Retroplex Cinema: Big Trouble In Little China (1986)

A new edition of Retroplex Cinema is here and we celebrate a much beloved modern classic genre film directed by the might John Carpenter.  That film is Big Trouble In Little China which is getting a long awaited return to the universe of Jack Burton in the form of comic books this June.
Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
     If you have never seen Big Trouble In Little China then do yourself a favor and go see it now.  It's even on Netflix at the moment.  When you are done watching it come back and give TMIAJ a huge thank you and continue to read this article.
     Ok, good to see you back now and for those of you who didn't leave, please read on. Big Trouble In Little China was released in 1986 and though not a critical or box office success, the film has garnered a huge following over the years due to Saturday television showings, home video, word of mouth, and the fact that it's just a ton of fun to watch.  The movie hit theaters July 2, 1986 just several days before James Cameron's highly anticipated Aliens hit theaters.  Many, including director john Carpenter believe this is the reason for the film's box office failure.  In the end though, the film has become a hit on it's own merits by lasting all these years!
As mentioned the film has gained a huge following over the years.  Possibly for it's over the top concept, colorful characters, and the life that actor Kurt Russel brings to that of his character Jack Burton. The movie has spawned numerous collectible over the years, rumors of sequels, and now a comic book is being released that takes place where the film left off.   Big Trouble In Little China is a cult classic in the truest sense of the word and one that belongs in every ones Blu-Ray collection.
Production Notes
Originally, the movie was written as a Western set in the 1880's in which Jack rolls into town and trouble ensues.  The film would combine the Chinese fantasy elements into the Western setting.  20th Century Fox didn't like this idea and asked for the film to be rewritten.  The studio brought in a new writer and the film was given a practically complete overhaul and turned into the film that we know today.  After 20th Century Fox was happy with the script they then hired director John Carpenter and Kurt Russel was cast. Russell lifted weights and began running two months before production began in order to get ready for the physical demands of principal photography. In addition, Carpenter and his cast and crew did a week's rehearsals that mainly involved choreographing the martial arts scenes.  20th Century Fox was afraid that the production would create major overruns and hired Carpenter to direct because he could work fast. He was given only 10 weeks of pre-production.
Carpenter envisioned the film as an inverse of traditional scenarios in action films with a Caucasian protagonist helped by a minority sidekick. In Big Trouble in Little China, Jack Burton, despite his bravado, is constantly portrayed as rather bumbling; in one fight sequence he even knocks himself unconscious before the fight begins. Wang Chi, on the other hand, is constantly portrayed as highly skilled and competent. On a commentary track for the DVD release, Carpenter commented that the film is really about a sidekick (Burton) who thinks he is a leading man. According to Carpenter, the studio "didn't get his film" and made him write something that would explain the character of Jack Burton. Carpenter came up with the prologue scene between Egg Shen and the lawyer
Big Trouble In Little China has spawned a good amount of merchandise over the years due to its cult following including a video game released around the time of the film's release.  The main screen can be seen above with the box art seen below.  The video game was a critical and commercial success but is sought after today for it's uniqueness to the film.
The movie has also seen action figure's released based on it, t-shirts, posters, art, and much more.  In June 2014 BOOM Studios will be releasing a brand new comic book series based on Big Trouble In Little China that takes place right where the film left off.   The film will continue to gain followers as the years go bye and it should.  It's great fun and nice piece of cinema from a master director!

In June Batman 75 continues with a look at the 1989Batman film in Retroplex Cinema.....