Big Trouble in Little China


35mm 30th Anniversary Screening

Jack Burton and his Pork Chop Express roll into Chinatown only to be greeted by sorcery and demons in John Carpenter’s 80’s classic.

“Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yessir, the check is in the mail.”

By 1986, prolific genre director John Carpenter and athlete-turned-actor Kurt Russell had already collaborated on now classics ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and THE THING. But their big budget action comedy meets buddy picture via Chinese Kung-Fu fantasy flick BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA just might be their most enjoyable pairing.

Russell plays our big mouthed, talking to whoever’s listening, truck driving hero Jack Burton as he gets mixed up in kidnapping, gang wars and ancient mysticism (?!) in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Along for the ride are his high kicking, knows the score best friend Wang-Chi (Dennis Dun), feisty reporter Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall), Six-Demon Bag carrying wizard Egg Shen (Victor Wong) and a plethora of familiar-faced stuntmen. Together they battle the thousands years old sorcerer Lo Pan (James Hong) and his three Storms as they search for the “girl with green eyes” that will fulfill their prophecy.

Carpenter’s direction based on Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein and W.D. Richter’s script crackles at a near non-stop pace from the synth-scored opening credits. The dialogue zings as fast as the roundhouse kicks while the memorable characters and performances have as much impact as the gunfights. The successful mish-mash of comedy, action and fantasy befuddled Fox’s then marketing department but audiences have embraced the one of a kind hybrid ever since on cable, VHS and DVD; clamoring for a sequel while jeering a proposed remake.

Duvien Ho

Special Thanks to Kurt Russell, Rick Nicita and 20th Century Fox

Guests: Kurt Russell in Person, with James Gunn Moderating

Director: John Carpenter
Country: United States
Runtime: 99 minutes
Year: 1986


“Fast moving, visually spectacular, exotic and filled with a spirit of adventure.” Roger Ebert