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by Bill Ward on March 8, 2010

in Movies of a Misspent Youth

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  • Title: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!

  • Year: 1984

  • Rating: PG

  • Director: Cafergot For Sale, W.D. Richter

  • Writer(s): Earl Mac Rauch

  • Cast: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Clancy Brown, Cafergot japan, Lewis Smith, Pepe Serna


When scientist and international celebrity Buckaroo Banzai successfully bypasses matter itself and penetrates into the 8th dimension, he unwittingly plays into the hands of a group of evil aliens, and brings the earth closer to nuclear war.

Rewind . . Cafergot overseas, .


. . , Cafergot For Sale. and it was impossible as a kid not to fall instantly and irrevocably in love with The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. What's not to love. The hero is Buckaroo Banzai, an infinitely cool uber-geek who divides his time between neurosurgery, martial arts, 50mg Cafergot, experimental particle physics, and fronting a rock band. The villain is the emphatically loony Dr. Cafergot For Sale, Emilio Lizardo/Lord John Whorfin, a once brilliant scientist possessed by a psychotic alien from Planet 10 (by way of the 8th dimension). The movie itself is a rich stew of eccentric performances, strange dialogue, Cafergot australia, unforgettable props, and pacing that seems to be about two steps ahead of the plot at all times. And, at the tender age of ten or eleven, or whenever it was that I first caught this on cable TV, Buckaroo Banzai had a certain unusual verisimilitude and confidence that made it a real and compelling mystery to me.

Where did it come from, Cafergot craiglist. Was it a sequel, the start of a series. Based on a book or something, Cafergot For Sale. In the age of google that mystery wouldn't last the ten seconds it takes to get to wikipedia, but in the 80s Buckaroo Banzai seemed like a real puzzle. It was a movie that had you asking questions every second, 250mg Cafergot, as so many hints and references about other people and events are seeded throughout the film. George Lucas never tires of mentioning that Star Wars is based on old pulp SF serials, and that it's meant to feel like you're joining the story in the middle of the action. Star Wars doesn't really feel like that though, and never really has, adhering closely as it does to a very traditional movie narrative that gives you everything you need to know when you need to know it, and presents the rest neatly as backstory, 10mg Cafergot. Cafergot For Sale, If you want a movie that feels like you've just been dumped into the middle of some ongoing serial story, look no further than Buckaroo Banzai.

And that's how we meet Buckaroo Banzai, literally in the middle of something-- performing a brain operation on an Eskimo boy minutes before he is due at a test site for a rocket car -- his rocket car. There are brief encounters with others in his team, guys with names like Rawhide and Perfect Tommy, and then Buckaroo is blasting off in his rocket car in maverick fashion, Cafergot mexico, blowing past the test site to pursue his own experiment. The experiment that his parents were working on before their deaths. The experiment that would send him speeding through solid matter via the 8th dimension.

It's a hell of an intro, and the exposition never really takes a breather from that point on, Cafergot For Sale. What might seem justifiably disorienting to some viewers seemed deliciously evocative to me -- and only underlined and enhanced my suspension of disbelief. Hard to know if an audience today would fall under the same spell: in much the same way that the sense of wonder that permeated the golden age tales of Doc Smith and van Vogt is lost to many readers used to more modern science fiction, I wonder if you have to be twelve and living in the 1980s to want to meet the writer and director halfway on so much of what is suggested, but left out, Cafergot uk, of this film. But for me, this style of storytelling was a hell of a rush, both because of what it was, and what it implied. 1000mg Cafergot, It could even be that my taste for this sort of thing, for stories that feel bigger than they really are and don't present clean and ready answers to an audience, is directly attributable to Buckaroo Banzai.

bukaroo banzi 1 Cafergot For Sale, But that's just part of the appeal of the story. Yes, it had verisimilitude, interesting characters, sci-fi eye-candy, 20mg Cafergot, and a sense of adventure. But it also had a surrealist, absurdist quality running through it unlike any other film I was to encounter until Big Trouble in Little China -- perhaps it's no surprise then that the director of Buckaroo Banzai contributed to the writing for that other work of facetious pulp revival. You've got an entire race of aliens that disguise themselves as Rastafarians, another group with ridiculous assumed names like John Yaya, 150mg Cafergot, John Smallberries, and John Bigbooty (Bigbooté!), a group of civilian Blue Blaze irregulars that help the Cavaliers when in need (one of whom is a child who goes into battle alongside the adults with an m-14 rifle) and an armed team of carpet cleaners called the Rug Suckers that also shows up to help; you've got a President of the US that looks like Charles Foster Kane sandwiched in a suspension bed ready to sign a 'Declaration of War, Short Form' on the eve of nuclear armageddon, swiss army knife communicators, organic starships, a love interest that happens to be the twin of Banzai's dead wife, Cafergot us, and the realization that Orson Welles' War of the Worlds Halloween prank was actually true, and that Grover's Mill is the home of Red Lectroid aliens to this day.

So as a kid, marveling at this big, weird, 750mg Cafergot, pulp-infused universe that Buckaroo Banzai created, my hopes were pretty high that there would be more. Clearly Buckaroo, a renaissance man of adventures, of letters, and of science, and his Hong Kong Cavaliers -- the team of scientists/musicians that were his companions -- had a lot of strange stories in their future, Cafergot For Sale. The end credits of film -- a strutting musical number that Wes Anderson would be proud of -- even promised a follow up in which Buckaroo would go against the World Crime League.

It never happened.

Fast Forward . . .

Cafergot For Sale, . , Cafergot canada. . and there have been some things transpiring on the Buckaroo Banzai front. Firstly, it's become a cult classic, built no doubt on all those weekend HBO reruns in the late 80s that reached my generation and transformed some of us into real Lizardo-level obsessives -- specifically because, Cafergot usa, I think, the implied backstory to these characters and this world is so rich and bizarre, and so unlike most open-and-shut Hollywood films. There have been several failed attempts at Buckaroo Banzai sequels or spin-offs of one kind or another, but also a novel of the film (not strictly a novelization), and a new series of comics that continue Banzai's adventures, Cafergot For Sale. Perhaps too much time has passed to really hold out hope for a film, or to even think one is a good idea. Indeed, in this radically altered world of the far future, 40mg Cafergot, Peter Weller -- once poised to be a sci-fi staple with this film and the much bigger hit that was Robocop -- is now a presenter on the History Channel (and could we not just see Buckaroo Banzai himself doing the same?). Now that's weird.

Rewatching Buckaroo Banzai after the space of about a decade, I just can't imagine what kept me away so long. Cafergot For Sale, It is, I won't hesitate to say, a work of mad, exuberant genius that takes familiar elements and mashes them up in strange new ways. It's also a visual treat -- everything from the lighting to the set design to the props (especially the props!) is both first rate and distinctive, Cafergot coupon, creating a film where nearly every frame presents a wealth of visual information that can only really be processed on repeat viewings. From Lizardo's cluttered room at the mental hospital to the eclectic Bunkhouse at the Banzai Institute, from 1930s laboratory done up in Bride of Frankenstein style, to the dingy squalor of an alien infested Yoyodyne Propulsion System HQ, the movie presents fascinating and highly textured sets. There is rarely a scene that does not feature some surprise or strange visual signature, and all contributes to the quirky and slightly askew tone that elevates the movie from mere camp to something more sophisticated, Cafergot paypal.

And this tone is what I want to close on, as it's at the heart of what makes Buckaroo Banzai so compelling. Few stories of this kind manage the task of being self-aware without being also a parody or send-up, but Buckaroo Banzai does so brilliantly, Cafergot For Sale. Peter Weller's dead pan performance might indeed be the cue for the entire film, which presents such an array of campy elements with an ironic earnestness that is not all together serious, but neither is it in any way disrespectful, 30mg Cafergot, cynical, or satirical. It's a fine line, expertly navigated. What emerges in the end is a movie that invites the audience to experience these sorts of pulpish conceits as if they were almost new, and encourages us to forget that we may normally consider ourselves too sophisticated to enjoy such things. So, 200mg Cafergot, for its strange power to celebrate pure camp without so much as a nod or a wink, for its frantic exuberance and eccentricity, for its completely serious way of not being serious, Buckaroo Banzai is a masterpiece of pulp fiction that is mega-buckets of fun.


  • Nostalgia Rating: Trans-Dimensional

  • Rewatch Potential: Huge

  • Wilhelm Scream?: No

  • Unexpected Cameo(s): Nick Tortelli and the Reverend Gorky Cafergot For Sale, as aliens, natch; and Yakov Smirnoff as the President's National Security Adviser!

  • Verdict: Sci-fi pulp fiction's Sistine Chapel, as painted by Salvador Dali.


brain-port-lizardoWhat I Learned: That all aliens are named John, and that "no matter where you go, there you are."

Top Marks: Can the Top Marks go to anyone or anything other than John Lithgow for his gloriously mad turn as an Italian physicist possessed by a psychotic alien dictator in exile. Dr. 500mg Cafergot, Emilio Lizardo was a decent enough guy, but when he took his chance at glory and got stuck halfway between dimensions, he let Planet 10's version of Hitler escape into his body. Lithgow's performance is part Mussolini, part Renfield, and so full of quirks of delivery and expression he dominates every scene he is in. The perfect counterpoint to the perennially unfazed Buckaroo Banzai, 100mg Cafergot, Lizardo/Whorfin is angry, nervous, and completely bonkers -- just watch the clip of his big speech for a taste of Lithgow's deliciously weird characterization.

If (When) It's Remade: We never did get the promised sequel, Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, and it's not very likely we will, Cafergot For Sale. Is a reboot in the offing. Stranger things have happened, Cafergot india, including Buckaroo Banzai itself. I hope not though, as whatever gonzo indie magic went into making the first film will be obliterated by the Hollywood paint-by-the-numbers blockbuster movie mill.

Final Thoughts: Many elements make this film as unique and memorable as it is, a true classic, cult or otherwise. Cafergot For Sale, From the writing to the directing, the performances and the production design, the props and makeup, so much had to be firing on all cylinders to get the results we see, especially for the comparatively dinky budget of 12 million dollars. It's a case of capturing lightning in a bottle, Cafergot ebay, of people and ideas all converging at a particular place on a particular project. It's magic, quite simply, and not easily duplicated. And, more than that, this ineffable quality is discernible in every frame of the film -- the fun and the vision comes unmistakably through and what we have at the end of the day is something unforgettable.

More Reviews of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

This review is part of an ongoing series entitled Movies of a Misspent Youth, that looks at all the great fantasy, science fiction, and horror films available to the generation of kids growing up in the boom years of the 1980s. For more in this series, please visit my Film & TV page.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee March 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Really enjoying these series of reviews, Bill. Will you do Lost Boys? Howard the Duck? Hawk the Slayer?

Bill Ward March 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Thanks, Lee! And yes to all of the above.

Unfortunately, some that I particularly want to revist don’t seem to be available on Netflix (or maybe even DVD). Spacehunter and Beastmaster are two that were lynchpins of my 80s cable viewing, but it looks like I might have to get creative in order to watch them again.

Lots of stuff out there in the meantime, I could probably do this once a week for two years before I really started running out of stuff (whether my blog endurance will hold that long is another story!)

Benjamin Miner March 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I really need to see this – all these years and I still haven’t glimpsed a moment of the film. Sounds like this Banzai is to you what Repo Man is to me – as I read this, I found myself thinking, yeah, that’s just how I feel about Repo Man! How relieved I was when I realized Repo Men was not, in fact, some ill-advised sequel…

Bill Ward March 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Ah, given all the movies you introduced me to (the Deads, Creepshow, Bladerunner, and even Repo Man) I feel bad I didn’t somehow return the favor and get you some Banzai action. I remember watching it with Mike, maybe even more than once, though I can’t say for certain if I owned a copy of it or not.

And yea, glad to hear Repo Men is not what you feared it to be — still I bet Emilio could use the work.

Woody November 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

Shell out the couple bucks for the Spacehunter DVD on Amazon – It’s an absolute favourite of mine and, given how you feel about Buckaroo banzai, I’d LOVE to hear your opinions!

Bill Ward November 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Oh wow, a whole Spacehunter forum! Nice.

You’re right, I should just buy it, though I’ve taken a break from reviews in general for a while. If/when I do another wave of these classic reviews, Spacehunter will definitely be one of them.

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