Grindhouse

Assault on Precinct 13

Austin Stoker will join us IN PERSON, schedule permitting, to discuss this action-packed grindhouse double feature!

Combat Cops

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Assault on Precinct 13

Austin Stoker is a just-promoted lieutenant whose first assignment is to oversee a quiet, final night at a closed-down suburban ghetto precinct after its personnel are transferred to a new station. But several unrelated events conspire to create a nightmare: a police ambush of a heavily-armed street gang the day before; a man in shock (Martin West) showing up, unable to explain his daughter has just been murdered; and a prison bus transferring four men to death row making an unexpected stop. With phone lines cut, faceless hordes of gang bangers with silenced weapons attack the station under cover of darkness, in search of West who has killed one of their own. One of Stoker’s men, the prison official and two prisoners die, and Stoker finds himself so shorthanded he must trust one of the hardened convicts (Darwin Joston) to aid him in holding off the seemingly endless stream of marauders. Director John Carpenter supplies an expert escalation of dread and chaos, making an astonishingly assured second film, mingling tropes from sources as diverse as Howard Hawks westerns (i.e. Rio Bravo) and George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

“A much more complex film than Mr. Carpenter’s Halloween …its eerie power comes from the kind of unexplained, almost supernatural events one expects to find in a horror movie but not in a melodrama…Mr. Carpenter’s ability to construct films entirely out of action and movement suggests that he may one day be a director to rank with Don Siegel.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times

View the full set of Spanish lobby cards for Assault on Precinct 13 on the New Beverly forum.

Garret Mathany discusses Assault on Precinct 13 on the New Beverly blog.

Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
Year
1976
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
91 minutes

Combat Cops

Director William Girdler (Abby, Grizzly, The Manitou) helms one of his most obscure, hard-to-see exploitation pictures. Austin Stoker is a hardnosed Louisville cop tasked with finding an out-of-control serial killer on a mysterious revenge quest who leaves taunting notes at the scenes of his crimes. Filled with fresh, unfamiliar location work and a catalogue of some of the most absurd hardboiled dialogue in any crime film, Combat Cops (aka The Zebra Killer)engages the audience from the start and never lets up. Girdler’s trademark energy and enthusiasm for his material shine through, delivering some of the purest grindhouse pleasure to be found from the 1970s.

“This urban thriller is crude, violent, lovably vile, and the type of flick I wish I could’ve first enjoyed in an old 42nd Street grindhouse…its ballsy, anything-goes sensibilities continually makes up for any shortcomings.” – Steven Puchalski, Shock Cinema

Director
William Girdler
Starring
Austin Stoker, James Pickett, Hugh Smith, Charles Kissinger, Valerie Rogers, Tom Brooks, D'Urville Martin
Year
1974
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
90 minutes

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