Kids in movies were either always getting killed or always killing somebody, for one thing.
No scene from a horror movie today is as startling as the act of violence against an innocent child in John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 was in 1976.
It’s no surprise that the 2005 remake cut this scene out.
Note (if you choose to watch that disturbing video clip) how slow movies were in the 70s.
Tarantino replicated that discomfitting “slow burn” in certain scenes in Inglorious Basterds (the only scenes I admired), but I fear they left most viewers confused and impatient.
Action movies like Jaws or Death Wish or even Dirty Harry are full of big long chunks of nothing, which seem pretty stupid in retrospect since they do nothing to enhance genuinely effective scenes. These “boring” parts aren’t atmospheric a la Badlands. They just seem like filler. Whereas that scene in Assault is John Carpenter at his wait-for-it best.
When it came out in 1975, the New York Times celebrated John Huston’s film [The Man Who Would Be King] for its “gloriously old-fashioned approach,” and especially its main characters’ “politically incorrect attitudes,” and Roger Ebert praised it as “escapist entertainment … unabashed and thrilling and fun.”
Were anyone to make this film today – and they wouldn’t, trust me – it’s a sure thing that neither Ebert nor the New York Times would be quite so complimentary. As many of my friends who lived through the ‘70s have come to ruefully realize, despite the bad clothes and hideous politics and overall sense of defeat and despair, we were probably a lot freer as a culture and a society than we are today.