Assault on Precinct 13


Action / Adventure / Crime / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO

Top cast

John Carpenter Photo
John Carpenter as Gang Member
Kim Richards Photo
Kim Richards as Kathy
Henry Brandon Photo
Henry Brandon as Chaney
Charles Cyphers Photo
Charles Cyphers as Starker
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
704.44 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
P/S 1 / 1
1.43 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
P/S 2 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Quinoa19849 / 10

on par with its inspiration(s); a must see Carpenter classic

Ackowledged by it's own creator on the DVD, Assault on Precinct 13 is a bit more of a hybrid than just a sheer homage to Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo. It has traces of that (editing name, ho-ho),and of the Western specifics in bits of the storytelling devices and stereotypes. But it also has traces of the horror film, of the basic theme of demise by outside forces that not only rests in the best of zombie films but also in a lot of Carpenter's later work. What makes the film seem fresh today, even if it takes its time to get started in the first half hour, is how focused the action is around the story. Even with these basic characters- those with speaking parts closer to archetypes than not- it all works. It's a practically-perfect midnight movie.

You've got your good guys, a mix of cops and criminals (one of them, Darwin Joston's Napoleon Wilson, has enough style as an actor without even flinching at times). And you've got the ravenous gang (achem, zombies) out for blood after a gun down by a vengeful father. What surprising about how this very simple premise is set up, of a showdown in the worst pit of Los Angeles, is how it's all close to being just a pure exploitation film. But there's some thought or maybe just music to the film (not the actual music, though that's cool in its way) just as relentless as in Carpenter's other work, maybe even more in its rough way. It is a violent film, but the violence comes and goes leaving more room for talk than one might expect given it's by-a-thread rating. It's quite clear where the visual style would end up lending itself to in later years too (i.e. Reservoir Dogs).

When taking aside the occasional misstep, like an unneeded (suggested) sub-plot (not that Joston or Laurie Zimmer are bad actors, but they lack chemistry),Assault on Precinct 13 comes out without many scratches at all. It's a lean film at 90 minutes, with enough tension for two more. When it is shocking it shocks, when it wants a cheap, solid laugh or (more often) grin it comes through, and it doesn't pull any punches in letting you know here and there this is nothing more than a genre exercise. That Carpenter is able to pull it off so un-pretentiously is a credit to his first inspiration, as well as to the spirit of the long boiled ingredients of older films. In short, the most cult you can find by the filmmaker without going to his previous effort Dark Star. Grade: A

Reviewed by Prismark109 / 10

Assault on Precinct 13

I must have first watched Assault on Precinct 13 in the early 1980s.

About the same time I watched The Warriors and Death Wish.

I must had got a weird view of America. It's cities being marauded by nihilistic gangs. Where people including children are killed senselessly.

Just as The Warriors had underpinnings from classic Greek literature.

John Carpenter was inspired by a classic western, Rio Bravo and a classic horror, Night of the Living Dead.

It is essentially a siege film. Lieutenant Bishop (Austin Stoker) takes temporary charge of a police station that is about to relocate.

He has a skeleton staff and suddenly he has to house three prisoners being transported in a holding cell as one of them has got sick.

One of the prisoner is a murderer on death row, Napoleon Wilson (Darwin Joston).

Trouble kicks off when a distraught man runs into the station. His daughter was murdered by conglomerate of street gangs. She was an innocent victim. The man killed one of the gang members and is now in a state of shock and unable to speak.

The gangs are hell bent on revenge and will kill everyone to get to him. They use guns with silencers.

Bishop has to turn to the remaining two prisoners to fight them off. Wilson and career criminal Wells (Tony Burton.)

The film starts off slowly, but really gets going when the siege starts. Joston gives the movie some laconic humour as he keeps asking for cigarettes.

Despite the shocking violence and the homage to zombie movies. Carpenter has given the movie some dark humour. Bishop admitting he cannot hotwire a car for example. Well he's a cop.

The film had a cast of unknowns although Burton would later become well known through the Rocky movies. Some of the acting is patchy particularly from Laurie Zimmer, the main female character.

The music was composed by Carpenter himself. The main theme is now well known, an electronic theme that has been sampled many times on dance records.

This is a cult movie and an example of economy filmmaking. It's also one of Carpenter's best movies.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca8 / 10

Huge suspense in a low budget siege flick

This early Carpenter classic remains a cult item and contains many of the things we associate with him such as a spooky atmosphere and some catchy synthesiser music. I'm finding myself liking a lot of Carpenter's films and this is no exception. It runs like a hybrid of THE BIRDS, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and a crime thriller, with birds and zombies replaced by faceless gang members. The similarities to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in particular become very apparent when you think about it: an isolated building under siege from an ever-increasing horde of enemies; a black hero; a finale which sees the survivors retreating to the basement.

The tension here is created by a deliberately slow start which gently eases the suspense up to breaking point, finally bursting the bubble with a sudden bust of graphic violence - that of a young girl getting shot to death. From then on it turns into an increasingly desperate life or death battle between the inhabitants of the abandoned police station and the hordes of gang members. The acting is actually very good here, a surprise as most of the cast were never heard of to begin with and never seen again afterwards. Stoker and Joston in particular are excellent as the opposing cop and convict who join forces. The charisma between these two tough guys is something to see and they really hit it off together. Joston has the showier role as a mild-mannered murderer but Stoker's subtle performance adds the depth needed to the film.

The music is quite simplistic and yet still very effective, although not as exceptional as Carpenter's classic score for HALLOWEEN. After recently watching an uncut, pristine and widescreen print on DVD I was able to appreciate this film in all its real glory. If you like some of Carpenter's other films then check this one out, you won't be disappointed, and action and thriller fans should definitely spend a night with this one to see what exactly can be achieved on just a small budget.

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