Saturday, March 26, 2005

Movie of the Week, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Hey, hey, hey. Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are. -Buckaroo Banzai

Neurosurgeon/Rock Star/Superhero Buckaroo
has perfected the oscillation overthruster, which allows him to travel through solid matter by using the eighth dimension. The Red Lectroids from Planet 10 are after this device for their own evil ends, and it's up to Buckaroo and his band and crime-fighting team The Hong Kong Cavaliers to stop them.

Watch the trailer here:

Fun Trivia:
Overall concept and several names appear to be taken from the Doc Savage pulp magazines of the 30's and 40's: both main characters are multi-talented surgeons, adventurers, and musicians; and both have an inner circle of sidekicks with nicknames (Renny, Ham, Monk, Long Tom, and Johnny, compared to Reno, New Jersey, Perfect Tommy, and Rawhide).

'Weller, Peter' is really playing the guitar in the nightclub scene.

The home videocassette of BUCKAROO BANZAI went platinum after its first 10 days of release.

The end of the movie invites the viewer to watch for the upcoming film "Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League". This was the real title for a sequel that Sherwood Studios planned to make if this film had been successful. Unfortunately, it was a box-office bomb, and Sherwood Studios went bankrupt. After its release on video and cable, however, BB became a cult favorite, much in the same way as Mad Max (1979) (which crawled from obscurity to spawn two sequels). Legal wranglings due to the bankruptcy prevented any other studios from picking up the sequel rights, and even years later MGM had to fight through a pile of red tape simply to get the OK to release it on DVD.

W.D. Richter, the director of Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across theEighth Dimension (1984), had originally penned a script for theoft-wondered about but unfilmed sequel, "Buckaroo Banzai Against TheWorld Crime League." When that project fell through due to production conflicts the script was retooled for John Carpenter and Kurt Russell and became "Big Trouble in Little China.

Fun Quotes:
Buckaroo Banzai: Don't tug on that. You never know what it may be attached to.

Perfect Tommy: Emilio Lizardo. Wasn't he on TV once?
Buckaroo Banzai: You're thinking of Mr. Wizard.
Reno: Emilio Lizardo is a top scientist, dumbkopf.
Perfect Tommy: So was Mr. Wizard.

Buckaroo Banzai: There they are.
Perfect Tommy: There who are?
Buckaroo Banzai: Don't you see them?
New Jersey: See who? [Buckaroo points at the Lectroids]
Buckaroo Banzai: There! Evil PURE AND SIMPLE by way of the Eighth Dimension!

Overhead announcement at psychiatric hospital: Lithium is no longer available on credit.

Buckaroo Banzai: There are times when verbal ingenuity is not enough.

John Emball: If you fail, we will be forced to help you destroy yourselves.

Buckaroo Banzai: Hey, hey, hey. Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

Watch the classic end credits sequence here:

Four outta four stars, if you haven't seen this you're missing out on a seminal cult classic.


Unknown said...

While filming the classic end credits sequence, film composer Michael Boddicker hadn't finished writing the them as of yet. However, he instructed the cast to march along to the tempo of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl".

Gavin Elster said...

Fan club president Denise Tathwell went on to marry Michael Okuda and together they have worked on several Star Trek projects. The fan club was created as a marketing tool as Fox had no plans to market this film. It was a great idea as the fan club offered original writings from Richter providing tons of backstory to the film. There was enough material in the letters they sent to fans to provide 3 seasons worth of episodic tv.

Too bad Fox, the distributor, didn't care for the film.

Arkonbey said...


I remember seeing this in the theater with my favorite uncle, "wierd" uncle Jim.

He cajoled the theater manager go give me one of those publicity photos they send out; I got a group portrait of John Warphin, John Bigboote and John 'nice night, huh'.

It is one of the best movies ever.

Becca said...

What a cool memory! This is definitely the kind of movie you want to see in the theater.

Anonymous said...

Buckaroo Banzai is one of my two "litmus test" movies (the other being Pulp Fiction). Anyone who loved this movie is automatically a friend in my book. Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin & John Lithgow at their absolute best.

When I grow up, I want to be Perfect Tommy.

Blackwing Rose said...

You have an amazing knack for featuring movies that are cherished portions of my childhood. In fact, I can't ever do a movie blog because you've featured about half the films I'd use. :-)

A really good family friend used to do alot of extra work in films and was one of red electroids. Next to being told he was too tall for Under the Rainbow (he's 4'9") one of his biggest regrets is that most of his part in Banzai, including lines with Peter Weller, got cut out.

My mom still has a Team Banzai headband that I get to borrow sometimes.