“It’s a siege. It’s a goddamn siege!”
About as close to perfect as low-budget, economic genre filmmaking can get. Carpenter’s spartan, precise camera glides around capturing glorious PanaVision compositions. This is still early Carpenter and you can feel him finding his feet, but the discipline in the cutting and plotting as well as the Hawksian characterisation across the board is so damn pleasing. Just a gorgeous hybrid of traditional, unfussy steady-hand aesthetics with modern (for 1976) grindhouse edge. Then there’s the score, which ticks and throbs me into doom-laden synthesizer heaven every damn viewing. Assault on Precinct 13 is John Carpenter: Ground Zero. Everything we love about this filmmaker is right here in one way or another. I love this goddamn movie.