Jack Burton & The Porkchop Express

Sitting in our cozy living room, the sun casted a warm glow on the plastic-covered furniture that crinkled beneath me. I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement as my eyes locked onto the television screen, where John Carpenter’s “Big Trouble in Little China” was playing. The first time I saw this movie, I was instantly captivated. The action, drama, and even romance in this production were unlike anything I had ever seen before. Growing up in a church-going family, I was well aware of the religious opinions on violent movies. However, my infatuation with the film was unshakable, and I was determined to watch it as many times as possible. I remember how my fascination with Mortal Kombat for Sega Genesis had led me to recognize Rayden’s inspiration in the characters of Thunder, Cloud, and Lightning – the 3 storms in the movie. Their mystical and powerful presence further fueled my love for the film. Using an old VHS tape of family gatherings, my brother and I meticulously recorded a copy of the movie straight off the TV. We tried our best to pause during all the commercial breaks, leaving us with an almost perfect recording, only slightly marred by the occasional snippet of an advertisement. This recording became my prized possession, and I would watch it obsessively, time and time again. Over the years, the film’s script etched itself into my memory as I painstakingly practiced reciting the lines to entertain those around me. At the time, I couldn’t understand why I was so dedicated to this endeavor, but as I grew older, I realized that I had been training myself in the art of memorization. Using something I loved as a catalyst for entertainment, I unknowingly honed a skill that would become invaluable in my life. Decades later, in all sorts of situations, I would effortlessly slip into my impression of Jack Burton, driving the Pork Chop Express down a long and lonely road, spouting lines from the movie. The laughter that ensued, the joy that filled the room, and the way I could connect with others through this shared experience brought meaning to the old saying: hindsight is 20/20. The impact of “Big Trouble in Little China” on my life cannot be overstated. It ignited a passion for storytelling, and a love for a movie that transcended its time.

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