Separated by 15 years, John Carpenter’s two films following antihero Snake Plissken’s missions into the futuristic hellscapes of New York and Los Angeles are technically sequential. But anyone that’s seen the movies knows that Escape From L.A. follows more than just the story arc of the original Escape From New York, and even recreates many of the original shots.
Now, a new side-by-side comparison video from director Pablo Fernández Eyre shows the lengths to which Carpenter went to duplicate the first film with the second. Interestingly, the films stick relatively close with their real-life timelines, with the original released in 1981 and set to take place in 1997, while the sequel was released in 1996 and said to take place in 2013. The shot-for-shot symmetry begins with the opening title sequence and follows the numerous moments of duplication, right down to the silly hat worn by Steve Buscemi. Of course, both have a healthy share of original material, like the sequel’s very California scene in which Snake goes surfing.
While Carpenter’s feat in duplicating his previous work is commendable in the sheer attention to detail, it might have also been a factor as to why the original film is beloved as a cult classic and the follow-up is not held in the same high esteem.