Carpenter however isn't only a master of horror, he's usually a master of storytelling and film-making in general.
Assault On Precinct 13 mostly takes place in an old Police Station that's set to be decommissioned, First Lieutenant Ethan Bishop (Austin Stoker) is assigned to run the place with another sergeant and two secretaries for the night before it permanently closes.
Then the film closes the gap on three parallel events.
Firstly a bus of three passengers being transported, one of which is on the way to death row, stops at the Station for help due to one of the prisoners being sick.
Then there's a man and his young daughter travelling, when the daughter is shot by a gang member, the man follows and manages to kill the shooter, then escapes to the Station.
And finally, the third parallel event is of a local street gang who have vowed revenge on the police after six of them were gunned down, and onto the man who killed one of their own so they follow him to the Station.
'Assault' is a decent film, it's not afraid to be brutal or funny but you can tell it's only John's second feature film.
Unfortunately, I believe it should have had more to it though than a simple plot and siege.
There were too many things left open to tell a full story, but I guess that's where it's quite realistic. We don't always get the answers we're looking for and we're not always happy with what we do get.
I did enjoy the character development, direction, cinematography and pretty much everything else though.
I also loved that even though it's not a horror film, it's clear to see there were some horror influences throughout such as the claustrophobia, a seemingly endless horde of people breaking into the building to kill the main characters just like a zombie film and the sombre tone and atmosphere reminded me sometimes of another John Carpenter flick, Prince Of Darkness.
This release as per usual with Second Sight's blu-ray releases is beautiful in both sight and sound, which is only made better by John Carpenter's score.
Let's move on to the SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Audio Commentary with John Carpenter - Unfortunately as with most John Carpenter commentaries, this is quite a dull commentary, it is nice to hear about how the film was made and behind the scenes stories however.
- Audio Commentary with Art Director and Sound Effects Designer Tommy Lee Wallace - Tommy Lee Wallace speaks with Michael Felcher (Dvd producer and film maker) about his friendship with John Carpenter, the origin of the film and many other things.
- Return To Precinct 13: An Interview With Actor Austin Stoker (09:28) - Austin Stoker speaks about what made him want to be an actor, some older projects in and out of movies and more.
- FilmMaking With John: An Interview With Tommy Lee Wallace (21:41) - Tommy Lee Wallace elaborates on some stories he spoke about in the audio commentary including how he and John became friends and what they got up to as youngsters.
- Producing Precinct 13: An Interview With Executive Producer Joseph Kaufman (15:39) - Joseph Kaufman speaks about how he got into the film industry and how he connected with John Carpenter and what lead up to his work on this film.
- Captain Voyeur - John Carpenter Student Film (08:27) - As it says on the tin, a short film by John Carpenter back in his student days. It's a black and white short that to be honest isn't exactly good but is a nice insight on what Carpenter wanted to make before his stardom.
- Do You Remember Laurie Zimmer? (53:41) - A french documentary by Charlotte Szlovak about her search for her friend and female lead of Assault On Precinct 13, Laurie Zimmer. It's interesting to find out about Zimmer's story behind the scenes and her disappearance from acting and seemingly the world. (Don't worry, she's still alive and as it's public knowledge, she lives a happily married life)
- Interview With John Carpenter and Austin Stoker (23:08) - A 2002 interview at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. This is where John shines, you can see he connects well with people and is happy to talk about the film and tell jokes, he and Austin bounce off each other as they answer questions but also respectfully listen to each other.
- The Sassy One With Actor Nancy Loomis (12:44) - A Shout! Factory interview with Nancy Loomis about her life in and out of movies, and how she got involved with this movie and John Carpenter.
- Radio Spots
In all, the film to me could have been better despite it being a decent film already. It's like I've mentioned, there's just not a full story there, it feels incomplete.
But this release makes it look and sound more beautiful than it ever has before and is packed full of interviews and even has what I believe to be an otherwise unreleased short film by John Carpenter.
So because of those reasons, I have to give the film and release:
You can pre-order the 40th anniversary edition Box Set with 5 art cards and a bonus CD soundtrack by clicking here.