Welcome to this week’s installment of “It Came from the Bargain Bin”. As you can imagine there are many forgettable movies that you may come across while digging through The Bargain Bin. By forgettable I mean movies that didn’t make an impression upon you due to their very “vanilla” content AND the movies that you’ve just forgotten about due to time, your age, and possibly your lack of brain cells as a result of years of numerous abuses or a combination of all three (time, age, and substance abuse). Some movies you’ve chosen to forget, or at least have tried to forget, and some you’ve just plain forgotten all about. Well, sometimes that’s what The Bin serves as, a reminder of all those forgettable movies, which is a good and, more often than not, a bad thing. This week’s selection is one of those movies, for me anyways. This movie is a movie that more likely than not you probably watched on cable T.V. unless you actually paid to see this and I know there are some of you out there that shelled out cash to see this one. I, for one, vaguely remember seeing this on HBO years ago and decided to give it another watch. Whether or not this was a good decision I guess that you’ll have to read on to find out. This week’s pick from The Bin is the 1984 film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Starring: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, and Ellen Barkin
Director: W.D. Richter
Writer: Earl Mac Rauch
Reviewed by: Joe Sikes
Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) is a succesful neuroscientist/physicist/ who also studies martial arts and, not to mention, rocks out in his popular band known as “The Hong Kong Cavaliers”. You could say that Buckaroo is a modern-day Renaissance Man of sorts. After completing a groundbreaking surgery Banzai is off to his specialized sound-barrier breaking super-craft that triumphantly travels through solid matter, into the eighth dimension, and back again. What makes this incredible feat possible you ask?
Well, the “oscillation overthruster” of course. Many years ago another scientist by the name of Dr. Emilio Lazardo (John Lithgow) attempted to perfect the oscillation overthruster but was only successful enough to become possessed by an evil alien being known as Lord John Whorfin and end up institutionalized in a psychiatric ward. When Lazardo/Whorfin sees the press conference on T.V. celebrating Buckaroo’s success he knows that he must acquire the overthruster to free the rest of his evil clan, who is trapped in the eighth dimension, and the evil Lord will do anything, including vaporizing the planet Earth, to achieve his goal. Not only must Banzai prevent this horrific occurrence but the superhero must also solve the mystery of “Penny Priddy” (Ellen Barkin) whom Buckaroo spotted at one of his gigs due to her eerily similar appearance to the love of his life who passed away in the not so distant past. Save the world and solve the mystery of a past and possibly future love? Yes, Buckaroo Banzai has a lot on his plate but with the help of his faithful friends anything is possible.
I have to be honest with you, I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed this selection. At about the halfway point of this sci-fi adventure I was coming up with ways to describe how much I detested this movie. One description that I came up with was, a convoluted nightmare of a movie composed of numerous scenarios that come together to form a pile of alien fecal matter, and I have to be honest with you, I’m still not far from that particular conclusion. I didn’t find “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension” to be funny nor did it instill in me the hope of seeing the long anticipated by some sequel “Buckaroo Banzai Against the Crime League”. Apparently “Crime League” still might happen but I am not going to be ponying up the cash to see this particular possible sequel. I know there are big fans of Buckaroo Banzai out there, but unfortunately, I am not one of them. I give ABBA8D one and a half guys. I am looking forward to receiving any arguments from disgruntled fans of Buckaroo. See you next week from The Bin.