Martin Campbell directs Ray Liotta, Scott Wilson and Lance Henriksen in this sci-fi prison movie where a convict is dumped on a wild secret island where the criminals have divided into two feudal tribes.
I sneaked into Central London to watch No Escape at the shittier Leicester Square Odeon. Probably blew two weeks paper round money and I certainly did not have my parents permission. No idea why this was the movie that made me break the rules and cross the boundaries of how far out of Hanwell I was allowed to go by myself. It was sci-fi, which was my main jam back then. Lance Henrikesen was in it which was the gold seal of approval to 14 year old me. And I all really remember from my illicit trip was the rumble of the Dolby Sound System. The sound system slapped. The movie itself is adequate but still right up my street. It could be a couple of clicks more action heavy. Ray Liotta is far better at menacing than he is straight laced action hero but doesn’t feel out of place. You can tell the Australian production crew loved creating this salvaged feudal world and the sheer scale of the cast and open air sets is genuinely impressive. Probably more so now than back then. The highlight is Scott Wilson’s super hammy dreadlocked villain – kind of a corporate Head of Sales for cannibal living. Not sure how his verbose, genial rotter has managed not to be usurped by his town of savages but I guess that is part of the silly excess. No Escape is precisely as fine and limited as I remember it being but it still hits a spot that isn’t really being catered for anymore. Art is all well and good but violent kinetics are what got me into cinema. This unashamed B-movie delivers with a lack of fuss.
Perfect Double Bill: Escape From New York (1981)
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