249 user 128 critic

Escape from L.A. (1996)

4:54 | Clip
Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.


John Carpenter


John Carpenter (characters), Nick Castle (characters) | 3 more credits »
1,947 ( 534)
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Snake Plissken
Steve Buscemi ... Map to the Stars Eddie
Peter Fonda ... Pipeline
Cliff Robertson ... President
Valeria Golino ... Taslima
Stacy Keach ... Cmdr. Malloy
Pam Grier ... Hershe Las Palmas
Bruce Campbell ... Surgeon General of Beverly Hills
Georges Corraface ... Cuervo Jones (as George Corraface)
Michelle Forbes ... Brazen
A.J. Langer ... Utopia
Ina Romeo ... Hooker
Peter Jason ... Duty Sergeant
Jordan Baker ... Police Anchor
Caroleen Feeney ... Woman on Freeway
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The year is 2013 and Snake Plissken is back but this time it's L.A., which through the agency of earthquakes has become an island of the damned. But something has gone wrong in this new moral order, because the President's daughter has absconded to L.A. with a detonation device, and Snake is commandeered to retrieve it. But just below the surface there is a coiled Snake ready to strike. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Plan your escape this Summer See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The character of the President was Kurt Russell's idea. He based him on televangelist Pat Robertson. See more »


Taslima's breast tattoo disappears and then reappears. See more »


[first lines]
Female Narrator: In the late 20th century, hostile forces inside the United States grow strong. The city of Los Angeles is ravaged by crime and immorality. To protect and defend its citizens, the United States Police Force is formed. A presidential candidate predicts a millennium earthquake will destroy L.A. in divine retribution.
President: Like the mighty fist of God, Armageddon will descend upon the city of Los Angeles - the city of sin, the city of Gomorrah, the city of Sodom - and waters will rise and ...
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Edited into Hollywood Burn (2006) See more »


by Ministry
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User Reviews

Passable but inferior sequel filled with thrills , spectacular scenes and frantic action along with enjoyable sly humor
23 November 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Exciting and spectacular rescue into Los Angeles destroyed by earthquakes, floods, mudslides, and become a top-security prison . This thrilling picture results to be an inferior sequel to Escape from N.Y. , the latter become a real Cult Movie . It contains mystery , chills , noisy action , thrills , fights , social critical , bits of humor with tongue-in cheek attitude and a weird atmosphere with dark and surprising ending . Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell, he was the only cast member from the original film to appear in the sequel)is once again called in by the United States government (Stacy Keach as officer , Michele Forbes as deputy and Clift Robertson as President) to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported and finds itself under siege by violent gangs . A previous war hero named Snake Plissken gone rebel must execute a daring adventure and bring up a powerful artifact in twenty four hours . Snake must recover it and along the way facing off villains like Cuervo Jones (George Corraface) . He's only helped by a sympathetic rogue underling (Steve Buscemi who took the part in this film to help fund his directorial debut, Trees Lounge) , and action women (Valeria Golino, Pam Grier) . As Snake Plissken to get in and out of Los Angeles .

The film is a comic book plenty of action , fun , adventures , suspense , thriller and surprise-filled entertainment . Magnificent plethora of characters with decent performances by its entire cast . Middle-budget by Paramount Pictures , in fact its President Sherry Lansing was a fan of "Escape from New York" and wanted John Carpenter, Kurt Russell and Debra Hill to make the sequel in the same vein as the original. Kurt Russell as tough and valiant renegade is terrific . At the beginning of the film, Kurt Russell wears his costume from the original film, which still fits after 15 years . Kurt Russell not only came up with but wrote the entire ending of the movie , in fact it was the first and only writing credit . Escape From LA was caught in development hell for over ten years . A script for the film was first commissioned in 1985 but John Carpenter thought it "too light, too campy" . An initial script was written , but it remained dormant until Carpenter and Kurt Russell got together with frequent collaborator Debra Hill. It was Russell's persistence that got the film made ; Snake Plissken was his favourite character, a character he loved and wanted to play again . Support cast is frankly good such as Peter Fonda , Cliff Robertson , Valeria Golino , Stacy Keach , Pam Grier , Bruce Campbell , Michelle Forbes , A.J. Langer and Peter Jason , Carpenter's usual . The picture contains an imaginative and memorable production design by Lawrence G. Paull . Colorful and glimmer cinematography by Gary B. Kibbe . John Carpenter also made the atmospheric music score along with Shirley Walker . The movie likely to satisfy action enthusiasts and Kurt Russell fans .

Director John Carpenter is in familiar ground with this well-done tale on the style of comic books and old Sci-Fi serials . His films often feature important visuals shown from a video screen , as the end-of-the-world transmission from the future in ¨Prince of darkness¨ (1987), the Norwegian recordings of the expedition to uncover the aliens in ¨The Thing¨ (1982), various TV sets and the general anti-TV motif in ¨They live¨(1988), etc. ¨1997 escape from N.Y¨ was realized during his best period in the 70s and late 8os when he directed classics as ¨Halloween¨, ¨The fog ¨, ¨Christine¨, ¨They live¨ , ¨Big Trouble in Little China¨ and ¨The thing¨ . The sequel ¨Escape from L.A¨ rating : average but entertaining . The movie will enjoy to noisy action fans but packs a roller-coaster thriller and wholesome amusement . The film will appeal to John Carpenter enthusiasts . A third sequel was going to be made titled Escape from Earth which would have had Snake escaping Earth after a dark matter experiment. However, the negative reaction to this film prevented the sequel from being developed. As the movie was a notorious failure on release, making around $25 million , just half its budget , at the US box office. Many reviews criticized the film for being too violent or for being too similar to the original film .

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,912,557, 11 August 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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