ESCAPE FROM L.A.
The Abridged Script
INT. A SHADOWY CANDLELIT TENT, SOME TIME IN THE MID-1990S
Director JOHN CARPENTER is conversing with a PSYCHIC MEDIUM.
DIRECTOR JOHN CARPENTER
So you mean to tell me, in another decade or so, the movie industry will be so creatively bereft that every other release will be a soulless remake of an 80s classic?
Yeah, by then people will be making entire careers out of exploiting the expectations of well-intentioned but naive punters. And believe me, I know how enjoyable that is.
DIRECTOR JOHN CARPENTER
That sounds perfect. In fact, why wait ten years? I'm ALREADY out of decent ideas!
(hastily remakes 'Escape From New York' and forgets to include any of the awesomeness)
EXT. MILITARY COMPOUND, NEAR LOS ANGELES
Cyclopean antihero KURT RUSSELL has been arrested, and is being interrogated by hirsute base commander STACY KEACH and slimy President CLIFF ROBERTSON.
I'm the fundamentalist Christian leader of this good country. Just so we're clear, I may make a lot of noise about this being a "moral" America, but I'm definitely OK with blackmail, murder and mass euthanisation via electrocution. Praise Jebus!
OK Kurt, you've done this sort of thing before. Isolated city under violent gang control, powerful tyrant has control of a magic doomsday device that can somehow knock out all the world's power, only one man can save the day, yadda yadda.
Oh no, you're not going to convince me to help you this time. You'd need to, oh I don't know, off the top of my head, inject me with some sort of slow-acting plot device or something.
Funny you should say that - we've infected you with a virus that will kill you in nine hours. To be honest, I thought you would have been a little more wary about government officials injecting you with mysterious substances.
Now, take all these guns and go get ready. I understand you're not looking quite so trim as last time round, so we've had our costumers prepare you something nice and forgiving.
KURT gets changed into a SKINTIGHT BLACK LEATHER ONESIE.
Delicious. Oh, and don't forget this tiny hologram projector. I have absolutely no worry that arming you to the teeth may later bite us in the ass.
EXT. LOS ANGELES
KURT pilots a tiny NUCLEAR SUBMARINE into L.A., and somehow accelerates it out of the sea and onto a jetty, thus SETTING THE TONE OF CREDULITY for the rest of the movie. He bumps into ageing surfer dude PETER FONDA.
With something like third billing on this movie, you're bound to be either my sidekick or a primary antagonist, so which is it?
Whoah, you're making a movie? That's totally radical, man. I was just stopping by on my way out of the 80s to catch some waves.
KURT spends some time chasing after sleazy gang leader GEORGE CORRAFACE and murdering lowlifes with KNIVES, GUNS and GENERAL BADASSITUDE. He meets goofy map salesman STEVE BUSCEMI.
Hi! I'll be your comic relief for today's movie.
He also meets probably-a-hooker VALERIA GOLINO.
And I'll be the underwritten love interest.
KURT and VALERIA are soon captured by a bunch of scummy-looking folks, and tied up in an old HOSPITAL. Creepy doctor BRUCE CAMPBELL appears with some TERRIBLE PROSTHETICS.
I'm the "Surgeon General", and I'm here to make sure the satire is juuuust subtle enough.
The hospital is populated by a bunch of self-maiming FREAKS who have had a shload of PLASTIC SURGERY and look like HORRIBLE MUTANTS.
AHAHAHA, GET IT???? Because people who live in L.A. are superficial and should be mocked for it!!!!!!
Real subtle. Now eat this poisoned dart, Ash-hole!
KURT subdues BRUCE, escapes via the power of SHEER OVERWHELMING MANLINESS and pulls VALERIA to freedom.
Turns out the gun-toting one-eyed psychopath is actually dangerous to hang around with. I'm offski!
She certainly seems like the type who makes a choice and sticks by it. I'll probably never see her again.
EXT. ABANDONED FREEWAY
KURT is pondering his next act of BRUTE MACHISMO when VALERIA shows up.
I've had all that time since literally the last scene to think this over, and I've decided to help you because I'm in love with you, strange mercenary I met just hours ago who keeps endangering my life.
There is some GANG VIOLENCE and VALERIA is shot.
This seems like quite a half-hearted attempt at dramatic irony.
Well, that was bizarrely abrupt. At least the social commentary is as incisive as ever.
KURT runs into STEVE once more, but is betrayed and captured! Also, he has a case of the SNIFFLES due to all the PLOT DEVICE he was injected with, but it doesn't affect anything tangibly.
EXT. ABANDONED STADIUM
KURT is brought to an arena to face off with GEORGE, while criminal GOONS watch on and eat popcorn.
Now I will force you into a supreme test of physicality to determine whether you live or die!
So, a fight to the death against your most fearsome henchman?
You might have expected that, but I have something far more nefarious in store for you!
In a display of unrivalled EVILDOING, GEORGE makes KURT play some basketball.
That's right, the tension is unbearable! He scores four baskets... but will he make five? No doubt everyone is on the edge of their seat!
KURT makes another basket.
Ummm... so is that it? Can I go?
That was more anti-climactic than I anticipated. Just hold on while I come up with another ordeal to test your mettle. I'm thinking a hot-dog eating contest...
There is a suspiciously convenient EARTHQUAKE, and KURT escapes the arena, only to run into PETER once again.
Whoah, gnarly dude. Fancy catching some waves?
I can't think of anything more ludicrous. But let's do that anyway!
KURT and PETER go surfing on an aftershock tsunami, during which KURT spots STEVE driving a convertible, somehow catches up with him, and leaps from the SURFBOARD into the back of his car. Yep.
Whoah, totally bodacious!
(surfs off into the night)
Did all that actually just happen? That's about the stupidest thing I've ever been involved in, and I've played a character called "Mister Shhh".
Shut the fuck up Donny, that's not even the dumbest thing that'll happen in the third act, let alone the movie.
INT. ABANDONED CRUISE SHIP
KURT and STEVE run afoul of transsexual gang leader PAM GRIER, because criminals respect and fear nothing more than a CHICK WITH A DICK.
You look uncannily like an old acquaintance of mine. There's only one way to be sure...
KURT grabs PAM by the goolies.
I was right! I'd know the curve of that crotch bulge anywhere. It's apparently how I greet all my old friends.
Yes, that is my penis. You can let go of it now.
OK then. Now, how about helping us stop George from using his magic doomsday device? If all the power goes out we might end up in a shitty NBC series, and no-one wants to see that.
Sure, it's not like every female who ever interacts with you ends up dead. Let's do this thang!
It turns out PAM has a cupboard full of HANG-GLIDERS, so they all fly thirty miles to ANAHEIM, because LOGIC can eat a big old cock.
EXT. HAPPY KINGDOM
KURT, STEVE, PAM and her gang of flying monkeys have a massive shoot-out with GEORGE and his gang, emerging triumphant because military hardware is clearly no match for VICTORIAN-ERA FLYING CONTRAPTIONS.
So George, does the fact that your staging ground is Disneyland have any hidden significance?
I was probably trying to make some sort of clever point about mass consumerism, but I think it got lost somewhere along the way.
KURT, PAM and STEVE grab the magic doomsday device, steal a helicopter and escape. GEORGE bazookas the shit out of the helicopter and somehow succeeds in only killing PAM and the other backseat passengers.
See Steve, what did I tell you? Dumb as all holy hell. Now do me a favour and fall out of the chopper to meet your inevitable doom.
At least I outlived the love interest.
(meets inevitable doom)
KURT downs the helicopter and emerges HEROICALLY UNSCATHED, but is soon SURROUNDED by STACY, CLIFF and a bunch of soldiers.
By the way, in case you hadn't twigged, that supposed neurotoxin we injected you with that's caused you nothing more than a mild case of the sniffles, was actually a mild dosage of the sniffles.
Oh well, "fool me once" and all that.
KURT is circled by SOLDIERS who open fire, inexplicably not killing themselves despite firing directly towards each other. But it turns out KURT is actually a HOLOGRAM!
Dang, you've ironically bested me. I suppose now I'm due some form of satisfying come-uppance as you walk off into the sunset.
Nope, instead I'll use the magic doomsday device to shut off all the world's power, killing thousands and consigning millions more to death, effectively turning me from an iconic cinematic antihero into a cold-blooded and unscrupulous mass murderer.
This is ACTUALLY THE WAY THE MOVIE ENDS.
INT. NURSING HOME, SOME TIME IN THE LATE-2000S
A nurse answers the ringing PHONE and passes the receiver to a FRAIL OLD MAN in a rocking chair.
DIRECTOR JOHN CARPENTER
(for it is he)
Hello? ... New Line Cinema you say? ... Remake 'Escape From New York' you say? What a great idea! Some idiots tried that in the 90s and it was awful, but we'll show 'em how it's done!
(hangs up and turns to the occupant of the next rocking chair)
Well old buddy, our path back to relevance starts right here. I swear to God, Kurt, I thought we were dead!
Yeah, you and everybody else.