Big Trouble in Little China is the Pick of the Week

A John Carpenter cult classic rounds up a new week of releases.
  |   Comments

Director John Carpenter has had a long-standing career of making great movies, especially in the horror genre. Some of them (Halloween, The Thing, The Fog, Escape from New York) are absolutely iconic; while others (1995's Village of the Damned, Vampires, Ghosts of Mars, Escape from LA) are not so much. Fortunately, his 1986 exciting action horror comedy, Big Trouble in Little China, is definitely one of his more accessible films. It's pretty clear that he was influenced by the comic books of the '50s, and it totally shows here. It has a fun and refreshing performance by Kurt Russell, amazing special effects, and overall, just a cool atmosphere. Russell plays a tough-talking truck driver who is thrown into a tailspin when his best friend's fiancee is kidnapped by a 2,000-year-old magician. He has to face a domain of terrible terrors to rescue the girl and save the day. 

Shout Factory, yet again, has pulled out all the stops for Carpenter's gem. The jam-packed special features includes a few new commentaries with producer Larry Franco and special effects artist Steve Johnson, as well as a vintage commentary with Carpenter and Russell; an isolated score; trailers; deleted/extended scenes; and an extended ending. There is also second disc that contains new interviews with actors Dennis Dun, James Hong, Donald Li, Carter Wong, and others; new interviews with writers W.D Richter and Gary Goldman, cinematographer Dean Cundey, stuntman Jeff Imada, and much, much more. This release should definitely be a must-have for all Carpenter fanatics and cult ethusasists in general.

Other notable releases:

The Story of Temple Drake (Criterion Collection): A notorious pre-Code melodrama starring Miriam Hopkins as a wealthy but unbalanced woman who finds herself stranded in a hideout full of vicious bootleggers.

Tunes of Glory (Criterion Collection); Sir Alec Guinness plays an uninhibited battalion leader who is replaced with a strict, volatile Lieutenant in Scotland during World War II. This leads him to eventually sabotage the man's authority and reputation with the soldiers.

Ready or Not: A bride's wedding night turns into a fight for survival when her new, eccentric in-laws force her to take part in deadly hunting game.

Slaughterhouse Five: Based on the Kurt Vonnegut Jr. bestseller, where Billy Pilgrim, an ordinary World War II soldier, suddenly finds himself unstuck in time. He goes back and forth between his birth in New York to life on a distant planet and back again to war-torn Dresden.

    Follow Us