Genre Pictures V

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Assault on Precinct 13

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 2, 2015

They killed that kid from Escape from Witch Mountain! Right at the beginning of the movie! Assault on Precinct 13 is one of those Sam Fuller, Honeymoon Killers-type low budget films. If you’re expecting the glossy norm you might miss the real deal that they’ve accomplished here: film like a battleground. Love. Hate. Action. Violence. Death. In one word . . . emotion. (I just borrowed all that from Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, in which the actual Fuller actually spoke those words.)

This budget issue is important. I guess we want broadcast quality to help us suspend our disbelief. You don’t have to be a Marxist to find that weird. John Carpenter’s film—you know what? I’m going to call it John Carpenter’s masterpiece—brings Hitchcock’s Psycho to mind, and some of the basic lessons that it left us with: films are fake, and some films know it, admit it, and craft terrific things out of that artificiality.