Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monthly Feature #19: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)


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A huge thank you to Kevin O'Shea for joining us again. Kevin can be found on Twitter.

This episode discusses Big Trouble in Little China (1986). IMDb. Wikipedia.


Our theme music is "Black Rainbow" by Jak Locke.

Check out banner artist Benjamin J's DeviantArt page.

And behold, the infamous music video:

2 comments:

Tim Luz said...

Great episode! I hadn't really considered the class aspects of the story, with Lo-Pan representing a different form of the corporate villain while our heroes are the working-class. That's a dynamic familiar from tons of action movies but it works really well here, maybe because it isn't over-emphasized. It also feels in tune with Carpenter's values considering They Live was only two years away.

I also loved the observation about the golden buddhas actually being plaster, a gag I somehow never really took in despite the many times I've watched that scene.

As for the racial aspects, it can be difficult to confront elements like that, particularly when it's in a movie that you may have grown up with and have come to love. However, I agree that this movie knows what it's doing and is having fun with the conventions and stereotypes rather than relying on them.

I was curious what everyone thought of that really odd opening scene in the lawyer's office. It's the one thing in the movie that feels out-of-place to me, perhaps because it was allegedly added at the studio's behest.

Looking forward to your Prince of Darkness discussion. That's another Carpenter film that never got the recognition it deserved, but then isn't that true of most of his filmography in the 80s?

NoelCT said...

Thanks, Tim!

I also loved the observation about the golden buddhas actually being plaster, a gag I somehow never really took in despite the many times I've watched that scene.

I've since formed the head canon LoPan's business might not be doing as well as it used to, so he had to fleece off the real Buddha statues at some point. Probably because he's focusing all his resources on finding green eyes.

I was curious what everyone thought of that really odd opening scene in the lawyer's office. It's the one thing in the movie that feels out-of-place to me, perhaps because it was allegedly added at the studio's behest.

Yeah, sorry. It's such a detached element that I honestly forgot to bring it up. It's not alleged, as it's not in the shooting script and Carpenter even calls out its addition in the amazing commentary track. I think it's unnecessary. It doesn't add anything, the extra setup of Jack doesn't really set anything up. Giving away the presence of magic potentially mars the reveal. And yet, it's such a forgettable scene that it barely registers, so no harm is really done.

Looking forward to your Prince of Darkness discussion. That's another Carpenter film that never got the recognition it deserved, but then isn't that true of most of his filmography in the 80s?

I'll... let that episode (already recorded) speak for itself. ;) But yeah, even up to this point, Thing bombed. Christine was overlooked for years. Starman bombed. Big Trouble bombed. Definitely one hell of a frustrating decade as some of his best work failed to catch hold.

Other listeners! Allow me to give a shout out to Tim's own movie podcast, Cinemaspection, which featured its own wonderful discussion of Big Trouble in Little China.