Assault on Precinct 13/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Assault on Precinct 13


  • Following the release of his first feature, Dark Star (1974), John Carpenter was approached by a group of investors who gave him carte blanche to make whatever kind of picture he wanted, albeit with a very limited budget. Although Carpenter wanted to make a Western, he knew he wouldn't have the resources to make a period piece. He wrote this film as a highly stylized, modern-day western, essentially remaking Rio Bravo (1959), which was directed by Carpenter's hero, Howard Hawks. Carpenter acknowledges this debt to Hawks and "Rio Bravo" by using the pseudonym of John T. Chance for his film editor's credit, which was the name of John Wayne's character in "Rio Bravo".
  • The assault takes place on Precinct 9, Division 13
  • Many have noted the title misnomer, since there is no "Precinct 13" in the film. At first, Carpenter wanted to call the film "The Anderson Alamo" (the original title of his screenplay), and, at one point, he changed the working title to "The Siege." CKK, the film's distributor, was responsible for the misnomer; they rejected Carpenter's titles and came up with the name "Assault on Precinct 13" (which they felt was more ominous sounding) during post-production.
  • Director Cameo: [John Carpenter] as one of the gang members shot trying to climb in through a window
  • The editor for this film is credited as John T. Chance (John Carpenter's pseudonym). John T. Chance is the character John Wayne plays in Rio Bravo, the film that was one of the main inspirations for Assault on Precinct 13.
  • The precinct's new address, 1977 Ellendale Place (written on a sign erected in front of the building), was director John Carpenter's real address when he first lived in Los Angeles.
  • Darwin Joston's portrayal of convict Napoleon Wilson is inspired by Charles Bronson's character "Harmonica" in C'era una volta il West (1968); when asked to explain themselves and their actions, both respond "Only at the point of dyin'.."
  • The MPAA threatened an "X" rating if the shocking "ice cream scene" wasn't cut. The distributor advised John Carpenter to give the MPAA a version with the scene excised to get an "R" rating, and then simply distribute the original version complete with the scene. The ruse worked.
  • John Carpenter has said that he based his score to this film on both Lalo Schifrin's score to Dirty Harry (1971) and Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song".
  • The story that Ethan Bishop (Austin Stoker) tells about his father sending him to the police station when he was 6 years old with a note, is actually a true story of Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock told this to François Truffaut in Truffaut's book "Hitchcock".
  • Shot in only 20 days.
  • The theme music has been sampled by Bomb the Bass (Hip-Hop on Precinct 13) and the bass line used by U2 on "New Years Day"
  • For reasons unknown, the German title of the original theatrical release was "Das Ende" (which, quiet obviously, translates back to "The End"), a title completely unrelated to the movie's content.
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