Saturday, August 23, 2008

Film Figures: Big Trouble In Little China

There was a time (we called it "The Eighties") when everyone and their brother in Hollywood got a look at the unheard of box office earnings of Lucas and Spielberg's Indiana Jones movies, and in drooling droves, sallied forth to create their own knock-offs. The results were a slew of really, really bad bits of "entertainment". From the Golan-Globus produced "Firewalker", to "Jake Speed", Hollywood (not for the first time) showed that their lack of ingenuity and originality couldn't even be buoyied by big budgets and a groundswell of Indy Hype.
There were however, a couple of exceptions when it came to the onslaught of Indy knock-offs. One being John Carpenter's, Big Trouble In Little China. It was an Indiana Jones knock-off that wasn't really and Indiana Jones knock-off. The type of movie that I'm sure when being pitched to studio heads was labeled as "in the vein of Raiders of the Lost Ark", even though Carpenter, and screen writer D.W. Richter knew better.
Released in the summer of 1986, Big Trouble In Little China was a box office disaster, crushed not only by it's far superior cinematic rival, James Cameron's Aliens, but by the fact that it was labeled as being like an Indiana Jones movie, yet proved to be way, way less entertaining than an Indiana Jones movie.
As a kid (and, fuck- as an adult), I loved BTLC, and always wished there had been toys.
In 2002, N2 Toys produced a line of BTLC action figures- flooring Your's Truly. I couldn't believe that a company had ACTUALLY made them.
Here's the film's mouth running, bumbling "hero", Jack Burton.
Sadly, I recently unloaded Ol' Jack on Ebay- once again, in an attempt to free up some extra cash for some of the pricier figures I've placed pre-orders on...
"Give me your best shot, Pal. I can take it."

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