You’re sitting there in your recliner, remote in hand, and the game is blacked out. Frustrated, you could throw your can of beer at the dog, but it’s still half full. That’d be alcohol abuse. “Ma, is there anything on the tube tonight?” you ask to the delicate, house-coated flower slouched on the sofa.
“Nope,” she drawls back at you, scratching at a roller in her hair.
A wistful look crosses your face. “You know what I could be in the mood for?”
“A movie. An Action, Comedy, Martial Arts, Paranormal, Fantasy Romance movie. And maybe has trucks in it. And beer. Oh, and gorgeous women, too.”
You get a dirty look from your sofa sweet-potato. Then a snort. “Ain’t no movie like that, Klem. Not in all of God’s green goodness.”
But she’d be wrong. There is such a movie, Klem. An underrated gem from the mind of John Carpenter, called…
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
This movie clearly had to be the next choice for recognition, because it actually contains pistons and potions! I love this film, cheesy lines and all. And the opening scene sets the stage marvelously.
A Chinese tour bus driver, Egg Shen, gets hauled in for questioning regarding some bizarre events in Chinatown. With an skeptical look on his face, the lawyer asks, “Do you really expect me to believe in Sorcery?”, to which Egg replies, “of course…”
This is the audience’s cue to hold on for one of the most twisted rides of their lives, at breakneck eighteen-wheeler speed. There are more genres crammed into this movie than you can shake a pair of chopsticks at. When truck driver Jack Burton (played by Kurt Russell) rolls into Chinatown in his rig, he is unprepared for the series of events that will entangle him in a web of gang wars, kidnappings, ancient specters, demon curses, underground slave rings and alchemy.
While most of this is commonplace to the denizens of Chinatown, its great fun watching a bumbling truck driver try to make sense of it all, and not lose his brash bravado in the process. Jack Burton meets the forces of darkness, natural and supernatural alike, with heroic lines like: “It’s all in the reflexes!” and “I was born ready!” Cheesy – yes, but all delivered tongue-in-cheek and with a knowing wink. This movie is too fun not to watch.
To give you an idea of what you’re in for, one of my favorite scenes in the movie has the heroes looking, dumbfounded, at a mystical creature of legend through which the evil Lo Pan is talking. Jack quickly wearies of the menacing monologing, and proceeds to plug the monster in the head with a bullet. To everyone’s surprise, it actually has the result of driving the beast away, screaming in pain. Jack’s reply to their amazed looks? “Hey, you never know until you try!”
Good words, not only to take with you into this film, but to live life with as well. Go shake the pillars of heaven!