Escape From New York

“You’re all I got.”

He’s the best at what he does, but what he does isn’t very nice.

Sporting an eye patch and a Statue of Liberty-sized chip on his shoulder, Kurt Russell gets down ‘n snarly as a convict dropped into the Big Apple hellscape of far-off 1997.

His mission – bring back the President, whose plane has crashed in the bad part of town, by any means necessary.

Director John Carpenter spent the ’70s and ’80s churning out a legendary list of films, many which didn’t get their proper due until years later.

This is one of his best.

 

Emperor of the North

“You had the juice, kid, but not the heart.”

Lee Marvin was made of flint, spitting out dialogue like his mouth was a nail gun.

That’s showcased beautifully in this fairly unknown tale of a train-riding hobo battling with a sadistic train conductor who has vowed to kill any man who tries to catch a ride without a ticket.

The hammer-wielding brute is Ernest Borgnine, big and beefy and full of bile, and the two silver screen titans match up well.

Battling for supremacy as the Great Depression provides the background, the duo brawl like wild animals.

Ride or die.

The Wild Bunch

Let the bullets fly.

Raining down hot lead, the anti-heroes at the heart of this blood-spattered Western exit in style, shooting their way into the sunset.

Notorious in its day for its crackling violence (and lack of anyone wearing a white hat), it still has a sizable impact, even if it doesn’t make viewers clutch their pearls as hard now.

Look past the blood squibs and bullet holes, and you get a beautifully melancholy tale of men who’ve outlived their time.

The old ways are fading, but they’ll be damned if they don’t go out in a blaze of glory.