nikki, aldctjoc, and rhone1 all responded about how it reflected the movie, which it does. The problem is whether the movie is racist to begin with.
1. It's on Complex Magazine's list of The 50 Most Racist Movies:
2. Back when the movie came out in 1986, there were complaints about the racist stereotypes it perpetrated.
Chinese for Affirmative Action and other members of Asian media groups say it is unlikely that a white man would come into an Asian community to save the day. They also say that director John Carpenter's comedy adventure, which had mediocre box office figures its first five days, ($3,827,185 according to Daily Variety) is racist and will encourage anti-Asian prejudices among young moviegoers.
While many who went to the screening said they enjoyed the movie, some Asian organizations believe the film contains ethnic stereotypes that would offend many Asian-Americans.
Some members of the Chinese community were upset by what they regarded as the stereotypical depictions in a “white man’s product” and by the fact that hardly any nonwhite female characters talk in the film.
Despite the casting of Dun, Hong, and Wong in prominent roles, the film became a point of controversy for Asian-American activists concerned the movie was trafficking in racist stereotypes. At one point during production, 25 protesters arrived at one of the movie’s locations to distribute leaflets complaining that film concerned “a macho, smart-aleck truckdriver and his Chinese ‘yes’ man.”
CARPENTER: It was a San Francisco guy who said, “Now, this is a movie for white people.” It was really unpleasant. What are you going to do? You’re right, I am Caucasian! You’re right! And then we were picketed. It was unbelievable. What a world!
What feels so wrong, however, is how Carpenter treats all the fantastical elements as if they are commonplace to the Chinese characters (read: people) – and that ouldn't be a travesty in and of itself, given the film is a satirical fantasy, if so many of those characters didn't remind you of the Asian caricatures from as far back as the 20s and 30s. It's as if Big Trouble in Little China would have you believe, despite being an obvious work of fiction, that Chinese men on a whole are as daffy and loony as they appear on-screen here, and the plot is only a fantasy to the protagonist, a crass truck driver who gets more than he bargained for gambling and drinking one night in Chinatown. The women, not surprisingly, are almost completely relegated to a single scene in a brothel.
The racist undertones in the plotting may seem like a stretch until you take into consideration just how many of the Chinese characters look and behave like the titular yellow-faced caricatures of the pre-War World War II Charlie Chan, Fu Manchu and Mr. Moto serials.
@saburch: Well, we could also probably do without all the booth babes.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the gaming industry and gaming population are a bit lacking in terms of diversity (e.g. racial, gender, possible other dimensions like maybe LGBTQIA).
On the religious front, Lo Pan actually was a historical person who was deified as a god and serves as a "patron saint" for Chinese buildings and contractors.
There actually is a Lo Pan Temple dedicated to him in Hong Kong.
So naming the main villain of the movie "Lo Pan" probably wasn't the best idea. Then again, Hollywood has a bad habit of appropriating and presenting unflattering depictions from a lot of religions (e.g. Greek, Norse, Hindu, Egyptian, etc.)