Recently I caught wind of their Late Show film series which over the summer has been featuring 80′s Hollywood Oddities, highlighting some of the strangest films the decade had to offer. There are just two films left in this series through the end of August, Xanadu (August 10th) and They Live (August 24th).
I’m a huge proponent of supporting these smaller theaters. It’s a good way to catch films that you may be familiar with in a larger format. The Late Show screenings start at 11:30pm and tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for BMFI members.
John Carpenter’s They Live, his cult classic science fiction take on yuppies and Reagan era economic policies is coming to Blu Ray this Fall and I can barely contain myself. They Live is quintessential Carpenter, short exposition followed by a balls out second act and wrapping things up in a hail of gunfire. They Live was one of those movies that my dad let me watch at an entirely inappropriate age. Surely he regretted his 6-year old son running around wanting to ‘kick ass and chew bubblegum’.
The best part of this new release could be the cover art, which I have a hard time believing that anyone will ever be able to top. If you pre-order the Blu-Ray, you will actually get a pretty cool incentive, an 18″x24″ poster of the cover art.
This week’s assignment from The League is to show off our prized possession, the one thing that you would sacrifice life and limb for. Other than my wife and kids, the one thing I love the most in my life is my Jack Burton action figure. Back in 2009 I waxed poetic over at my buddy Poe Ghostal’s blog in a Show & Tell.
My affinity for Big Trouble In Little China has been well documented here over the years. In the Fall of 2002, I walked into Suncoast Video (remember those) in the Oxford Valley Mall to find my hero, Jack Burton, in collectible plastic form. Without thinking, I rushed to the cash register before anyone was able to muscle good ‘ol Jack out of my sweaty grip.
The sculpt is a great representation of Drew Struzan’s truly wonderful one sheet for the film. The paint applications are pretty great by 2002 standards, and does Jack Burton’s iconic tank top justice. Over the years, I’ve had friends and aquaintances offer me varying sums of money to take Jack Burton home with them. I’ve ignored every offer, I can assure you that in the event of a natural disaster, fire, or a zombie apocalypse that after ensuring that my wife and kids are safe … I will be sure to take Jack Burton with me.
I’ve been attending Philadelphia Comic Con (errr Wizard World Philadelphia?) since 2007. Last year was the first time I officially covered it with my “press” credentials. My level of enthusiasm varies from year to year. I’m okay with what it has become, a tour with celebrity guests (of varying star quality) with some comic panels and a decent sized artist alley.
I was printing out my application press credentials when one person caught my eye … James Hong. Yes, David Lo Pan … he of the Wing Kong Exchange would be making an appearance. Big Trouble In Little China remains my all time favorite movie, and if there is reason enough to go, this would be it.
As an avowed fan of all things John Carpenter you can understand that there is a special place in my heart for The Thing. One of the greatest aspects of The Thing isn’t even in the film, but the glorious one sheet by artist Drew Struzan. It’s imagery is iconic within pop culture which has often been copied but never duplicated.
One of the things I love about Planet Pulp is that is a central repository for nerdy things I like, and artist Tim Welser knocked it out of the park with his poster for The Thing.
I know the thing right now that the craze within pop culture circles are limited edition poster prints for current and cult films. While I have yet to fully embrace that craze, I think that Mr. Welser is deserving of some much deserved love. This print and many of of his works are available in his Etsy Shop Team Welser.
Strange things happen on the Internet late at night. Often times the things I discover are not meant to be seen and quite frankly they can never be unseen. However, one night I would up on a little blog called Planet Pulp. What is Planet Pulp exactly?
We are an Intergalactic Online gallery on a mission to orbit a pulp-culture theme every 30 days. Here you will discover a collection of talented rogues bound together by sheer awesomeness, illustrating and designing monthly themes as we celebrate our shared love of Pulp Culture!
For the month of June they are celebrating the 1980s action hero; and they are touching on everyone from Robocop to Aliens’ Ellen Ripley. They contributions come from all over from very talented artists and illustrators. What caught my eye was some of the truly fantastic art inspired by John Carpenter’s films like Big Trouble in Little China, They Live, and Escape from New York.
As a gigantic fan of Big Trouble in Little China, I’m absolutely gushing over the first piece from artist Dave Stokes. It keys in on one of my favorite scenes from the movie. If at this point you haven’t added Planet Pulp to your blogroll you better get on it you aren’t going to want to miss what they have in store for July.
I have a deep and profound love of John Carpenter’s Big Trouble In Little China. It was a movie that I watched on a constant loop as a kid (probably not the best decision on my parent’s behalf), but for nearly 20 years it has remained my favorite live-action movie. It’s a movie that really has a cult following, and I think a lot of those followers are now guys writing for the big movie blogs.
The studio wanted RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, clearly that’s what they wanted. They wanted a movie like that. “Can’t you just do that?” They didn’t ever actually say that to me, but I know that’s what they wanted. “Xerox it.” But I had other ideas
It’s well known that 20th Century Fox sunk nearly $25 million into the film in the hopes of cultivating a new action adventure hero in the form of Jack Burton. The finished product was nothing like what they had outlined for Carpenter, and he elaborated:
I was like “What about if your white lead is a complete fool?” He has no idea what he is doing. He thinks he does… He’s this big blowhard. He’s kind of a John Wayne blowhard in the fact that he has no ability at anything, but he thinks he does and he rolls around and ‘Jack Burton says this,’ and talks about himself. And Kurt just went for it and of course to the horror of everybody at the studio. Absolute horror. They didn’t want THAT kind of comedy.
What makes the movie so great is that Jack Burton isn’t really even the hero. He’s just “a reasonable guy who has experience some very unreasonable things”. A lot of credit has to go to Kurt Russell who essentially played a character that has become a geek icon and infinitely quotable. And as eluded to during the course of the interview, Big Trouble in Little China has enjoyed a lot of success on DVD and Blu Ray having gone through multiple productions runs.
Quint really did do a terrific job in this interview, and was able to touch on a lot of the highlights of Carpenter’s career from Halloween to They Live. If you’re a fan you really owe it to yourself to check it out in its entirety.
I’m ashamed to that fact that I missed out on the news that none other than John Carpenter would be appearing at this weekend’s Monster Mania Con in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Now I see it as rather unfair to the creative genius that gave us Big Trouble in Little China, Escape from New York, The Thing, The Fog, Halloween, & Ghosts of MOTHERFUCKING Mars to be lumped with horror movie has beens that make up a majority of the guest list. During the course of the weekend, there will be opportunities for autographs and a Q&A session featuring Mr. Carpenter. There will also be screenings of The Fog and Escape from New York
I can only hope that John Carpenter’s band The Coupe De Villes reunite one last time to perform the theme song to Big Trouble In Little China ….
In the end, it’s probably better that I don’t show up. I have a horrendous track record when given an opportunity to meet one of my idols. I turned into a mush mouthed Mary when I met Jon Anderson from Yes.
While I may be named after Jon Anderson, there are very few films that I could elevate above Big Trouble in Little China. If I showed up at the Q&A I would hijack the event into a personal diatribe as to the importance that Jack Burton has played in my life to this point. It would end with me tasered, lying in a pool of my own urine as security guards haul my ass out of the room.
Pre-show tickets are sold out, so your best bet at this time is to show up at the Crown Plaza Hotel and beg for admittance.
When I made the jump to Blu-Ray, I told my wife that I wouldn’t double dip on the entirety of my 200+ DVD collection. I was able to make a list of movies that were worthy of a double dip … and BTiLC was tops on that list.
There is almost too much awesomeness contained in this film: between Kurt Russell’s sweet mullet, the Three Storms, The Pork Chop Express … and a kick ass score. I can’t wake to make the run to Best Buy later this afternoon.
They Live is memorable for numerous reason, Rowdy Roddy Piper’s most famous film work other than “Hell Comes to Frogtown”, one of the greatest lines “…I have come here to chew bubblegum, and kick ass”, and the most EPIC fight sequence ever captured … that is until Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King
Reaction is mixed, some are all for it … I have a deep and profound love for They Live, and as along as appropriate care is taken with the casting and direction it could rock the fat ass.