In John Carpenter's Escape From New York (1981), how and what did the prisoners eat?

I don't recall it being mentioned in the film, other than in one scene which spoke of some subterranean dwellers running low on food.

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    Presumably, animals. Possibly rats. Same family as squirrels. They're edible if you're in a bind. Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


They are fed by the Government.

This is a maximum security prison (albeit a very large one) and there is reference in the script to "food drops"

PILOT - We have a visual sighting on it. It's a crowd of prisoners in Central Park. They're waving at us. Signaling us in the food drop area. They're waving us down.

Apparently, drops are made monthly...

GIRL IN CHOCK FULL O' NUTS - Crazies. It's the end of the month. They're out of food.

This is confirmed at the Official John Carpenter site

Other than the monthly food drops made by air into Central Park these outcasts are left completely on their own to prey on each other.


The Crazies who lived in the sewers—I'm guessing by the way they dragged Season Hubley's character, they eat people.

Also, formerly, before it's a prison, some would have had gardens and shops seeds. I'm guessing rat burgers and other vermin.

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