Assault On Precinct 13

Thaddeus O’Connor-Dunphie

Assault on precinct 13 1976


A police ambush occurs and they successfully find and kill several gang members in Los Angeles. After that the leaders of the gangs make a pact of blood to work together and get revenge on the police, and they conduct a siege on the police station which is almost abandoned and due to be closed very soon. The staff of the closing precinct and the criminals being held there in the cells while in transit must work together to fight off the attacking gang members and make it out alive.

This movie starts off and in the opening scene it also starts playing the main soundtrack which is used for the movie, the director of this film John Carpenter actually conducted the soundtrack for this film too so even directors can come from musical backgrounds. The soundtrack of the film uses synthesizer hooks, electronic drones and drum machines  it is a guitar playing in a low deep sound which makes you the watcher feel uneasy and nervous and on your toes for some action. The main theme took inspiration from other songs such as Lalo Schifrin score to Dirty Harry and Led Zeppelins Immigrant song.

When we are then suddenly introduced to a gang of people hiding and sneaking around this dark creepy dusty estate of some sort. We see in the bottom left corner of the scene it says Anderson, California a Los Angeles ghetto. They had most likely been an illegal gang committing crime as we find out that they are hiding from the police. The gang of people then hide up against the wall and then we see the policemen with rifles in their hands that are pointing downwards at the gang below from the opposite wall. The gang then make a run for it trying to escape from being shot to death or being caught and locked up. There are lots of camera shots in this scene as we see the camera tracking and following the gang and when the police pull out their guns and there is a very quick cut to the guns and we see them pointing downwards at the gang. So we can clearly see the props in this scene are guns and rifles.

After the quick cut to the police men having a clear shot on the gang there is suddenly some extremely loud and powerful rifles from the police officers suddenly start being shot which I think is meant to make the audience jump up out of their seats it is like a jump scare which is a common theme in horror genre films, and then we see each member of the gang drop to the floor and die from the shot of the guns. As we see the setting of this scene we notice how dark and grim it looks and this is the mise en scene of the movie, this could likely be so that it causes the audience to feel scared and confused because we don’t know what’s going on, where we are and what this movie is about, the scene then ends and comes to an end where a transition is used fading out the scene and then turning into another scene. Then there is a panning shot which moves from left hand side of the screen over to right hand side, the camera does this in a very slow and steady manor which then shows a sketchy rundown building, it does not look like the most attractive of places and definitely a location where some bad things would go down. We then see a box and inside this box is a load of guns are lined up next to each other. So from what I have seen so far I can clearly tell and understand that this is an action film as there are lots of guns and we have just seen a gang get shot down by the police so there is no doubt in my mind that this is an action movie.

So from this opening scene I can easily identify the mise en scene of this movie, the sound of the movie, the genre of the movie, the camera shots of the movie and last but not least the editing of the movie. So firstly I can see the mise en scene of this movie is in a dark, scary and rundown area. I can see there are props of guns and rifles which gives off the impression of action and danger, the mise en scene is also similar to a horror film because the location looks dark and haunted. So the film plays with a mix of genres here and then the scene fades out with a transition to the next scene. The sound of the movie is very action/mysterious and dangerous all in one. The guitar is very low pitched as it begins strumming over and over and this affects the audience by feeling on the edge of their seat and uncomfortable because they don’t know what’s going to happen. The sound has a huge impact in the opening scene of the movie because it fits in really well with what’s happening and going on. As I said before I can clearly see that this is an action themed movie because of the shootout which happens as the police fire down onto the gang and because of the fact that there are lots of props of guns and rifles and even the music sounds action typed which proves the fact even more that it’s action. Then I can see the camera shots of the film as there are a large amounts of them from long shots to close ups and panning shots. There is a wide shot as it shows the gang all lined up in order walking and sneaking around the ghetto. Then there is a close up for when the gang hide up against the wall and a long shot above which then leads into a close up of the police pointing down their riffles of the gang, there are many camera shots and they are all used very well. And lastly I can identify the editing of this movie, there are lots of cuts and transitions between different shots. In addition to this before the film begins there is a small credits section of who has made the film on a black screen with red writing most likely to represent blood. Then there is a cut to the actual movie where we see the gang and police, and then once this scene ends there is a transition which makes the scene fade out and change into the next one.


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