John Carpenter's Escape From New York was the blueprint for all other action films of the early 80's. Set in the not too distant crime plagued year of 1997, the film is a chilling representation of a new America which has turned into a police state and the entire island of Manhattan is turned into the one maximum security prison for the dregs of a society beginning to crumble. Kurt Russel plays S.D. "Snake" Pliskin, a once highly decorated soldier, now a man sentenced to life imprisonment for a failed bank robbery. But before he is to be sentenced, the President (played by long time Carpenter collaborator Donald Pleasance,) finds himself and his jettisoned escape pod from Air Force one to be the latest inhabitants of a savage New York. The Chief of the United States Police Force (veteran B-movie actor Lee Van Cleef) makes Pliskin a deal, find the President within 24 hrs and Pliskin will receive a pardon for his crimes but there's one catch, the Chief has a technician place 2 microscopic explosive charges in Pliskin's neck which will explode within the 24 hr deadline. It soon becomes a race against time for pliskin to find the President, retrieve a briefcase which was suppose to be delivered to a summit meeting between the Chinese and the Soviets in Hartford, CT of all places, and keep his head from exploding. Escape From New York is one of my all time favorite action/Sci-fi films and was shot for a staggering amount ($6,000,000.) It's the perfect blend of science fiction, a 40s detective noir, and a western to some extent. A must see and own for any fan of such genres.