This film by John Carpenter influenced one of the main fighting game sagas.

“Do you believe in magic?” reads one of the earliest dialogues of the Little China Coup in a direct declaration of intent. It arrived in 1986 at the hands of director John Carpenter, completely moving away from any other work that the filmmaker could have accustomed us to. In that decade, it was known for the famous Halloween, The Thing or The Fog and, although each one has its essence, the horror genre was common to all of them.

However, with Little China Coup every change, presenting us with a fanciful proposal, based on Chinese mythology and full of all kinds of stunts and not very credible situations with San Francisco as a backdrop. The result was a work not understood at the time that, over the years, became a complete worship work, inspiring even one of the best-known fighting and video game sagas: Mortal Kombat.

The Apparition of the Storm

In Little China Coup we will meet Jack Burton, a somewhat spirited truck driver who ends up in San Francisco as part of his route. There he meets Wang, one of his old friends and, by a twist of fate, they find themselves immersed in a whole plot full of bandits, magic, curses and beings from another world.

Thus begins what for many is a descent into the mythological hell in which the breadSeeking to reverse his curse, he will either hinder the protagonists or them in his. This villain, like the entire film itself, is characterized by a highly dramatized aesthetic that fuses the context of the eighties with Chinese folklore. The entire tone of the tape is exaggerated, from the fights, the dialogues, the design of the sets or the costume itself. It looks like a work taken from a beat’em up. To see this film, one has to do so with an open mind and a high suspension of disbelief, as it has also aged a little badly. Well, to be honest, the effects back in the day weren’t the best quality.


However, the result is a very entertaining film in which we find drama, humor and action. Kurt Russell seems like he was born to play Burton and John Carpenter must have thought so, as he insisted they work together. At that time, Russell was stringing together a series of flops and feared that his bad luck would cause the tape to break with a bang. He wasn’t wrong. Coup in Little China badly harvested 11.1 millionbut time and mixed reviews have meant that over time it has been valued as an innovative and different film that, moreover, is intimately linked to video games.

And no, I’m not just talking about that famous scene in which Lo Pan and Egg Shen, played by the mythical Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morita, begin to fight with beams of light and finger movements as if they were moving a joystick, I mean their impact had a direct influence on Mortal Kombat. Along with the main villain, we find The 3 Storms, some antagonists who spare words, but with enough aesthetics and presence to devour every scene they appear in. They were neither more nor less than the inspiration to create the famous character Raiden, while Lo Pan is from Shang Tsung.

With all this, the greatness of this film and one of the main reasons to see it lies in the almost innocence that exudes at the doors of what was a new genre, to be explored. It’s almost adorable to see how, back then, they dared to dream without fear and combine all kinds of ideas. In addition, the fights are a spectacle worth seeing, not so much for their realism as for their theatricality, since they even had the collaboration of professionals from the martial arts like James Lew.

Blu-Ray Blowing in Little China [Blu-ray]

In case you haven’t seen it and feel a little itchy, the good news is that you can do it through Netflix in a simple way. For those who like it and, like me, are lovers of the film, know that you can also purchase it in physical format through Amazon for a very affordable price.

In 3D games | They used real weapons in the filming and the protagonist ended up being dismissed to burn with them: IlloJuan will honor one of the best films in all of history in his next live shows and you can see it on SkyShowtime