The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984 – DVD)

“He’ll come, I know his type. Take her to the pit. Go Bigbooté! Use more honey, find out what she knows”

I was only three when Director W. D. Richter’s ‘The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension’ came out so I was totally unaware of this box-office disaster and cult sci-fi treat until this week. The (Intentionally) crazy plot was probably why it bombed but it’s also what intrigued me. I’ll have a go at explaining it; Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) is a half American/half Japanese world-famous Neurosurgeon, who is also a dashing test pilot, martial arts expert, fashion icon, comic book character, government agent, inventor and Rock star who fronts a band called ‘Buckaroo Banzai & The Hong Kong Cavaliers’ (Who are also his gun-toting super crew).

Buckaroo and a cast of wacky characters become entangled in a plot by some evil aliens called Red Lectroids (Who are all called John!) who arrived on earth at Grover’s Mill, New Jersey in 1938 as documented in Orson Welles apparently factual ‘War Of The Worlds’ broadcast. To put it simply, this madcap 80’s adventure is like the three-way bastard child of ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Buck Rogers’ and of course ‘Big Trouble In Little China’ (Which W. D. Richter co-wrote).  The cast and crew obviously had a blast making this film and had their tongues firmly in cheek, so if you are prepared to go along with the ‘Weirder the better’ attitude  you’ll have a blast too.

In a side note, I observed that Matt Smith’s costume for Dr Who strikes a noticeable resemblance to Dr Banzai’s wardrobe. My two favourite bits of this movie  are firstly when the heroine tries to shoot herself when Buckaroo sings a ballad for her and secondly when Jeff Goldblum’s character pauses mid-suspenseful-chase to ask “Why is there a watermelon there?” and gets the weary reply “I’ll tell you later!”.  Sadly due to the film losing six million of its studio’s money, a sequel trailed in the end credits called ‘Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League’ was never made.

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