Life

Writing in The Year of the Snake

One of my favorite post-apocalyptic ‘cyber punk’ action movies is John Carpenter’s 1981 classic, ‘Escape from New York.’

Take a cast of seasoned actors, add one atmospheric soundtrack, and we have an iconic mix to match Kurt Russell’s anti-hero character, Snake Plissken.

I never quite knew what Plissken would do next (only that it would really piss off somebody) and this uncertainty reached an unforgettable peak in the movie’s closing scene.

Some critics have noted that we don’t get to know what Snake’s character feels about the mayhem and suffering going on around him, and in the world, but I think these words of his leave little doubt:

I don’t give a f#ck about your war or your president.

The late author, Mike McQuay, wrote a novelization of the screenplay that apparently does add more backstory to the film and to some of the characters. However, it’s long out of print and rather expensive to track down. Perhaps one day.

IMDB’s movie base also has a fascinating trivia page for fans of the movie.

There have been rumors of a remake for years. Lord, I hope that doesn’t happen, or someone figures out how to teleport Kurt Russell here from ’81.

An interesting daydream I had saw the film’s premise reversed. This time Manhattan’s the only safe part of America left standing, with Snake and friends on a desperate dash from the West Coast to its relative safety. Perhaps they’re carrying an antidote for survivors gathered there before they too succumb to whatever ravaged the country?

Now that’d be a fascinating story to write.