Throughout Carpenter’s career, he has stated that many of his films are just westerns disguised as something else, specifically westerns modeled after his idol Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo. Whether Carpenter uses aliens, gangsters, or characters in a Mars prison, the director has made no bones about the fact that Hawks’ film pervades much of his work. Perhaps the most overt of these versions of Rio Bravo is Carpenter’s second film, Assault on Precinct 13. The best of Carpenter’s “siege” films (or neo-westerns), Assault on Precinct 13 is a brusquely made B-movie; it doesn’t waste a single frame. Seeing it again recently made me realize how grossly underrated the film was in my memory. Boasting the best of the Carpenter-scored soundtracks and some really expertly edited action scenes, Assault on Precinct 13 is easily one of my favorites of the American auteur.