Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Arrow Video: BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA on Blu-ray ""

Monday, December 16, 2013


I saw BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA in the summer of 1986 at small theater in Brookfield Wisconsin. I saw it in a whim with my best friend at the time. We were both about 13 at the time and the movie just blew our minds. We loved it so much that we came back the next day and watched it again and had just as much of a blast as we had the day before. I had no concept at the time that the movie was a flop and was not finding an audience at all. As far as I was concerned, it was the best movie of the year and I would never forget it. It was just such a wacky movie with lots of humor, action and fantasy elements that made it a remarkably unique cocktail of awesome. I would go in to rediscover it on VHS a few years later and would later bond with many friends over our love for it. Whenever I would come across someone who had seen the film and likes it, they tended to REALLY like it. I give the film credit for helping me understand what a cult film was. Because I had seen it when it came out and adored it myself, I always felt this sense of ownership with the movie that I've come to understand is absolutely a part of the cult movie experience.
I don't recall specifically, but it must have been my first experience with John Carpenter (& maybe Kurt Russell too). Talk about leaving an impression. Both of them are still two my favorites to this day and I've since done my best to make my son (now 14) a fan by showing him lots of the Carpenter/Russell films. BIG TROUBLE was one of the very first movies I ever showed to him. I think he loved it and it gave me some credibility with him for a while as far as him trusting me to show him fun, cool movies. 

Arrows disc includes some neat new interviews:
-"Return To Little China" interview with director John Carpenter (12 mins) Carpenter gives some nice background for the film, how it was originally a western and was re-written for modern day. Also, apparently the studio wanted INDIANA JONES, but did not get that at all and were a bit disappointed. Carpenter also goes on to discuss the cast and his relationship to the principle actors in the film. He touches on many other aspects of the production as well.

-"Being Jack Burton" interview with Kurt Russell (21 mins)
Russell talks in depth about his history with Carpenter as well as his recollections of BIG TROUBLE and how he had envisioned Jack Burton as a combination of John Wayne and Jack Nicholson. He discussed the collaboration between he and Carpenter as far as the character and the comedy of the film (two things I think make it very memorable). Russell is one of my all-time favorite actors and he always seems like a quite down-to-earth, matter of fact kinda fella in interviews and commentaries. This chat is no exception. It is funny, interesting and entertaining and fans of the film will love it.
"Carpenter & I" interview with Director of Photography Dean Cundey. As with the Russell interview, Cundey goes into his history and working relationship with John Carpenter starting with HALLOWEEN and working his way up through their collaborations.

-"Producing Big Trouble" interview with Larry J. Franco (15 mins). Franco talks about his relationship with Kurt Russell and how it lead to 

-"Staging Big Trouble" (13 mins). This featurette covers the stunt coordination for the film via stuntman Jeff Imada.

There is also a 14-minute interview with Special Effects guru Richard Edlund talking about many of the wonderful practical makeup and animatronic effects that were done with the film with some nice stills to illustrate. 

Also included is the now classic audio commentary with John Carpenter & Kurt Russell from the Fox disc as well as deleted scenes, an extended ending, an isolated score track and a few other tidbits.
All in all, this is a great special edition and a nice compliment to the U.S. release. A must get for fans of the movie.


Unknown said...

A terrific sci fi/kung fu hybrid comedy/action adventure. Who wouldn't love it? A shame it was a big flop - nice writeup!

Rupert Pupkin said...

Thanks very much! an All-time favorite!