Another Carpenter film gets a deluxe DVD treatment. This is a very nice set, and far superior to the bare bones DVD released by MGM a while back.
The film looks and sounds great. Dean Cundey's photography is given justice here; the nighttime shooting, the greens and blues, all look much cleaner and clearer than previous releases. The sound is given nice treatment as well; Escape is one of Carpenter's best scores, more fully realize than previous work, and ahead of its time. There's a 2.0 mono mix, a 5.0 surround mix, which doesn't provide a big boost, and a commentary track as well.
John Carpenter generally gives good commentaries. Once again he teams up with Kurt Russell to revisit the film, as they did with The Thing. Carpenter is very frank about his films and often explains how particular shots were done, what locations were used, and what was done to get around the low budget. Russell sounds like he's having a good time as well; he clearly loves the film and its cult status. (This is the film that helped him break his Disney type casting mold.)
There's a much welcome documentary, return to New York, featuring Carpenter, Russell, producer Debra Hill, Carpenter's ex-wife Adrienne Barbeau, and others. We also get to finally see the deleted opening of the film.
On the whole, this is a very nice DVD set. There's a slipcase for the digipak, and there's a little Snake Plisskin comic book inside. This is a nice job for a cult classic and highly recommended. It is way beyond the previous bare-bones DVD that was out.