Hopelessly violent but exceedingly well made police thriller (1976), short on motivation but long on paranoia. The second film by John Carpenter, it has wit, flair, and movement, even though the hommages to Howard Hawks get a little heavy at times. (The plot is lifted from Rio Bravo and the editing is credited to one “John T. Chance”—the name of John Wayne’s character in the same film.) The fine low-budget cast includes Austin Stoker and Laurie Zimmer.