When I was in middle school, I saw a movie called Big Trouble in Little China, by a directer I’d never heard of before by the name of John Carpenter. This movie kind of opened up my mind a bit. I’d seen martial arts films, before, stuff along the lines of old Bruce Lee films, as well as some of Jackie Chan’s movies, but I’d never seen Wuxia before. Seeing martial arts done in a modern setting, combined with the magic and mysticism that was used in Wuxia films basically blew my mind. That movie got me into watching a lot of martial arts film (though I have difficulty watching some of the films I probably wouldn’t have had problems with before – I couldn’t even get started with High Risk/Meltdown, due to the bad plot and the blatant cheap shots at Jackie Chan – which I found in poor taste).
Anyway, the film also got me interested in seeing some of John Carpenter’s other films, and I later would seek out The Thing, which was my first HD-DVD purchase (yeah, I backed the wrong side in the format war), and Escape From New York, as well as Halloween. I would later see the remake of Assault on Precinct 13, which I checked out from the Library and enjoyed (though it was critically panned), but the library didn’t have the original, and I wanted to seek it out and see it for myself.
Well, we come to now. I am now an adult with my own source of income, a Netflix account, and PS3. I finally rented John Carpenter’s first traditionally made motion picture (he’d previously made the science fiction film Dark Star, which was his true first film, but it wasn’t made in the traditional fashion – with the film being made in fits and starts over several years as money permitted), and the question is now, how is it for a true first film? No major spoilers this time around, just one for a quick, plot insignificant one-off gag. (more…)