How Kurt Russell Wound Up Facing Off With A Real Wrestler In Escape From New York – SlashFilm


According to Collider, Russell’s stunt double, Dick Warlock (who played Michael Myers in “Halloween II”) bore the brunt of Baker’s beating, and his face was left so bruised that John Carpenter couldn’t use him any longer. Russell, then, had to step in for the fight scenes, and some of them were scary to witness. Baker swung a club at Russell and some of his last-minute trash can lid blocks were genuine.

In the film, Snake Plissken eventually dispatches Slag by impaling the back of his skull with an outsize nail attached to a club. The club sticks in Slag’s head and he staggers around for a moment before falling down dead. To achieve the effect, Russell had to swing a club into a block of wood that had been affixed to the back of Baker’s head. It doesn’t sound pleasant even if Russell hit the block dead on, but if he missed, he would thwack Baker in the head. Baker was incredibly nervous about the scene, perhaps sensing that Russell had had enough of his wrestling shenanigans. Luckily, Russell hit the block of wood with precision.

On the DVD commentary track for “Escape from New York,” recorded in 2003, Russell revealed that he had an additional, somewhat aggressive way to keep Baker in line. Baker was being too rough and Russell repeatedly asked the lummox to get better about not hitting so hard. When Baker wouldn’t listen, the 5’9″ Russell found the best way to threaten a 6’6″ wrestler. It involved a well-placed flick.

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