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The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments A cult film that I enjoy more and more over the years. A great cast and hyper screenplay really pull this film together. Recommended!

THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION (W.D. Richter, 1984, USA) A frenetically puerile comic book adventure, BUCKAROO BANZAI successfully travels across the 8th dimension of serious science fiction and campy action flick. This would make a great double feature with John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Buckaroo is a world renowned brain surgeon, race car driver, scientist, adventurer, and rock star….from New Jersey. There is really a rather intelligent and often convoluted plot involving Orson Welles and the original War of the Worlds radio broadcast, Red and black Lectroids from Planet Ten, an Oscillation Overthruster, the United States Government Weapons Program, nuclear extortion, Penny Priddy (who looks just like Buckaroo’s ex), the Radar Rangers, The Rug Suckers, The Blue Blaze Irregulars, and the Hong Kong Cavaliers. And we can’t forget Jeff Goldblum in his blazing red shirt and chaps! This audacious amalgam of genre conventions is successful because it takes itself seriously and isn’t self-referencing: there are no subtle nods or winks towards the audience to break the illusion. The actors and director play it straight with ironic humor and crosscutting suspense. The attention to set detail and characters makes this zany world seem larger than the screen; we accept that even the President is awed by this modern Renaissance Man. John Lithgow’s performance as the possessed Dr. Lizardo is gleefully berserk but perfectly within character of the demented and deranged scientist. The plot develops quickly and the catapults towards the violent conclusion leaving the audience a bit dazed and breathless not sure what to expect around the next corner. The dated synthesizer score (and wardrobe!) adds an 80’s pop culture veneer to this madcap adventure. Unfortunately, the Buckaroo Banzai sequel was never filmed: now that’s a crime! (B)

message 2: by Gail (new)

Gail D.C. | 228 comments Love the Backaroo!!!
I have not seen it for a while but I am feeling the need to do so soon.

message 3: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) I love that movie! I made my son watch it a few months ago. He didn't get it.

message 4: by George (new)

George | 951 comments I certainly loved it when it came out, but I haven't seen it since, so I'm not sure how well it's aged. I particularly liked Lithgow's Dr. Lizardo. I'll take it over Big Trouble any day though.

message 5: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I have to say I was not a big fan of this one.

I looked at the box cover the other day and all those 80's mod haircuts and outfits seem kind of quaint now.

The biggest detail I remember is the ending. They announce the upcoming sequal just as the credits are about to roll.

I dont remember ever seeing its release. Was it ever made?

message 6: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 135 comments I loved this movie. It was so campy and over the top - had so much fun! And what a great cast!

message 7: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5487 comments It holds up pretty well, for the most part. Some of it is rather dated, and I've never liked that Perfect Tommy creep, but Peter Weller's supernatural cool and Lithgow's glorious manic performance keep the fun happening.

"Laugh while you can, monkey boy!"

message 8: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments The title card proclaims a sequel: Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League. Sadly, it was never filmed.

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