10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Remarkable and gripping,
This review is from: Assault On Precinct 13 (1976) [DVD] (DVD)
Having only seen the modern remake (of which I'm a great fan) until I bought the John Carpenter Collection, I was unsure what to expect from this film.
The remake made some clever nods with it's in-jokes and casting tricks. However, what I wasn't expecting was to think this original was the superior film.
The acting by all the leads is excellent, and our hero's charm and likeability is terrific. It also feels like the violence is more immediate and shocking because of the more naturalistic style of filming. The killing that sets off the 'man seeking revenge' shooting that leads to the siege is incredibly shocking even today, and the characters all felt like they acted sensibly and believably.
The sheer numbers of gang members putting the station under siege took me by surprise. Compared to the remake, it feels like there's no end of bad guys in the original, and like the heroes have no hope, the bad guys feeling almost more like a very clever, intelligent zombie horde. Tactics like the modern-day Roman-infantry style of some of their assaults, moving in behind cover, are amazing to watch, and the tension of being surrounded by so many killers while fighting back with rapidly dwindling ammo is superbly conveyed.
A terrific and ground-breaking original which still in many ways surpasses its remake.