This article contains several comparisons which contrast the older Paramount Blu-ray transfer with the new Shout Factory (Scream Factory) restoration. The frames aren’t necessarily exact matches, but should give a solid indication of the visual differences.
The new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray edition of Escape From L.A. streets May 26.
Shout Factory’s newest offering in their John Carpenter library is 1996’s Snake Plissken sequel Escape From L.A.
Their Collector’s Edition Blu-ray package includes a new 4K film scan from the original negative, in addition to a wealth of new bonus features.
In reviewing the transfers, I don’t actually have very strong opinions on this one; both transfers look quite good and I’d happily watch either. Generally speaking, the new transfer tends to be darker. Detail level is better in some ways as the 4K scan has greater fidelity and finer grain, but on the other hand some details are lost in the generally darker appearance.
Above: Right off the bat, the titles demonstrate an increased sharpness as the light bleed coming off of the graphics are now gone; the text is crisp and well defined.
In terms of colorization, the old transfer tends to be brighter and more vivid, while Shout Factory’s transfer is a little more muted. Which is preferable? If you want to lean into the cartoonish lunacy of film’s silliness, you might like the prior. For fans of Escape From New York that prefer that darker imagery, you appreciate that this new edition does a better job of channeling that specific nocturnal vibe.
The biggest clear benefit to my eyes is that the film’s compositing and effects, which have always looked a little wonky, don’t look quite as garish in this new light. The film’s worst looking segments is the oddly composited surfing scene, which also depicts Steve Buscemi driving a car in parallel. Notice the cartoonish auto glass, which looks much more natural now.
While I’m not sure that the new disc’s picture quality is alone worth an upgrade, the wealth of extras is absolutely stellar. The prior disc had only a trailer; for their Collector’s Edition Shout Factory has added several beefy new interview features.
- NEW A Little Bit Off Beat — An Interview With Actor Stacy Keach (7:55)
- NEW Beverly Hills Workshed — An Audio Interview With Actor Bruce Campbell (9:10)
- NEW Part of the Family — An Interview With Peter Jason (25:55)
- NEW Miss A Shot, Get A Shot — An Interview With George Corraface (14:37)
- NEW One Eye Is Better Than None — An Interview With Special Effects Artist Jim McPherson (17:58)
- NEW The Renderman — An Interview With Visual Effects Artist David Jones (19:04)
- Theatrical Trailer (1:34)
- TV Spots (2:26)
- Still Gallery (7:31)