Assault on Precinct 13 remains one of John Carpenter's best movies. I doubt he would speak so favorable of this movie. On his audio commentary track for Image Entertainment's DVD release of Assault on Precinct 13, he frequently laments about the movie's slow pacing. If he had edited it today, he would've tightened up the movie considerably. However, I think one of the movie's greatest virtues is its deliberate pacing in the introductory scenes.
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