Saturday, 6 February 2016

Reading Escape From New York

"He had less than eighteen hours to find a man in the largest city in America with only three million maniacs to get in his way"
I spent a very enjoyable few hours today reading Mike McQuay's 1981 novelization of Escape From New York. A brisk and breezy read, McQuay's book is based on John Carpenter and Nick Castle's screenplay and is interesting for its additions and omissions - the biggest departure from the film is the book's retention of the bank robbery sequence (which would have opened the film), and there's lots of additional color, the book even more bleak and dystopian than the film - I particularly liked the sequence where the sewer-dwelling "Crazies", complete with oozing sores and dripping with infernal slime, emerge to hunt for human flesh. What's noticeably absent from the book is the laconic Eastwood-flavored Snake Pliskin - I suspect the character was more fully realized with Kurt Russell's contribution. Incidentally, two minor characters in the book are given the names Cronenberg and Romero and not having seen the film recently I'm trying to remember if this tip of the hat appears in the film ?


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