Spotlight: John Carpenter movies at Mall of America

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2013 - 3:43 PM

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK -- Kurt Russell stars in the 1981 futuristic film, which envisions Manhattan as a maximum-security prison where the worst criminals are sent.

HORROR AT MOA

John Carpenter, who launched the slasher cycle with “Halloween,” is the ideal filmmaker to usher in the ghoulish month of October. He’s getting a welcome retrospective with a Tuesday-night series of classics, near-classics and not-really classics at the Mall of America multiplex. Oct. 1 it’s “Escape From New York,” with Kurt Russell as tougher-than-tough Snake Plissken, a dangerous convict assigned to rescue the President from a futuristic Manhattan that has become a lawless penal colony. It’s great action filmmaking goosed with deliciously cynical political commentary. On the 8th the star and general idea are needlessly recycled in “Escape from L.A.,” which directs its satire at easy targets like crazed surfers and plastic surgeons. “They Live,” a prescient sci-fi comic thriller showing Oct. 15, stars pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper as a construction worker who discovers sunglasses that strip away superficial appearances to reveal that society’s rulers are alien cadavers. The brilliant remake “The Thing” is a paranoid masterpiece about an alien entity that kills, then takes over the identities, of researchers at a remote Antarctic outpost. The capper on the 29th is Prince of Darkness,” a flimsy exercise in modern-day mysticism concerning a Los Angeles church whose basement contains a diabolical power. Keep an eye peeled for a walking-dead cameo by Alice Cooper. (All shows $5; 7:30 p.m. Theatres at Mall of America, 952-882-8900.)

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