It’s hard to review the classics, sometimes. With a movie like John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, what can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said a hundred times before? This film is so ingrained in pop culture, that even people who haven’t seen a single Carpenter film is familiar with it, and its titular character, Snake Plissken, played by Kurt Russell in a way that no other actor could have done. When you consider that this film was produced on a budget of around six million dollars, the scope of this movie, and what Carpenter was able to accomplish with such a modest budget is truly amazing. It feels like a fifty million dollar film, at the very least. I don’t know if I can call this my favorite Carpenter film, but it is one of the top 3, for certain. This is is a harder Blu-ray release for some to swallow, as it is also available in a release that came straight from MGM, so unless the previous release was garbage, or you have an extremely impressive extras package, it’s a hard sale, to get folks to double dip on a title like this. I think Scream Factory did a good job, at giving us a reason to buy yet another Blu-ray copy of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York.
To start with, the MGM Blu-ray is not garbage. It lacks that extra punch that comes with the Scream Factory release, with the Collector’s Edition packaging, and an entire disc dedicated to bonus content, but it is a respectable presentation of the film itself. Some have claimed that the Scream Factory release is a downgrade, but they would be wrong, and probably haven’t actually seen it, if you want the truth. Yeah, yeah, I know, “compression artifacts” and all of that, but if you haven’t actually seen the release in motion, and you’re just regurgitating what another person with a bone to pick has regurgitated from elsewhere, I have no respect for your opinion. I’m sorry, I just don’t. If the way you decide to purchase home video releases is by looking at compressed screenshots, on sites that love to tear the popular guys down, you’re only hurting yourself. You’re missing out on a lot of good releases, over practically nothing. I will admit that there are some Blu-ray releases that have issues. If you were to take a look at FOX’s “Ultimate Hunter Edition” release of Predator, you will see probably the worst Blu-ray release to ever hit a store shelf. Not a single one of Scream Factory’s releases even remotely resemble that hot mess.
People shouted from the rooftops that Arrow Video’s UK Blu-ray release of Motel Hell was “MUCH BETTER” than Scream Factory’s release, so I bought it, watched for comparison, and you know what? It’s not. Both releases are fantastic, and both look gorgeous. I get in trouble sometimes, for referring to those that belong to this new group of anti-Scream Factory curmudgeons as hipsters. But, in all honesty, I really don’t know how else to describe somebody that suddenly dislikes something, now that it has become popular. I’m not saying that Scream Factory have never released something with flaws. If you will take a look at their Nosferatu, it is of lower quality than other releases of that film. But generally, if you see a reviewer, or somebody in a home video collecting group on Facebook, blathering on about “compression artifacts”, it’s more than likely that they are full of shit. This Blu-ray, looks as good, if not a little better than the previous release from MGM. Couple that, with the fact that it comes to you, absolutely brimming with bonus content, and it should be a no-brainer, as to whether or not you should buy this release.
Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, is highly recommended. It sports a new transfer of the film, that is as good if not better than the previous transfer, with new audio commentaries, photo galleries, visual effects documentaries, interviews, deleted scenes, a retrospective featurette, trailers and more. Take it from me, someone who has seen this movie a thousand times, and loves it dearly, you can purchase this release with confidence. There is nothing wrong with the transfer, and you are going to want in on these extras, if you are any kind of fan of this film.