Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

In John Carpenter's gripping, R-rated, cult classic horror-action thriller - about an LA officer's defense of a nearly-deserted precinct station (Precinct 9, Division 13) against gang members - the director's modernized homage to Howard Hawks' western Rio Bravo (1959):

  • the film's most controversial scene - a gang sniper's infamous shooting of a defenseless little girl named Kathy (Kim Richards); she had just bought an ice cream cone from the driver-vendor in a blue ice-cream van; but as she walked away, she noticed that she had been given the wrong flavor - she said to herself: "Hey, this is regular vanilla"; she turned around to walk back to the truck, where she complained: "I wanted vanilla twist!"; she was coldly shot point-blank by the white gang leader-sniper (with a long gun silencer), who had just knocked out the vendor; the sniper then put two bullets into the downed vendor; Kathy's father Lawson (Martin West) was nearby making a call in a phone booth
  • after his call, the sequence of Lawson discovering his daughter's dead body next to the van, and then grabbing a gun from the van and pursuing the getaway car; by 7 pm that night, he confronted the sniper and shot him dead, although there would be revenge from the sniper's three warlord buddies; Lawson raced to the precinct station where he reported he was being followed - but he was so traumatized, comatose and catatonic that he couldn't provide details
Lawson Viewing His Daughter's Dead Body
Sniper Shot Dead
  • the long siege and attack on an abandoned police station (in a suburb of LA known as Anderson) by a violent, multi-racial urban, South Central LA street gang with silencer guns, known as Street Thunder - the station was defended by Lt. Ethan Bishop (Austin Stoker) and a motley group of prisoners

Kathy: "Hey, this is regular vanilla"


Kathy: "I wanted vanilla twist!"


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