- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 31 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: February 3, 2009
- Originally Released: 1976
- Label: Image Entertainment
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Collectors Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35
- Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Surround - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Interview - John Carpenter, Director; Austin Stoker, Actor
- Additional Audio Material: Isolated Music Score
- Audio Commentary: John Carpenter, Director
- Theatrical Trailer
- Radio Spots
- Galleries: Production Gallery
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"In my situation, days are like women...each one's so damn precious, but they all end up leaving you."
- Napoleon Wilson (Darwin Joston)
"I like killin' pigs. I like hearin' 'em squeal. Wieeeeee!"
- Gang member
Sight and Sound - 12/01/1977
"...PRECINCT 13 is filled with delectable bits of business in direction and performances..."
New York Times - 08/18/1979
"...Carpenter is an extremely resourceful director [with an] ability to construct film entirely out of action and movement..."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/14/2003
"...A tight, tense thriller....Carpenter's eerie score and Douglas Knapp's stylish cinematography give this low-budget shoot-out all the weight of an urban RIO BRAVO..."
Uncut - 02/01/2005
Uncut - 01/01/2006
Ranked #20 in Uncut's Best DVDs Of 2005 -- "Carpenter's film is a classic in its own right, a benchmark of lean action cinema."
Empire - 05/01/2008
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] stripped-down thriller....It owes as much to George A. Romero as Howard Hawks....Raw and visceral..."
A.V. Club - 11/20/2013
"ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13's shootouts boast a swift, gripping brutality..." -- Grade: A-
Director John Carpenter's second film is a brutal, realistic story about the siege of a small police precinct by a violent and well-armed gang. The gang is seeking the man who killed some of their members in revenge for the accidental shooting of his daughter. After the father enacts his revenge, he wanders to the police precinct in a distraught state. The poorly manned precinct is being phased out of use, and is unprepared for the relentless assult which ensues. The violence in ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 was shocking for its time and has remained so over the years since its release, mainly due to the stark, unaffected direction of a young John Carpenter. Insipired by the cowboy and indian movies Carpenter watched as a boy, the film is more than just an action movie, as it shows the desperation and courage of people living in a violent society. Produced with a modest budget and without Hollywood backing, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is a fine example of how a powerful film can be made with limited resources.
Description by Image Entertainment:
In this unrelenting action masterpiece from director John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York), a police station under siege from a vicious street gang becomes a cataclysmic battleground where only the strongest survive! Inspired by Howard Hawks' immortal western, Rio Bravo, this explosive gem from one of cinema's great frightmasters has been newly restored with a host of high-powered extras!
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is an early John Carpenter film with explosive impact. A backwater L.A. police station gets lively fast when a man avenges the murder of his daughter and then takes shelter from the murderous gang in the 13th precinct house. Purportedly an homage to Howard Hawks, it matters little when the riotous action starts.
- Theatrical Release: November 5, 1976.
- ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is an homage to RIO BRAVO, a 1959 film directed by Howard Hawks.
- As with most of his films, director John Carpenter also wrote the musical score.