Hello and welcome to part:13 of my Journey into Science-Fiction. Today, I will be trying at least to make some sense of the film that is The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Previously on my Journey, I examined the sci-fi classic Robocop and today’s film has to somehow be linked to that, if you would like to know more, click on the below.
Buckaroo Banzai was produced and directed by W.D Richter and written by Earl Mac Rauch, what a name! Released by 20th Century Fox in 1984, the film only managed to recoup half of the cost of production but has since attracted a loyal fan base throughout the years that followed.Peter Weller and his Hong Kong Cavaliers are caught in a battle to the death between the evil red aliens and the good black aliens from Planet 10. I really enjoyed the opening of this film, proper 80’s synthesiser magnificence with retro signage. After that, this film does not stop for breath, the visuals in the film are pretty dam great for the time but the story is completely barmy. I can, however, see how it’s become a cult classic with the sheer lunacy of it. In charge of the bad side, we have dictator John Whorfin John Lithgow who has taken over the body of Italian scientist Dr Emilio Lizardo. The red aliens are trying to get Buckaroo’s oscillation over-thruster but the black aliens are having none of it and would rather destroy Earth than let the Renegades return to their planet. I will admit, I have put off writing about this film for a while because, after the first viewing, I had no idea what was going on! Instead, I gave it a few weeks to digest and watched it again. I will be honest, I don’t love it, but I can see something in it that completely leftfield and enjoyable and also there is possibly a great plot that could have been executed so much better if some of the craziness would have been toned down a bit.
I really do like the story of aliens from other dimensions and how they incorporated the War of the Worlds broadcast as a real-life event is really quite genius. On the flip-side to that is how can you take a film seriously when people have bubble wrap strapped to their face whilst talking to an alien who would be more suited to Studio 54? I do understand how this is a product of its time and if I was a 10-year-old watching this on VHS back in the day, my thoughts could be completely different now. There is a lot be treasured though and I’m never trying to put a film down, there are some great actors in this film who went on to bigger and better things, and I have to tip my hat to the visual/special effects department for trying something new, this film stands alone in that sense and is quite an achievement.
There are some funny moments and one that really made me chuckle is when John Bigbooté Christopher Lloyd gives John Whorfin the finger behind his back, actually, it made me laugh pretty hard. Then we have Buckaroo Banzai and his Hong Kong Cavaliers, unbelievable costumes and makes me wonder, was the 80s ever really like that? At the end of the film, we watch the gang strolling around and I couldn’t help but laugh in thinking they are heading down to an opening of a local Primark store. I can see its charm and maybe I will watch it again, never say never! Anyway, by the end of the film, I realised there is going to be a new one coming out after this, maybe that one will be a little better. Oh yeah, there is one part of this film I really enjoyed, the soundtrack by Bones How and Michael Boddicker I’ve been humming along to it ever since I watched it and I’m even more upset now it isn’t available on my Spotify, really great score. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my look at this film and if you love it, then please let me know as I’m always willing to look at it from a different view and thank you for reading.
I guess the next question is where am I going to next on my Journey into Science-Fiction? Well, I could have gone with Back to the Future, featuring Christopher Lloyd, but my next choice features Jeff Goldblum and is a film that really made a big impression on me as a child and I can’t wait to revisit it, ladies and gentlemen, my next film to examine is David Cronenberg’s 1986 science-fiction horror, The Fly.
I’m beyond excited about this and can’t wait to learn more about a film I love, but really know nothing about. Again, many thanks for reading and I love hearing your comments, good or bad! See you next time for Part:14 of My journey into Science-Fiction.