Trivia / Escape from L.A.

  • Dyeing for Your Art: Averted. It was expected that Kurt Russell would have to work out or a new costume would have to be made for the actor because it had been 15 years since Escape from New York. As it turned out, Russell kept himself in such good shape that the original costume fit without needing any alterations.
  • Cast of Expies: Most of the major characters in this are fulfilling a role similar to that in Escape from New York.
    • Cuervo Jones -> The Duke
    • Map To The Stars Eddie -> Cabbie
    • Carjack Malone/Hershey Las Palmas -> Brain
    • Malloy -> Bob Hauk
    • In fact, the only major character who isn't an Expy is Snake.
  • Real-Life Relative: One of the orphans seen early on in the film is, in fact, Kurt Russell's own son, Wyatt.
  • Sequel Gap: The first movie Escape from New York was released in 1981. It took 15 years but Escape From LA was finally released in 1996.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Just as its predecessor was this to the early '80s when New York City and other old East Coast/Midwestern cities were seen as trapped in an intractable downward spiral, so is this film to the late '90s, when Los Angeles' public image had taken a beating in the wake of the Rodney King riots, the Rampart scandal, and the rise of Gangsta Rap. The President Evil of the dystopian near-future United States is a Christian theocrat based on Jerry Falwell (right down to them sharing the same hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia), reflecting public concern over the power of the Christian Right at the time. The villain Cuervo Jones is a member of the Shining Path, a Peruvian communist revolutionary group that, in the film, has taken over all of Latin America and is poised to invade the US; in real life, the Shining Path was already being rolled up by the Peruvian military by 1996, and is largely disorganized today. There's even a joke made at the expense of Euro Disney Resort, with one character claiming that it drove Disney into bankruptcy. On the other hand, the fact that one of the minor characters is a woman who was dumped onto the Los Angeles prison island for being a Muslim proved eerily prescient, given how The War on Terror stoked anti-Muslim attitudes throughout the US and Europe.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In the original script Taslima was explicitly a Brainless Beauty ("the face of a Persian princess...and basically has an IQ of around 50" as the script puts it.)
    • The script originally ended differently. While Snake learned that the Plutoxin virus was a fake and Utopia is seized and sent to the electric chair, the President doesn't televise his threat to stop the Cuban incursion force headed to Miami. Malloy and the President pardon Snake and allow him to walk free, and he discovers the real prototype (having been thrown away by the President when he thought it was a decoy) and activates the world code. As the power goes out in the area, all of the gangs in L.A. besiege the security base and start to scale the wall, rescuing Utopia from the electric chair before attacking police officers. The film would have ended with Snake watching the carnage before Riding into the Sunset.
  • Written by Cast Member: Kurt Russell served as co-writer. The ending was his idea.


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