Forget Rambo, forget Indiana Jones, forget Highlander. Whilst they were all undoubtedly very good, the real 80s action classic, the one to define the era, was Big Trouble in Little China!
It's so-bizarre-it's-brilliant plot line and revolutionary use of special effects have remarkably stood the test of time. Whilst of course it looks still very 80s, it's still very, very watchable - as I discovered once again last night, re-watching it for 5th time!
In it, Kurt Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who unexpectedly gets caught in conflict with San Francisco's Chinatown mobsters. A beautiful green-eyed woman, who is the fiancee to Jack's best friend, is kidnapped and Jack must help his friend rescue the girl before the evil Lo Pan uses her to break the ancient curse that keeps him a fleshless and immortal spirit!
Anyway, it turns out there's so much more to this movie than what we see on screen. I did a little bit of digging and found these insane facts about John Carpenter's 1986 classic!
Scroll down for 10 cool facts about Big Trouble in Little China.
1. According to the film's director John Carpenter, the story was originally written as a western.
At the last minute, Carpenter decided to set it during modern times. They even mention that instead of Jack Burton's truck being stolen, it was originally his horse.
2. Kurt Russell's sweaty appearance is all real!
Kurt Russell suffered a bad case of the flu during shooting so the sweat on his body is real, caused by the fever.
3. "Miao Yin" roughly translates to "cat-like".
Suzee Pai, who played Miao Yin, sadly gave up acting in 1993.
4. In real life, Thunder trains the Hong Kong police force!
According to John Carpenter in the DVD Commentary, Carter Wong, who plays Thunder, actually worked as a martial arts instructor with the Hong Kong Police.
5. Kurt Russell recycles a costume from a previous film!
In the scene where Kurt Russell is attempting to infiltrate the brothel, he is wearing the same outfit that he wore in Used Cars (1980).
6. The body count is well over double figures!
Number of people who die throughout the film: 46.
7. The film references known members of New York City's Chinatown mob.
The name of the murdered gang leader, Lem Lee, is a reference to Tom Lee, the leader of the On Leong Tong, a crime syndicate in New York's Chinatown in the early 20th Century that fronted itself as a merchant association.
8. Russell actually drove the truck!
He later joked that he was terrified of hurting someone. Carpenter said he was more concerned with the actor breaking the truck.
9. Jackie Chan cameos as himself!
Although he was not cast as Wang Chi, he appears during the fight between the Chang Sing and Wing Kong Tongs fight.
10. The full movie is available to watch on Youtube for free!