If “Night of the Living Dead” and “The Warriors” had a baby, it would be named “Assault on Precinct 13.”
Deep in the heart of south-central Los Angeles, a rag tag group must fight for their lives against a ruthless street gang. As if that weren’t sweet enough, the gang is called “Street Thunder.” Street Thunder! You can take your Bloods and Crips and cram ‘em, buster. Street Thunder is here and they are gonna fuck… shit… up! These guys are gonna hide in the bushes and shoot guns all up in the de-commissioned police station your hiding in. They’re gonna try and climb in through the windows. These bad-asses are out for blood. But they won’t utter a single word the whole time! They’re just super scary that way. This all goes on for about an hour and a half, but after about 20 minutes, it gets pretty old.
The movie was written and directed by John Carpenter, and I love John Carpenter. As a kid I watched “Big Trouble in Little China” so many times I broke the tape. “They Live” is probably the best movie ever made. But “Assault on Precinct 13” has not held up since it’s debut nearly 35 years ago. Street Thunder, while totally frightening in 1976, I’m sure, just can’t hold a candle to the gangs of the ‘90s to which we’ve all become desensitized. This is not to say the movie doesn’t have it’s saving graces. Without completely spilling the beans, there is an awesome scene involving a little blonde girl, ice cream, and bullets.
The movie does have a certain camp value. I wouldn’t advise that you watch it alone, but with some friends, you could totally get your monies worth from “Assault on Precinct 13.” And afterwards, track down a copy of “They Live” and watch that too.