For reasons that remain a mystery even to this day, trucking services became an inexplicable pop-culture phenomenon around the world at some point in the 1970s. In Japan, that led to a number of films that kickstarted the Dekotora trend, but back in the United States, our own trucking movies and music became a veritable cottage industry, leading to movies and television shows based on truck drivers and even turning C.B. radio into something of a national pastime.
Through the ’80s and even into the ’90s, truck driving remained a box office draw. We’ll periodically be looking back at some of our favorite trucking films of that era, beginning with a classic piece of ’80s schlock-cinema.
Big Trouble in Little China (1986): In the 1980s, John Carpenter was the master of science-fiction, helming such classics as Escape from New York, The Thing and They Live. Right in the middle of the enviable run is Big Trouble in Little China, in which Carpenter’s frequent muse Kurt Russell stars as a truck driver who must save a kidnapped woman from a team of Chinatown bandits led by an honest to goodness ancient sorcerer. Though it was a box office bomb, the enjoyably over the top film has since become a cult classic on VHS and DVD.