Carpenter wrote “Escape from New York” in the early ’70s. The anti-hero, Snake Plissken, was no doubt inspired by the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War, but Hollywood wasn’t ready. project such a dark character and story into the world. Based on Cinephilia and beyond, when Carpenter tried to sell the script, the studios ignored it because it was “too violent, too scary, and too weird.” So, Carpenter dropped the script and focused all of his attention on the legendary killer TV series, “Halloween”. I guess the violence is acceptable if it’s done by a masked psychopath.
The “Philadelphia Experiment” is said to have happened aboard the USS Eldridge in 1943. According to the story, the US government wanted to make a ship completely invisible to human eyes and enemy radar, and then do let it reappear. Legend has it that they actually pulled it out, but the crew on board suffered the mental and physical effects of disappearing and reappearing in thin air. Most disturbingly, rumors say that some of the crew actually fused with the ship’s metal when it reappeared. It’s a monstrous story, but the Carpenter admit that he doesn’t know how to turn rumors and speculation into an interesting scenario:
“I thought it was a good story until I started writing the script and realized it didn’t have a third scene. So I went to Bob Rehme on a bent knee and I said, ‘I can’t do it. got this. I don’t know how to make it work.'”
https://www.slashfilm.com/1022364/the-failed-project-that-pushed-john-carpenter-to-make-escape-from-new-york/ The failed project prompted John Carpenter to flee New York