Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Full Attention - Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Cody says something about every minute of Big Trouble in Little China.

In Full Attention articles, I will be giving my full, undivided attention to a movie - and proving it by making some kind of comment about every single minute in that movie. I don't claim to have invented this concept, this is just my version of it.

I know that running times can vary depending on regions and formats, so to help readers keep track of where I am in the movie I will talk about what's going on in certain minutes, but a description of events will never be the only thing I have to say about a minute.

00:00 - 01:00

Big Trouble in Little China starts off with an unnecessary scene that 20th Century Fox executives forced director John Carpenter to add. It involves San Francisco Chinatown tour bus driver Egg Shen (Victor Wong) being interviewed by a lawyer about the events we're about to see in the rest of the film, and really adds nothing to it at all.

01:00 - 02:00

The conversation between Egg and the lawyer tips us off to the fact that we're going to be meeting a courageous truck driver named Jack Burton, and that the story we're being told involves "Chinese black magic", monsters, ghosts, and sorcery. Okay, thanks for the heads-up.

Apparently execs thought this scene needed to be in the movie to build Jack Burton up as a hero, since his actions later in the movie aren't traditionally heroic enough. They had nothing to worry about, we end up loving Jack even when he's a bumbling fool.

02:00 - 03:00

Egg convinces the lawyer that sorcery is real by putting on a little light show with electricity that comes from his hands. The line from Egg that ends the scene is its main redeeming quality, "See? That was nothing. But that's how it always begins. Very small."

Cut to the scene that was supposed to open the film, and should have. The score composed by Carpenter himself, in association with Alan Howarth, kicks in and the title sequence plays out over images of truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) driving his truck the Porkchop Express into San Francisco's Chinatown.

I once tried to show this movie to my friend Noah, but it was late and we both ended up passing out. The music over the title sequence was the last thing he remembered hearing before he fell asleep. I really hope he watched the full movie at some point.

03:00 - 04:00

Russell is putting on a John Wayne-esque manner of speaking as Jack spouts life advice and personal philosophies over his CB during his long, lonely, boring drive. Big Trouble in Little China is appealing to me right away because my father was a truck driver, so I've always had a soft spot for entertainment featuring truck driving protagonists. I also spent many hours of my younger days listening to truck drivers talk over the CB during trips with my father.

04:00 - 05:00

Jack confirms over the CB that he doesn't believe mankind is alone in the universe. Maybe having an open mind about otherworldly things will help him deal with the things he'll be seeing as the story goes on.

The Porkchop Express reaches its destination, dropping off a load of pigs at a farmers market.

05:00 - 06:00

The writing credits say written by Gary Goldman and David Z. Weinstein, adaptation by W.D. Richter. The "adaptation" here was that Goldman and Weinstein's original script had been set in the 1800s and was meant to be a combination of Western style with Chinese fantasy elements. That sounds awesome to me, but the studio didn't feel the script worked and brought on Richter to do a substantial rewrite that moved the events up into modern day. Jack Burton went from being a cowboy to being a truck driver who still believes he's a cowboy.

Jack spends all night and into the morning playing - and winning - betting games against his pal Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) and some other guys. Wang Chi is the more capable hero of the film, but it will be a while before we realize that. Right now, he's just a guy playing games while Carpenter continues to demonstrate his ability to craft an awesome score.

06:00 - 07:00

When Jack wins one last bet against the remaining players, Russell demonstrates that he has one of the greatest laughs ever. If you ever want to have fun listening to an audio commentary, put on a track Carpenter and Russell recorded together for one of their collaborations. Those commentaries are packed with entertaining banter, and with Russell's great laugh.

07:00 - 08:00

Wang needs money. Jack has over a thousand dollars in his hand. Wang makes one last bet, "nothing or double", that he can cut a beer bottle in half with the knife he's holding. There's some good banter between these two that shows they know each other pretty well, but not so well that they know everything about each other. They'll learn more about each other as the film goes on.

08:00 - 09:00

The bet doesn't go Wang's way, but when the unbroken bottle flies across the table and nearly hits Jack in the face, we are shown that Jack has very quick reflexes. This is important information to have for later on.

Wang now owes Jack over $2000, and to make sure he'll pay up Jack won't leave his side. Wang needs to stop by the airport before he can go to the restaurant he owns to get the money, so Jack demands to drive Wang to the airport to keep him from just running off. So that's how he gets wrapped up in all of the craziness that's about to ensue. At least we know that Jack is smart when it comes to matters of money, I've had a lot of bad luck when it comes to people owing me cash. I think I'd rather go through what Jack does in this movie than deal with the things I've experienced.

09:00 - 10:00 

Jack is an arrogant guy who likes to talk himself up a lot, which is part of what makes him such a fun character. He's a lot of talk with little to back up his swagger. When Wang says they're going to be picking up a girl from China, Jack says he has picked up girls from everywhere else, but none from China before. Jack won't be "picking up" this particular girl in the way he's talking about, because she's the one Wang intends to marry. He and this girl Miao Yin (Suzee Pai) have known each other since they were kids.

10:00 - 11:00

At the airport, Wang continues going on about Miao Yin, mentioning that she has green eyes, rare for a girl from China. That's more important information, and those green eyes can't be missed when Miao Yin appears on screen. But Jack is busy focusing on another woman he spots in the crowd, Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall). In a matter of seconds, Jack shows that he's not very good at picking up women after all. These blows should get to Jack, but they never do.

11:00 - 12:00

Members of the Lords of Death street gang are present in the airport. They don't really look cool or threatening, but Gracie tells Jack that they're not to be messed with.

As Wang waits for Miao Yin to get through customs and Gracie waits for another girl who has just arrived from China, Carpenter is doing a good job of building up tension. We can tell the Lords of Death are about to cause some trouble.

12:00 - 13:00

When trouble hits, Carpenter establishes something that is going to run through the rest of the movie: Jack is not much use in a confrontation. A member of the Lords of Death flips a butterfly knife open in his face and Jack's response is, "What?" The expression on Russell's face matched with the way he says that line is hilarious. The guy pulls out another weapon and Jack says, "Where'd you get that?"

Jack is soon on the floor, and the Lords of Death have dragged Miao Yin out of the airport with a gun to her head. Well, at least Jack distracted one of the Lords for a few seconds. Wang didn't get a chance to do anything, and everyone else in the crowded airport just stood around and watched.

13:00 - 14:00

The Lords of Death nearly run Jack and Wang over while making their escape from the airport with Miao Yin, and Russell perfectly delivers Jack's response to that: "Son of a bitch must pay."

A musical sting accompanies a cut to Jack's truck driving down the road, and things are really getting exciting now. Before Wang can say he can't ask Jack to help him go up against the Lords of Death, Jack has already volunteered to accompany him to their base of operations in Chinatown.

14:00 - 15:00

This is where we should have been meeting Egg for the first time, as we see him driving a bus loaded with tourists around Chinatown while giving them a history lesson on how the place came to exist.

Jack's truck has also made it into Chinatown and nearly collides with Egg's bus on a narrow street. If we hadn't already seen Egg in the first scene, we might not expect to see him again after his angry reaction to Jack's reckless driving. But Egg will have plenty more to do.

15:00 - 16:00

Jack's truck drives down an alleyway it barely fits in, and the further it goes down the oddly fog-filled alley the stranger the atmosphere gets. Jack is entering a different world than the one he knows.

16:00 - 17:00

We get a quick glimpse of a man we'll come to know as David Lo Pan (James Hong) standing in the alley, but at this point he could be taken as nothing more than a weird bystander.

The progress of Jack's truck is impeded by a funeral procession consisting of a bunch of men, most of them in white outfits. Those white outfits give away the fact that this bunch are considered "good guys". Wang says they're called Chang Sings.

There's a shot reminiscent of Carpenter's horror days when Jack looks into the driver's side mirror and sees a man in a black outfit emerging from the fog behind the truck, holding a meat cleaver. That's legendary stuntman and "that guy" actor Al Leong. The man in black is joined by several more, and Wang isn't happy to see them. These are Wing Kongs, and Wang describes them as "animals".

17:00 - 18:00

There's a nod to the story's Western roots when a Wing Kong with two bandoliers of bullets strapped over his chest and guns holstered on each hip steps up and acts like he's about to quick draw on the Chang Sings. But before he draws his guns, another Wing Kong with a tommy gun just opens fire on the Chang Sings.

A gunfight between the two groups breaks out with Jack's truck sitting right there... and Jack is holding a knife he pulled from an ankle holster. Literally bringing a knife to a gunfight.

18:00 - 19:00

The gunfire stops so the two groups can have a "Chinese standoff", preparing to beat on each other with a mixture of blunt and sharp objects. I can't imagine what it must have been like to follow John Carpenter's career from the '70s into the '80s, being dazzled by his work on films like Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Thing, and Escape from New York, and now this awesomeness happens - a martial arts fight breaks out in the latest Carpenter movie. This was surely a joyous occasion.

I didn't see Carpenter's movies in chronological order. Big Trouble in Little China was already on heavy rotation in my home from the time I was three years old. I was shocked to hear this movie was a financial disappointment when it was released, because it was a big hit in my household. My family watched it on cable all the time.

19:00 - 20:00 

That martial arts fight continues, complete with violent stabbings and snapped bones. Always fun stuff to see in a movie. Carpenter, his crew, and the stunt performers did a wonderful job bringing this action to the screen.

20:00 - 21:00

The Chang Sings seem to have the upper hand in the fight when it's interrupted by a flash of light, a puff of smoke, and the arrival of a strange man in a large straw hat. It starts to rain and another guy in a similar outfit floats down from the sky. A stream of lightning strikes the ground and a third guy in a straw hat comes riding in on the lightning, electricity coursing all over his body. This isn't so surprising, since we already saw a display of magic in that first scene with Egg. If not for that unneeded scene, these guys in straw hats would have been the first indication that this movie wasn't only going to be about a gang war in Chinatown.

21:00 - 22:00 

Chang Sings open fire on the three guys in straw hats, but their bullets have zero effect on them. Even Michael Myers has more reaction to getting shot than these fellows. Then the men in hats get ready to attack with bladed weapons and their supernatural abilities. This minute is mostly about them building up to the fight, so it's a good time for Jack and Wang to try to escape from the alley. They've seen enough.

22:00 - 23:00

Jack hits the gas and drives past the supernatural guys, but then there's someone else standing in his way. David Lo Pan, wearing a much fancier outfit than we saw him in a few minutes ago. Lo Pan just beckons for the truck to keep coming at him, so Jack goes ahead and hits him.

Being run over doesn't hurt Lo Pan, which he proves by showing Jack that he can blast blinding light out of his eyes and mouth. I really wish that first Egg scene hadn't tipped us off to the presence of magic and sorcery before all of this stuff in the alley.

23:00 - 24:00

With Chang Sings, Wing Kongs, and the straw hat guys fighting in one direction and Lords of Death, who are associated with the Wing Kongs, waiting for Wang in the other direction, Jack and Wang are forced to ditch the Porkchop Express and escape the alley on foot. Don't feel cheated that we're not seeing much of the battle that's going on right now; there will be plenty more fighting later on.

If he weren't left without his truck, Jack would be ready to just move on with his life. Now he's stuck in this situation for the audience's enjoyment.

A Chang Sing informs Wang and Jack that the men in hats were the Three Storms. That's Carter Wong as Thunder, Peter Kwong as Rain, and James Pax as Lightning.

24:00 - 25:00

The setting moves on to Wang's restaurant, Dragon of the Black Pool. Carpenter makes the scene set in the kitchen of this place more visually interesting by having a storm going on outside. Rain pours down the window, thunder crashes, lightning flashes. But the Three Storms aren't around.

Jack needs to have his clothes cleaned after crawling through garbage getting out of the alley, so while his stuff is drying Wang has him hanging out in a blue silk robe, one of the film's many attempts to knock Jack down a peg. But he is not knocked down at all, he's still just as sure of himself in this outfit as he would be in his regular clothes.

Wang doesn't want to involve the police in this situation because the police would just get killed, but Jack does try to contact the insurance company about his abandoned truck.

25:00 - 26:00 

Wang's Uncle Chu (Chao Li Chi) is perturbed to hear that Lo Pan was out in the open with light coming out of his month. Wang tries to play down the presence of Lo Pan, but Jack can't just brush aside what happened with that guy.

Enter Black Pool maître d' Eddie Lee (Donald Li), who has heard a lot about Jack from Wang. Eddie has the demeanor of a police detective, and carries the sort of information you'd usually expect a police detective to have. He informs Jack that the Lords of Death stole his truck after he ran away.

26:00 - 27:00

Eddie says the Lords of Death were just on a joy ride to abduct a girl they could sell into sexual slavery, and happened to cross paths with Miao Yin. How does he know this stuff? Wait, there's more! The funeral procession that was interrupted was for the leader of the Chang Sings, who was assassinated at the order of Lo Pan.

The next character to enter the scene is Gracie Law, who announces herself with the line, "Don't panic, it's only me, Gracie Law!" A great entrance for a character with the perfect name for a lawyer.

Before the minute is up, Eddie mentions that the Chinese have a lot of Hells, including the Hell of Being Cut to Pieces.

27:00 - 28:00

Jack is certain that Gracie is at the restaurant because she was so impressed by him at the airport she just had to track him down so she can get some of that. Gracie is actually here to bring more information: Miao Yin was sold to the White Tiger brothel. Wang can't pay Jack because he has to buy back Miao Yin, and she's going to be expensive because of her green eyes. That's how it always is, people who owe you money find other things to spend their money on instead of paying you back.

"Feeling like an outsider", Jack asks again about Lo Pan - and Uncle Chu tells him Lo Pan has "spirit medium powers like the immortals". That explains it. "He becomes a dream."

Here we get a non-heroic shot of Jack not only wearing that blue silk robe, but also stuffing his face full of food. Jack's reaction to the "He becomes a dream" line: "What?" It's really funny watching Jack trying and failing to keep up with these characters who know a whole lot more than he does.

28:00 - 29:00

Carpenter makes a super odd choice to get us out of this scene. A circular wipe effect takes us into the next scene, and the circle emerges from Wang's right nostril. It looks really weird. The next scene was hiding inside his nose.

Rain continues to pour as Eddie, Wang, and Gracie drop Jack off at the White Tiger in hopes he'll be able to retrieve Miao Yin from there. He acts like a dweeby business man to infiltrate the brothel, putting on a different voice while wearing an ugly suit and glasses with thick black frames. Somehow I tend to forget about this disguise between my viewings of this movie, so it's always amusing to see Jack pop up in this outfit when I have forgotten to expect it.

Gracie tells Jack she would go into the brothel with him, "but they know my face". Keep this line in mind for later.

29:00 - 30:00

Gracie isn't far off from being like Jack, she clearly thinks she's a bigger deal than she actually is. She has a side deal going on with a journalist named Margo (Kate Burton) who is looking to get her big break. We know Gracie isn't being completely honest with Margo because when she mentions that Jack is inside the brothel she refers to him as "one of our best men".

30:00 - 31:00

Meanwhile, Jack is introducing himself to White Tiger (June Kim) as Henry Swanson. Henry Swanson requests a girl with green eyes, raising his voice so both White Tiger and her receptionist... I guess you could call her a receptionist... Mrs. O'Toole (Noel Toy) can both hear him. The geeky voice Russell is using for "Henry Swanson" is funny already, but it's even funnier when it goes up on "green eyes".

Mrs. O'Toole says Chinese girls don't come with green eyes, but White Tiger actually happens to have Miao Yin tied up in the back.

Ten minutes after entering the brothel, Jack finds himself shut in a room with a prostitute who does not have green eyes. He's trying to get information while the prostitute is trying to get him to disrobe, but he won't have to do that because they're interrupted by a supernatural event.

31:00 - 32:00

Green light fills the sky over the brothel and the building begins to shake. Some effects like the shot of the green light over the building haven't aged well in other '80s movies, but this one actually still looks perfect. Some of the earthquake shots look unnatural, but it makes sense because this earthquake isn't a natural event.

Holes rip open in the roof of the brothel and the Three Storms come magically floating into the place with the objective of abducting Miao Yin. She's quite popular. A really cool score track plays while the Storms go about their business.

32:00 - 33:00 

Here you might wonder if Jack Burton is actually insane. Being extremely conceited is one thing, but he apparently thinks he's capable of fighting these supernatural beings. He walks up to one of the Storms and punches him in the face. That goes about as well as you'd expect, but Jack seemed to think he had the situation handled.

Jack and the audience need some exposition to understand what's going on, and a major exposition dump takes place when Wang, Eddie, Gracie, and Margo take Jack back to Gracie's office. Which also appears to be her apartment.

33:00 - 34:00 

There's only one place the Storms would take Miao Yin; to "the godfather of Little China, Mr. David Lo Pan". Who's Lo Pan? Margo lets us know through a ridiculously large mouthful of explanation that makes no sense for her to say, since everyone in the room except Jack already knows who Lo Pan is. But since the viewer doesn't know, it's "the David Lo Pan that's chairman of the National Orient Bank and owns the Wing Kong Import / Export Trading Company but who's so reclusive that no one's even laid eyes on this guy in years".

Gracie can't believe Jack has seen Lo Pan; the godfather is said to be afraid to show his face because he has so many enemies. Eddie confirms that Margo is monumentally naive about the situation.

34:00 - 35:00

Wang is determined to save his fiancee from the Wing Kong Exchange. That name doesn't mean much to us, so Gracie makes sure it will mean something: it's "the most dangerous den of cutthroat madmen in Chinatown"! I only recently began to realize how comedically absurd some of this dialogue is.

Speaking of dialogue, Jack drops one of his most famous lines here: "I'm a reasonable guy, but I've just experienced some very unreasonable things."

Wang intends to waltz in and out of the Wing Kong Exchange like the wind, and Jack is going to assist him with some crackerjack timing. Gracie starts to opt out of the heroism with "I'd go with you, but..." and Jack interrupts her with, "I know, there's a problem with your face." A terrific callback to what she said about going into the brothel with him.

35:00 - 36:00 

Wang and Jack infiltrate the main lobby of the Wing Kong business by pretending to be from the phone company - clearly they are, Jack is holding a phone! Phone line workers always carry phones.

36:00 - 37:00

While Wang and Jack make their way deeper into the Wing Kong building, Gracie is getting anxious. Egg is revealed to be more than just a person who drives a tour bus and talks to lawyers. He's also the local authority on Lo Pan. He confers with Eddie and Uncle Chu, and lets Gracie know that it will be complicated to help Wang and Jack out because, "Goat butts against hedge and his horns become entangled." It's not clear how much help this guy is going to be, but if he keeps speaking like that he's going to be entertaining.

According to Uncle Chu and Egg, there are clouds and thunder but our heroes will bring order out of chaos.

Gracie says Wang and Jack have been gone for almost two hours - which is kind of jarring, since we just saw them reach the Wing Kong Exchange seconds before she says that, and when we cut back to them they don't seem to have made much progress. It feels like they've only been searching for this place for a few minutes.

37:00 - 38:00

Jack and Wang make a great breakthrough, finding a hidden elevator that, judging by marks on the floor, someone was dragged into. Looks like this rescue mission is going to be pretty easy.

Gracie eavesdrops on Uncle Chu and Egg having a conversation that would have Jack completely confused...

38:00 - 39:00

The older men talk about tension between positive and negative furies and people turning into demons and living forever when the furies are out of balance. That is what has happened to Lo Pan - he's a ghost who plays at being a man. A powerful, destructive creature. Jack would say something like, "I don't even know what that means," but we don't hear Gracie's response. At least now we know why Lo Pan can blast light out of his face.

Jack trusted that Wang would be able to waltz in and out of Wing Kong like the wind, that was the whole plan. So when the elevator they're on stops and starts filling with salt water, Jack is upset to see the plan fail - while Wang seems to have been expecting something like this.

39:00 - 40:00 

The elevator doors open, allowing the men to swim out... and into a flooded room filled with decaying corpses hanging upside down on chains. A twisted bit of horror imagery in this non-horror Carpenter movie. These corpses are nice and disgusting, the effects team did a good job.

What is this room Wang and Jack are in? The Hell of the Upside Down Sinners. Like Eddie said, the Chinese have a lot of Hells.

They're not in that Hell for a long, because Rain comes along and takes them out. When he uses a supernatural force to knock Jack to the ground, Jack once again shows a defiance that brings his sanity into question. He gets to his feet and tells Rain to "come over here and fight like a man".

40:00 - 41:00

Rain responds by showing Jack a small red ball, then blowing that ball into Jack's stomach with such force that it knocks him down again. The effect of the ball flying out of Rain's hand and across the room is one that hasn't held up perfectly.

Jack and Wang are both tied to wheelchairs and taken into an extravagantly decorated area in which they're introduced to David Lo Pan - who now has a third look. He's not the guy who was just standing in the alley, nor is he the mystical being who had light coming from his mouth. Now he's an extremely old man who is also in a wheelchair. He's still played by James Hong, though. Hong is just buried under a lot of old age makeup now.

41:00 - 42:00

Jack doesn't get it, how can this Lo Pan can be the same guy he saw before? Lo Pan tells him, "You are not brought upon this world to get it." The great dialogue just keeps on coming.

When the subject of Miao Yin comes up, Lo Pan says something about not wanting to waste another two thousand years. He looks old and frail, but for two thousand he's looking really good.

42:00 - 43:00

Jack wants to know where his truck is, but Lo Pan is more interested in learning more about Miao Yin. He tries to question Wang about her, but gets no response... so he threatens to send them to the Hell Where People Are Skinned Alive. It's not clear why Lo Pan doesn't get this information directly from Miao Yin, like Jack thinks he should. "You've got a tongue, Dave, ask her yourself."

Now Lo Pan lets us know exactly what's going on. There is a young man trapped inside the old man's body, and if he appeases Ching Dai, the god of the east, a.k.a. the demon attached to him, by marrying a Chinese girl with "dragon green eyes" his youth will be restored and he can carry out his plan to rule the universe.

43:00 - 44:00

Jack isn't buying it, but yeah... that's the story this movie is telling. Jack and Wang have to save the universe. Hong gives a fun performance as this old version of Lo Pan, a nasty fellow whose voice goes really high when he's delighted by the idea of gaining youth and power.

Jack is especially doubtful that Lo Pan couldn't find "one broad to fit the bill" in two thousand years, but Lo Pan confirms that there have been others over the years, it just didn't work out. Surely Jack can understand, "You seem to be one who know the difficulties between men and women, how seldom it works out. And yet we all keep trying, like fools." Lo Pan chuckles, and it's funny to hear this two thousand year old, demon-ruled maniac comparing his situation to the average relationship issues.

44:00 - 45:00 

Not as amusing as when Lo Pan looks at a security monitor and sees that Gracie, Eddie, and Margo are in the lobby of the Wing Kong building. His line "Now this really pisses me off to no end!" is hilarious.

Wang and Jack, still tied to the wheelchairs, are left in a room that has no windows but does have some skeletons hanging on the walls.

45:00 - 46:00 

Several seconds are dedicated to Jack trying to get out of the wheelchair, rocking it until it topples over. When we see that he still has his knife in that ankle holster, we know Wang and Jack really are about to get loose. The villains may have magical powers, but they suck at frisking people.

Elevators in the Wing Kong building are not a good place to be. Gracie, Eddie, and Margo find that out when Thunder - now wearing a suit instead of that straw hat outfit - offers to give them a tour of the place. The elevator fills with a gas that knocks Gracie, Eddie, and Margo out, but has no effect on the Storm.

46:00 - 47:00 

Wang feels like the truth about Lo Pan will be insulting to Jack, but Jack is open to being insulted. He wants to hear it. So Wang tells us of the myths and legends Chinese people are taught when they're kids, then pretend not to believe when they grow up. A story of an army of the dead, a spirit city, monkey sacrifices. I want to hear more about all of this!

47:00 - 48:00 

Legend has it that the first sovereign emperor of China defeated Lo Pan and cursed him in 272 B.C. Wang keeps things simple, which is fine because this background stuff isn't that important to the overall story. We just need to know the gist of it.

Jack and Wang have to pretend to still be incapacitated in the wheelchairs when Thunder comes carrying an unconscious Eddie into the room. Jack really does not learn his lesson that he can't physically handle the Storms - when Thunder turns his back to him, Jack grabs him and threatens him with his knife. Thunder knocks Jack away, but in seconds Jack is on his back, knife to his throat.

48:00 - 49:00

Problem is, once Jack is on Thunder's back he's kind of stuck there when Wang and Eddie escape the room. Stuck until the Storm shows off a new power. Just by breathing deeply, Thunder is able to inflate his body to a point where Jack is knocked off of him. Who knew that the ability to inflate yourself could be so useful?

Jack is knocked into a wheelchair, rolls backwards down a steep hall, and finds himself teetering on the edge of a deep well... And then he manages to pull off, for one of the only times in the movie, an impressive feat. Grabbing the wheels of the chair, he has the strength to straighten the chair and keep it from falling into the well long enough for him to get out of it. Jack can actually do some things, he just isn't as heroic as Fox wanted him to be.

49:00 - 50:00

By pure luck, Jack's wheelchair took out a couple Wing Kongs while rolling down that hallway, so now he, Wang, and Eddie have some guns to choose from: a 12 gauge double barreled shotgun, a little .38 Special, and a TEC-9 submachine gun. What are the chances those two guys would just happen to have three guns on them?

Wang tries to give Jack the little revolver, but of course he wants the submachine gun, so then Wang snatches the shotgun from Eddie. Our heroes get the cool weapons and the third wheel gets the short end of the stick. It's a funny moment.

Meanwhile, Lo Pan is instructing his lackeys to boil our heroes until their flesh falls off. Then light starts blasting from his face again and this time the effect is even better because his old head starts glowing as well.

50:00 - 51:00

Again sporting the youthful sorcerer look he had in the alley, Lo Pan visits Miao Yin, who he has unconscious and floating in a room. He tries to touch her, but his hands pass right through her - he is not flesh. As was said earlier, Lo Pan is a ghost playing at being a man. This is why Jack's truck passed right through him earlier... But if he's not flesh and things pass through him, I don't know how he could sit in a wheelchair and hold a phone a few seconds earlier. Ghost sorcerers are complicated.

51:00 - 52:00

Jack, Wang, and Eddie run into a couple Wing Kongs, and for the first time Wang gets to demonstrate that he has some impressive martial arts skills. He takes on these henchmen and knocks them around, and is even able to jump and spin in the air to avoid gunfire.

Jack tries to shoot a Wing Kong to help Wang out, but his gun doesn't work. Eddie has to tell him that he has the safety on. When the gun does fire, Jack gets a really goofy look on his face - he's not very experienced with firearms. He guns down a Wing Kong, and when Eddie asks him if that's the first time he has shot someone, we can tell Jack's reply is a lie: "'Course not." Jack doesn't feel bad about what he's done, but he seems shocked that he did it.

52:00 - 53:00

Gracie, Margo, and other women are being held captive in an area guarded by some female Wing Kongs, and our heroes take an ironic approach to getting into this area: Wang pretends to take Eddie hostage, threatening to blow his head off if the guards don't let them pass. Why would Wing Kongs care if this stranger blows off the other stranger's head? It's just a trick to lure the guards closer, and it works.

While Wang and Eddie are doing that, Jack shows off his upper body strength again, taking a monkey's route into the cell area.

53:00 - 54:00

Wang and Eddie take on female Wing Kongs while Jack frees the captives. Scenes of male heroes fighting female enemies always present something of a dilemma; men are never supposed to hit women, so how does a filmmaker handle something like that? Carpenter handles it by showing the fights no differently than he would show a fight against male Wing Kongs. Wang and Eddie hit these women no problem, and Wang even knocks one off a walkway and, presumably, to her death.

54:00 - 55:00

Wang kicks a woman right in the face. Then more Wing Kongs come flooding into the room, so our heroes and the freed captives have to haul ass to make their escape - which requires them diving into a pool of water and swimming out through a pipe. Jack has to throw Margo into the water, then he turns out to be the only other person who doesn't dive in on their own. Pulling off the cloth that was wrapped around her head and stuffed in her mouth, Gracie stumbles into Jack and knocks him into the water. Just in case he was seeming too cool and capable, he had to be tripped up in some way.

55:00 - 56:00 

One by one, Gracie makes sure her associates are making it through the pipe okay. Wang, Margo, Eddie... she's even worried about Jack's well-being. She gets surprisingly upset when it looks like he didn't make it, then is quite happy when he pops his head out of the water. Maybe not as happy as he is to see her, since he plants a kiss on her. Still, this moment gives the impression that Jack was right about her, she is interested in him.

56:00 - 57:00

Wang has figured out that they have swum into an area that seawater flows into so pipes can carry it away to different chambers throughout the building. Like that elevator and the room with the upside down sinners. But for some reason, everyone just waits around in this area until Jack can lead them up a ladder and through a grate. Wang, Eddie, Margo, anybody could have gotten this escape process started, but they held off and gave Jack the honor.

57:00 - 58:00

Well, Jack will gladly take on the leader position. Reaching the door that leads back into the normal facade of the Wing Kong building, he even refers to himself as the leader of the group, telling the others to "Follow the leader" as he prepares to open the door.

Then the rug is pulled out from under him when he opens the door to see a bunch of Wing Kongs on the other side, including Al Leong. This is the funniest moment in the movie for me. Jack closes the door, looks back at the others, and tells them, "We may be trapped."

The Wing Kongs bust through the door and Jack is only able to gun down a few of them before his TEC-9 runs out of bullets. So now it's up to Wang to save everyone with his usually-well-concealed martial arts skills.

58:00 - 59:00

Jack tried to pull his knife from his ankle holster, and accidentally tossed it across the room. By the time he has retrieved the knife and returns ready to fight some Wing Kongs, Wang has already taken care of all of them. Carpenter takes a moment to drive home the fact that Jack missed out on the action.

As the group makes their way toward the lobby, we see that someone is watching them from behind a piece of wall art... and whoever is watching has large, inhuman eyes. Things are only going to get stranger from here.

59:00 - 60:00

While the others go through the lobby and past the security guards, Gracie notices that piece of wall art opening like a door. She takes a closer look - and gets dragged into a hidden room by fur-coated arms. The movie just added some kind of monstrous beast into the mix, really trying to win its way into my heart (and succeeding), and nobody but Gracie even noticed this thing. Unfortunately for her, everyone is so busy running outside and jumping into Egg's tour bus for a getaway that they don't even notice that Gracie is missing until they're on the road.

60:00 - 61:00

Now we see exactly what the monster looks like as it carries Gracie off down a tunnel. It looks cool and I love that there's a monster in the movie, but at the same time it's obviously a man in an imperfect costume. The monster's toes don't even touch the ground as it walks along, they just stick out in the air and wobble. It does manage to put shackles on Gracie, which you wouldn't expect it to be able to do. This is a smart beast.

There's no explanation for what this thing is within the movie, but the idea behind the scenes was that it's a "Chinese Wildman" or Yeren, a Chinese version of a Bigfoot / Yeti.

61:00 - 62:00

The old, decrepit Lo Pan starts acting like a total goofball weirdo when he sees that he has a second green eyed girl (that being Gracie) locked up in his place. So apparently the green eyed girl didn't have to be Chinese, any green eyed girl would do. He's kind of a pathetic villain, if he couldn't carry out his schemes at any other point in the last two thousand years and didn't have to specifically wait for a green eyed Chinese girl.

Back at Wang's place, Jack and Wang are preparing for a second assault on the Wing Kong headquarters. Margo tells Jack to call the police, so he repeats the line Wang spoke earlier about cops having better things to do than get killed.

62:00 - 63:00

Jack and Wang won't be retrieving Miao Yin and Gracie on their own. Egg has recruited Chang Sings into the fight and will also be infiltrating Wing Kong HQ with them. Seconds after telling Jack to stay out of it and call the police, now Margo wants to join the fight as well. She's not invited, she'll be staying behind with Eddie - and she's so insulted to be left out that she picks a fight with Jack about Gracie. Just wasting seconds and keeping us from getting back to the action!

Sometimes between viewings I forget that Jack and Wang make it out of the Wing Kong building and then have to return to it later, but if that didn't happen we wouldn't get one of my favorite moments, which Egg will be providing soon enough.

63:00 - 64:00

The elderly Lo Pan didn't introduce himself to Gracie. Instead, Lo Pan waits to visit her and the floating, out-of-it Miao Yin as the young sorcerer version of himself, and that's when he lets Gracie know who he is. The old version of Lo Pan was able to touch Gracie's face, she was even able to bite at his fingers, so this must be the rule: the old one can touch and hold things, the sorcerer can't. Like I said, this dark magic Lo Pan plays with is complicated.

64:00 - 65:00

Lo Pan informs Gracie that he is going to marry her and Miao Yin, and one of these green eyed girls is going to "tame the Burning Blade" and help him out of the predicament he has been in since 272 B.C. Then he does his "blasting light from his eyes and mouth" trick again, and Gracie is looking right into the light, which Jack was advised not to do earlier. We don't see what happens to Gracie, the film cuts away to Jack, Wang, Egg, and the Chang Sings debating whether they should be hiding under an umbrella - as Jack and Egg are - in the rain. "A brave man likes the feel of nature on his face", "A wise man has enough sense to get in out of the rain." I'm with Jack and Egg on this one, I hate wearing wet clothes.

65:00 - 66:00

Egg and the Chang Sings aren't just going to take Jack and Wang back through the front door of the Wing Kong Express building all over again. Inside a building Egg owns, there's a fireman's pole - or a Batpole, if you prefer - that takes the characters down under Chinatown... But it's not the sewer that they slide into, it's a secret passageway with moss growing on the stone walls and a thick fog rising from liquid that runs alongside the stone walkway and under a bridge. It's like they've entered a different world, something out of a fantasy movie... which this is... or a sword and sorcery movie... which this is...

66:00 - 67:00

Lo Pan sits on a throne in a room where golden statues line the walls. In a trance, Miao Yin and Gracie stand at his sides. The Three Storms stand at the other end of the room, and Thunder proceeds to show off the moves he has with a couple of blades. This is a minute that could have been cut and we wouldn't have lost anything pertinent to the story, but Thunder is having fun. And it's good to see Lightning pop up again; Thunder and Rain get so much more prominent screen time than him, you could almost forget he exists.

67:00 - 68:00

Egg lets Jack know what that liquid is they're passing by and over: it's the Black Blood of the Earth. Jack suggests that means oil, but Egg just reiterates that it's the Black Blood of the Earth. This blood began flowing when huge earthquakes struck centuries ago, an event that also allowed unnatural beings to roam free. Sounds like that could be Lo Pan's origin story.

Meanwhile, Thunder is still putting on his demonstration, which feels a bit excessive. As soon as he's finished, Lo Pan tells Rain to start showing his stuff, so Rain pulls out a couple swords and makes his way across the room while doing some cool moves. This still doesn't seem like it was a necessary addition to the film, but I'll go along with it.

68:00 - 69:00

Thirty seconds are spent on Rain waving his swords around, then he presents the swords to Miao Yin and Gracie so the women can grab them by the blades. Lo Pan, Thunder, Rain, and Lightning then use their powers to make the swords glow and then pull the women up off the ground.

Lightning doesn't get to show off any special moves, which isn't fair at all. He's really the overshadowed black sheep of the Three Storms. Since Thunder and Rain got to do their fancy stuff, Lightning should get to wave a blade around, too. All of them or none of them!

69:00 - 70:00

Miao Yin and Gracie reach the ceiling, where they each place a hand on a glass ball (it looks like a lightbulb), causing green lights to glow above the ball. Lo Pan is pleased to see this. "They have survived the Burning Blade, tamed the savage heart." That's what he was making a big deal about earlier? It didn't look like much at all. But it backs up his decision to marry both women.

Meanwhile, our heroes see a bubbling in the Black Blood of the Earth that's accompanied by the sound of breathing. The Black Blood of the Earth isn't actually black, by the way. It's definitely not oil. I think it just looks like water, but Jack doesn't agree.

Then one of the Chang Sings is attacked by a giant insect-like creature that drags him into a hole in the wall. That thing looks funhouse fake, but monsters are always welcome.

70:00 - 71:00

The creature looked convincing enough to get Jack freaked out while Egg throws what look like magical marbles at the thing. This is another moment where Jack has a hysterical reaction to the crazy things around him.

Lightning checks on Gracie and Miao Yin, who are all dressed up for their wedding. We see that Gracie is breaking out of the spell she has been under, but once Lightning crackles some electricity between his hands both women are both so fully in a trance that their eyes turned white. Good for Lightning that he gets to do something after being left out of the blade demonstration.

71:00 - 72:00

The journey into Wing Kong headquarters reaches a point that involves sliding down a tunnel into an unseen destination. Jack is hesitant to do this, and that's even before he finds out that the padding at the bottom is a pile of dead fish. That might be more disgusting than swimming with upside down sinners, I'm not sure... One Chang Sing doesn't mind at all, he picks up a fish corpse and starts eating it.

They're back inside Lo Pan's domain now, and Egg starts talking up the Lo Pan mysticism again. Jack is getting tired of it and I have to say, I'm getting tired of the talk myself. I thank Jack when he tells Egg to get to the point.

72:00 - 73:00

Wang only now finds out that part of the ritual Lo Pan has to conduct involves sacrificing his green eyed bride. That gets him and Jack charged up to go deliver the final blow, but Egg slows them down. There's something he wants to give them from a flask, it will be their only hope against the ultimate evil spirit.

Egg has been waiting for the chance to battle Lo Pan for a long time, but now that the opportunity is in front of him he's sure dragging his heels getting to it.

73:00 - 74:00

After seeing a couple guards that are dressed up for Lo Pan's wedding, Egg seems to get kind of spaced out. Like he can't believe he's about to have this fight he has been waiting for. Jack nudges him forward and Egg only gives him one word answers in a fun exchange: "What's in the flask, Egg? Magic potion?" "Yeah." "Thought so, good. What do we do, drink it?" "Yeah!" "Good, I thought so."

Lightning leads Miao Yin and Gracie into a large room decorated with nods to ancient China, but with an '80s touch: there's colorful neon lighting all over the place. It's a cool, memorable blending of styles... and this room is the perfect setting for the final battle.

74:00 - 75:00

Now we see one of the most amazing sights this film has the offer, the appearance of a creature that's a floating head with eyeballs all over it - in the normal spot, in its nose, on its tongue, and on tentacles sprouting from all over it. Jack has the perfect reaction to seeing this thing, "Oh my God, no! Please. What is that? Don't tell me!"

What this creature sees, Lo Pan knows. So now the villain knows that these infiltrators are in his domain, and he's able to communicate with them through the floating head creature. He tells them he intends to marry both women, sacrifice Gracie, and enjoy earthly pleasures with Miao Yin.

75:00 - 76:00

The characters around Jack keep trying to bog down the movie with a lot of chit-chat, and Jack keeps doing his best to save us from it. Tired of hearing Lo Pan talk, Jack starts shooting the floating creature. He doesn't kill it, but "You never know until you try." The bullets do cause the thing to fly off in a different direction, so at least it's not looking at our heroes anymore. Success!

76:00 - 77:00

Our heroes have found an elevator to the room Lo Pan's wedding is being held in, so now we've reached the moment Jack has been looking forward to for the last few minutes and I've been anxiously waiting for even longer, that "one of my favorite moments" that Egg provides. It's time for the good guys to drink that flask of magic potion. What does it do? Egg explains it gives you a "huge buzz!" He sounds more like a dude going to a party than a magical warrior when he says that. He slurps the smoking liquid and deems it, "Oh! Good!"

77:00 - 78:00

The magic potion will allow the heroes to see things no one else can see, do things no one else can do. Egg is also carrying an item he calls a "Six Demon Bag". Jack is starting to have doubts about all of this, which makes sense when Egg is downing liquid to get a buzz and saying his bag contains, "Wind, fire, all that kind of thing."

Wang gets Jack to drink the potion by brushing aside all this mystical stuff and making a patriotic toast to America. Jack will drink to that, "May the wings of liberty never lose a feather."

Once everyone has drank the potion, they get on that elevator... and Jack and Wang hilariously show that they are indeed feeling a huge buzz. Jack says, "I feel pretty good. I'm not scared at all. I just feel kind of... feel kind of invincible." So does Wang, "I've got a very positive attitude about this."

78:00 - 79:00

The heroes arrive just in time for the wedding ceremony. Of course, since this is Lo Pan's wedding it involves some weirdness, most notably the Needle of Love. Unfortunately, Egg tells his companions that they have to wait until the wedding is over and Lo Pan is flesh before they can attack him.

But wait, now the young sorcerer version of Lo Pan is able to touch the women without his hand passing through them, so he's already not in ghost mode. I'm confused.

79:00 - 80:00 

Lo Pan jabs the Needle of Love into Miao Yin's arm, and even though her character is supposed to be in a trance you can see actress Suzee Pai flinch at how hard James Hong is sticking that fake needle into her skin. Pricking Miao Yin's arm causes Lo Pan's arm to bleed, confirming to him that he is now mortal, which means our heroes can now attack him... And they have to anyway, since that eyeball guardian creature gets a look at them.

The Wing Kongs turn to see the Chang Sings ready for a fight. The two groups let out battle cries, and Jack is so amped up that he fires his TEC-9 into the ceiling. The stone ceiling. Pieces of stone rain down on him, konking him on the head and knocking him unconscious. Things like this are why Fox was uncomfortable with the character's lack of heroism, but they're also part of what makes this movie so great.

80:00 - 81:00

A minute packed with Carpenter-directed martial arts action, and how sweet it is. It seems like that magic potion really does have some special effects beyond giving the drinker a huge buzz, because Wang displays some incredible skills here, running up walls and flipping through the air. He can match up with Rain now, which Rain doesn't seem too happy about.

81:00 - 82:00

Jack was only unconscious for about thirty seconds, but he's still not getting much done in the action sequence. He's moving among the fighters, and when he's confronted by Thunder the Storm takes the TEC-9 out of his hand and shatters it. Egg has to save Jack's life by throwing a magic marble.

Then Jack tries to pull his knife from his ankle holster and gets interrupted by one of the dressed-up guards. He is able to stab the guard and kill him, but the guy's corpse collapses on top of him, pinning him to the floor in a very awkward position. Wang is over there leaping through the air to have a swordfight with Rain, while Jack is having a string of bad luck. Fox execs must have been appalled.

82:00 - 83:00 

Lo Pan is still pricking skin and sucking blood, Wang is still having a high-flying fight with Rain, and Jack is still stuck under the guard. Egg pulls out something that seems to be like a magical ancient Chinese bazooka that fires some kind of explosive crystal... Whatever it is, it unfortunately doesn't do anything impressive when he fires it.

After another bit of aerial swordfighting with Rain, Wang lands on the ground, looks at his opponent and raises his eyebrows twice. I don't know why, but when I was a little kid I really loved this double eyebrow raise. I would copy it, like doing it made me as cool as Wang.

83:00 - 84:00 

Lo Pan blasts green light out of his pinkies, Egg blasts purple light from an object in his hand, and in the space where these lights meet we see ancient warriors having a swordfight of their own. Lo Pan and Egg seem to be able to control the actions of these fighters by putting great effort into pushing their light-blasting hands forward... This is certainly a unique method of fighting. Green light colliding with purple light with red and blue neon lights in the background; it's so '80s.

84:00 - 85:00

Lightning got shown up by Egg a minute ago, but surprisingly the underdog of the Storms is not the first one of the trio to be defeated. Wang finally finishes his fight with Rain and comes out the winner... But not before Lo Pan and Thunder make their exit with Miao Yin.

Lo Pan has given up on Gracie, though, and that's a lucky break for Jack. When he gets attacked by the furry monster from earlier, the Chinese Wildman, she's the one who saves him this time. I have to take a moment to appreciate the fact that I just saw Kurt Russell share the screen with a goofy-looking, fur-coated monster.

85:00 - 86:00

And after Gracie has kicked the Chinese Wildman in the nards, Jack pushes the beast over. Kurt Russell just pushed over a man in a furry monster costume. Ah, that's awesome.

Jack and Gracie share an elevator to Lo Pan's office, and during the ride they share another kiss... A kiss that Gracie is into. A kiss that leaves bright red lipstick on Jack's lips for the next few minutes.

86:00 - 87:00

Jack puts on that John Wayne voice and swagger he had while speaking on the CB earlier for his confrontation with Lo Pan. He's clearly feeling very good about himself, very confident. And he has lipstick smeared all over his mouth, making him look like a clown. It's just so much fun how the movie is constantly making Jack come off like a buffoon and he doesn't even realize it.

87:00 - 88:00

While Wang distracts Thunder, Jack sees an opportunity to strike at Lo Pan, throwing his knife at the villain... and he misses completely. The knife loudly smacks into a gong hanging behind Lo Pan. But don't get too down on Jack for messing up this time; before the minute is over he has redeemed himself. There's a callback to the scene at the beginning of the film when Jack and Wang were making bets, and the character is allowed to accomplish something that others have been failing at for thousands of years.

Given the running time, you might think this is a bit early for the lead villain to get taken out, but Carpenter finds a way to fill the remaining minutes just fine.

88:00 - 89:00

Jack delivers his most famous line, "It's all in the reflexes." Then Gracie finally helps him out with that lipstick issue... And Thunder has a very emotional reaction to see that his boss has been killed. That power of inflation comes back into play in a major way here, with the effects crew turning Thunder into something very funny and cartoonish looking.

89:00 - 90:00

Thunder continues inflating and turning into more and more of a live action cartoon, complete with steam blasting from his ears and nostrils. The special effects department on this film was headed up by Steve Johnson, who has worked on a lot of fun films over the last forty years: The Fog, Fright Night, Return of the Living Dead III, An American Werewolf in London, Night of the Demons, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Brainscan, Species, Predator, Leviathan, a few of the Howling movies, and Spider-Man 2, among others. Johnson has never won an Oscar, but he did get a couple Emmys for his work on the Stephen King shows The Stand and The Shining. He's one of the greats, and was even married to Linnea Quigley for a while, which boosts his cool factor even further.

Thunder explodes, leaving the least likely Storm to be the last one standing. Lightning is still around, blasting electricity all over the place.

90:00 - 91:00

Lo Pan's domain is falling apart around our heroes as they try to make their escape, so it's a good thing Egg has a special crossbow in his bag of tricks. This thing fires an arrow that has a rope attached to it, then works as a winch or pulley system. They grab the rope and are lifted to safety. I think he might have borrowed this device from Batman.

Since this minute features the last we'll see of Lightning, I should also point out that the electricity effects in this movie look great.

91:00 - 92:00

On the way out of the Wing Kong Exchange building, the characters find Jack's truck sitting in a warehouse space, waiting for him. Jack has to run to the truck while a team of security guards are firing guns at him, though, which means Kurt Russell had to run past a wall loaded with exploding squibs. One of these squibs went off too early during filming, and it happened to be one that was right beside Russell's head. It could have taken his face off, but thankfully Russell is still around and intact. Russell and Carpenter have made five movies together, and apparently Carpenter's reaction to a crew member setting off that squib too early was one of the only times Russell ever saw him get angry.

92:00 - 93:00

A man and his truck reunited, it's a beautiful thing. Jack starts up his truck and proudly claims the roaring engine causes a 6.9 on the Richter scale. I have to assume the 69 reference was on purpose; Jack is the kind of guy who has the silhouette of a nude woman on the front of his truck, accompanied by the words "Haulin' Ass". Of course he makes 69 references.

93:00 - 94:00

Our heroes are celebrating their victory at Dragon of the Black Pool when Egg heads out for a long vacation. Jack suggests he go visit the motherland, China, but Egg replies, "China is in the heart, Jack. Wherever I go, she's with me." Aww, that's kind of how I feel about my home state of Ohio.

Wait, why the hell was Egg around to talk to a lawyer in the first scene when he's supposed to be on vacation?

Wang and Miao Yin are happy together, and it looks like Margo and Eddie are going to be hooking up, but -

94:00 - 95:00

Jack is going to hit the road and leave Gracie behind, because "sooner or later I rub everybody the wrong way". He'll think about pursuing a relationship with her, but there's no guarantee... and he doesn't even kiss her goodbye. Not only is he a hapless hero, he even walks away from his love interest.

95:00 - 96:00

Jack makes his exit with a fantastic line, "We really shook the pillars of Heaven, didn't we, Wang?" Feeling like you've shaken the pillars of Heaven certainly sounds like something to strive for, and Jack and Wang definitely did on this adventure. "No horseshit."

Jack gets back to work and back to monologuing over the CB. The camera pans along the side of the Porkchop Express as it drives through a dark and stormy night...

96:00 - 97:00

And then we see that the Chinese Wildman is hitching a ride on the back of the truck. The end credits start to roll. When I was a kid, I was certain that this ending moment was going to lead to a sequel. I desperately hoped for a sequel, for another adventure with Jack and Wang packed with martial arts, magic, and monsters. But it wasn't to be. We didn't get the Jack Burton franchise we deserved.

97:00 - 98:00

We're treated to the sound of John Carpenter singing over the end credits, performing the title song with his band The Coupe de Villes. His bandmates were Nick Castle, who co-wrote Escape from New York with him and played Michael Myers in the original Halloween (in addition to being a director in his own right), and Tommy Lee Wallace, production designer and editor on Halloween and The Fog, art director on Dark Star and Assault on Precinct 13, writer of Amityville II: The Possession, director of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, etc. Wallace also served as second unit director on this movie.

98:00 - 99:00

The credit for special effects artist Screaming Mad George scrolls by. That's always a cool name to see show up on a movie.

Russell's longtime stunt double Dick Warlock worked with him on this one. Sometimes Warlock would be credited as Dick Warlock on movies, sometimes he'd be credited as Richard Warlock. This is one of the Richard Warlocks. Russell and Warlock's working relationship lasted from the '60s into the '90s. Even though Warlock has over 40 acting credits to his name and 200 stunt credits, he's best known for playing Michael Myers in Halloween II.

Special thanks to Freightliner for providing Jack's truck.

99:00 - 100:00

The credits wrap up with logos and copyright notices, and it seems the final credits linger on screen a little longer just so we can hear a bit more of that awesome Coupe de Villes song before we have to leave the world of Big Trouble in Little China.

This is the fourth article in the Full Attention series, and while I picked Night of the Living Dead as the first because that's the movie I put on most often and I picked Friday the 13th as the second to celebrate the film's 40th anniversary, Big Trouble in Little China I chose to give the Full Attention treatment for the same reason I chose Stand by Me - in the first year of Life Between Frames, I wrote a Film Appreciation article on this movie that I wasn't fully satisfied with. So I thought maybe I could give the film its proper due by writing this article as a companion piece to that Film Appreciation write-up.

Going forward, I'm hoping the Full Attention series will be rather interactive, as I'm open to receiving suggestions on what movies I should cover. If there's a movie you would like to see me write about minute by minute, let me know by leaving a comment or sending an email. All suggestions will be considered, although those that are meant to be endurance challenges are less likely to be accepted. 

No comments:

Post a Comment