fight side by side in order to survive. Great acting by Austin Stoker and Darwin Joston. Excellent direction and music by John Carpenter. Not to be missed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A cult action classic from John Carpenter! July 2 2004
Format:DVD
A police station in L.A. called Precinct 13 has two police officers, two women and two convicts including a traumatized victim are being trapped by street gangs who are surrounding the place making it a living hell for them. They have to find a way to get out, defend themselves and make those devils go away.
An intense, exciting, gripping action drama classic from John Carpenter which happens to be his second movie after "Dark Star". This movie offers loads of action, brutal violence including a on screen child murder, gunfire, an interesting storyline and cool music by Carpenter.
This movie became a cult classic over the years yet still has a strong following including being one of the greatest action movies in movie history. The DVD here is a nice special edition with great transfer, and cool extras like Poster-and-still gallery, trailer, radio spots and interviews, if you love John Carpenter and action movies then add this to your collection.
There is going to be a big budget remake due out next year with Ethan Hawke, Ja Rule, Lawrence Fishburne, Brian Deheney and John Leguizomo.
Also recommended: Die Hard, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Rock, Con Air, Shaft, The Siege, The Peacemaker, Lethal Weapon, Scarface, Commmando, Passenger 57.
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Format:DVD
after everything's been said or written about this movie, that's the one part I felt I must highlight; the music for this movie was credited to Carpenter, and in the DVD format, it just rocks, just gives the speakers a serious workout. For a 1970s movie, or for any decade, for that matter, it's awesome.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spot the Reference Time! June 12 2004
Format:DVD
John Carpenter, like Spielberg, is aware of the history of cinema, and often references earlier films (and other pop-culture material) in his work.
As many have pointed out, "Assault" is essentially a modern-setting remake of "Rio Bravo", and quite well done, with horror-type elements reminiscent of films like "Night of the Living Dead".
Carpenter seems enamoured of the "unstoppable-mysterious-thing that wants to eat your face" plot; all of his best films seem to use some variation on it. In this case, the Nasty Thing is the uber-gang "Street Thunder", who have declared war on straight society in general, and on the cops in particular.
A point that not a lot of people seem to have noticed is that there is/are strong influences from Sergio Leone's brilliant Western, "Once Upon a Time in the West" (my unequivocal choice for The Greatest Western Ever Made (currently #2 on the IMDB user's list of 50 Greatest Westerns, second only to Leone's own "The Good the Bad and the Ugly"):
Both films set up the major action with acts of on-screen violence that were virtually unthinkable at the time -- here, it's the casualness and the identity of the victim, in "Once Upon a Time in the West", it was that plus the shock of recognition of the actor playing the killer.
When first i saw this film, i believed that Darwin Josten's character, Really Bad convict Napoleon Wilson, was played in emulation of Robert Mitchum -- more recently, i realised that the character is basically inspired by (and Josten is emulating) Charles Bronson's "Harmonica" in "Once Upon a Time in the West"; both are mysterious, laconic and Very Dangerous men who will reveal their backgrounds and intentions "...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Delightful May 27 2004
Format:DVD
A cracker of a film from the start. Carpenter builds the atmosphere in a way that seems unique to his own personal style. Using actors which are unknown and therefore not stigmatised by expectancy from past performances works, and serves to enhance viewer empathy with the characters.
The plot is simple enough, the Precinct in question is a Police Station which is being closed down, the people within it are a few staff and prisoners, awaiting final closure for transfer, and the assaultees are a gang of callous youths, down on the system, and up on the chance to show it.
It's the coldness and calculated methodology behind the building attack which makes the film so dark. What's more, it's believable, which only adds to the effect. The musical accompaniment too, parallels this, giving the impression of impending attack, and then respite, albeit a brief one. As films go, especially considering the budget, this is as good as you'll see in a long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Da Da Da Da Da! Da Da Da Da Da! May 2 2004
Format:DVD
John Carpenter's reworking of the Rio Bravo concept is one of the best action films of the 70s. It's an action film, but it has the feel of a horror film, most obviously Night Of The Living Dead. Personally, I see this film as a sort of prequel to Escape From New York. It almost feels like the last few years before the whole New York prison deal. As in that film, the gang members attack in a silent, zombie-like swarm. Basically, a group of people stuck in an almost abandoned police station band together, putting all differences aside, to fight back against a siege on the station. Why this gang is attacking this prison is anyone's guess, but they hint early in the film that it's revenge for a gang massacre at the hands of the police. Still, why are they going after these particular people in a station obviously abandoned? And why blast an ice cream man to kingdom come(not to mention a little girl)? Who really cares why they're doing it coz it's fun all the way! Yeah, there's quite a bit of dated lines that make the film seem pretty corny; But bear in mind, these macheezmo lines are used in this film before they were a common action movie cliche. At one point our two criminal heroes decide who's gonna make an escape attempt by playing a game called "Potatoes". It's a wacky combination of Rock, Paper, Scissors and PaddyCake that's hilarious to watch. I only hope Carpenter intended that to be funny. In the interview section of the dvd, someone asks John Carpenter how you win this game. As many times as I watch it, I still can't figure out how he won("I told you I'd lose! Dammit, we're gonna do it again!"). Watching Assault On Precinct 13 is a very satisfying experience and makes you long for the days of good tough guy action flicks.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars GOTTA SMOKE?
One of Carpenter's earliest films 'Assault on Precinct 13' is an early attempt of a future going crazy story like 'Mad Max' or 'Escape From New York. Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by Serpent Night
5.0 out of 5 stars At my moment of dying.
There are three reasons i don't like any of John Carpenters recent films, and this is one of them (the others being halloween and escape from New York). Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by The Birdman
4.0 out of 5 stars Lucky 13
Before he scared the heck out of us with the original Halloween, director John Carpenter tried his hand at the action genre, with Assault On Precinct 13. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2003 by T. Lobascio
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Top Independent Films Ever
Being a fanatic of John Carpenter, specifically the Halloween series, hearing about this movie made me eager to check it out. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2003 by Ian Scottish
4.0 out of 5 stars CULT CLASSIC!
Low budget movies don't get much better than this.
For John Carpenter fans, this movie is a must-see. Read more
Published on June 28 2003 by Bryan Schingle
5.0 out of 5 stars "Anybody got a smoke?"
Merely one of the best B-movies ever, though it required a cabal of British and French film critics to point this out to us. Well, they were right. Read more
Published on April 11 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars pre "halloween" Carpender at his best
The story is your basic "good vs evil" and the production values are on the cheap but what is compelling is how a pre "halloween" John Carpender takes an assortment of cops,... Read more
Published on April 7 2003 by Richard I. Caplan
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