The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension

( 14 )

Overview

Despite mixed reviews and a disastrous initial release that dumped the film into theaters for a week in the midst of the 1984 Summer Olympics, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension went on to become one of the major cult films of the 1980s, developing a rabid following after its release on videotape. Drifting between satire and improbable sci-fi adventure, the film stars Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzai, the son of an American mother and Japanese father who is a combination physicist, ...
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Overview

Despite mixed reviews and a disastrous initial release that dumped the film into theaters for a week in the midst of the 1984 Summer Olympics, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension went on to become one of the major cult films of the 1980s, developing a rabid following after its release on videotape. Drifting between satire and improbable sci-fi adventure, the film stars Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzai, the son of an American mother and Japanese father who is a combination physicist, neurosurgeon, martial arts master, secret agent, and rock star who travels with his band of assistants/backing musicians, The Hong Kong Cavaliers. As the story opens, Buckaroo is driving his car through a mountain to test his new invention, the Oscillation Overthruster. However, a race of boorish aliens called the Red Lectroids have been waiting for such an item to become a reality, as they need it to return to the distant planet they call home. One of Buckaroo's arch-enemies, Dr. Emilio Lizardo John Lithgow, who has been possessed by the Red Lectroids, attempted to created a similar device decades before; now escaped from an insane asylum, he is back at work with the Lectroids on a plan to control the world. Throw in Rastafarian aliens, unscheduled travel between dimensions, and the odd inexplicable watermelon, and you get a film that defies conventional synopsis. With its fast pace, quotable dialogue "No matter where you go, there you are", and barrage of gags subtle and otherwise, you won't be bored even when you're not sure what's going on. The supporting cast includes Jeff Goldblum as New Jersey, a Cavalier with a snappy cowboy outfit, and Ellen Barkin as Penny Priddy, the twin sister of Buckaroo's late wife.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
It's not difficult to understand why The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension never caught on with a mass audience. The story is told in an overtly complex way that makes the viewer work hard to follow it, it downplays blockbuster-style action in favor of idea-driven science fiction, and the proceedings are driven by a stylized sort of humor that isn't for every viewer. However, none of this means that it's a bad film; it's merely an acquired taste. Earl MacRauch's script suffers from periodic slow spots where it seems to be overwhelmed by its self-conscious complexity, but it makes up for this with a consistently high level of imagination and plenty of intriguingly quirky characterizations. These characters are brought to life by a gifted cast that wisely plays the material straight. Peter Weller is appropriately stoic as the renaissance man hero and Ellen Barkin makes an endearing (if underused) romantic foil as Penny, but it is John Lithgow who takes top honors as Dr. Lizardo. His inspired dementia lives up to the story's sci-fi pulp roots and gives the film a fresh shot of energy whenever he pops up. Behind the camera, first-time director W.D. Richter shows a good eye for comic book-styled visuals and brings a humorous but gentle touch to the film that provides a subtle balance to its wacked-out humor. All in all, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension is probably too eccentric and challenging for a general audience, but is full of delights for anyone willing to tune into its unique wavelength.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/6/2001
  • UPC: 027616858245
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Weller Buckaroo Banzai
John Lithgow Dr. Emilio Lizardo, Lord John Whorfin
Ellen Barkin Penny Priddy
Jeff Goldblum New Jersey
Christopher Lloyd John Bigboote
Lewis Smith Perfect Tommy
Rosalind Cash John Emdall
Robert Ito Prof.Hikita
Pepe Serna Reno Nevada
Ronald Lacey President Widmark
Matt Clark Secretary of Defense
Clancy Brown Rawhide
John Ashton Highway Patrolman
Reed Morgan Exhibitor
James Saito Dr. Masado Banzai
Jonathan Banks Lizardo Hospital Guard
Raye Birk 1st Reporter
Gary Bisig Second Radar Blaze
Mariclare Costello Sen. Cunningham
John Walter Davis Star Surgeon
Jesse Lawrence Ferguson Black Lectroid
Lenny Gaines Artie Duncan
Robert Gray First Radar Blaze
Laura Harrington Mrs. Johnson
Dan Hedaya John Gomez
Bill Henderson Casper Lindley
Damon Hines Scooter Lindley
James Keane Duck Hunter Bubba
Francine Lembi TV Anchorwoman
Carl Lumbly John Parker
Ken Magee Duck Hunter Burt
Kent Perkins Mission Control
Jane Marla Robbins 2nd Reporter
Michael Santoro Billy Travers
Vincent Schiavelli John O'Connor
Yakov Smirnoff National Security Advisor
Kevin Rodney Sullivan John Gant
William Traylor Gen. Catburd
Billy Vera Pinky Carruthers
Technical Credits
W.D. Richter Director, Producer
M. James Arnett Stunts
Sidney Beckerman Executive Producer
David M. Blitstein Special Effects
Michael Boddicker Score Composer
George Bowers Editor
Neil Canton Producer
Rick Carter Art Director
Gary Daigler Asst. Director
Stephen Dane Art Director
Linda de Scenna Set Decoration/Design
Michael Evje Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Fink Special Effects, Special Effects Supervisor
Katterli A. Frauenfelder Asst. Director
Bones Howe Musical Direction/Supervision, Sound/Sound Designer
Dennis E. Jones Associate Producer, Production Manager
Fred Koenekamp Cinematographer
Terry Liebling Casting
Richard Marks Editor
Henry Millar Special Effects
Virginia Randolph Set Decoration/Design
Earl Mac Rauch Screenwriter
J. Michael Riva Production Designer
Aggie Guerard Rodgers Costumes/Costume Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Either you get it, or you don't

    Tom Swift meets the Marx Brothers, with a dash of James Bond AND Maxwell Smart -- this defies any easy description. Any Jame Retief fans should enjoy this movie. Just relax and enjoy the ride, and remember that this is movie is true to life -- some things just don't make sense if you analyze to closely. And remember &amp amp amp quot History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark.&amp amp amp quot

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A guilty pleasure

    This is the quintessential Saturday afternoon movie. Pop some popcorn, put your feet up and just enjoy. Convoluted plot, sharp satire, cute guys and Jeff Golblum in chaps! It just doesn't get much better than that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fabulous Movie

    Way before its time and never fully appreciated. It's like ''Saturday Night Live'', good and bad at times but the good is better than what you may find anywhere else.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best of its genre. Period.

    You'll either love this flick (as I do) or hate it. I don't watch it very often, but every time I do, I see layers that I'd missed before. It's the best, most deftly executed film parody I have ever seen--so fast-paced & rich that half the time on first viewing, it's hard to tell what's going on. A serious movie? Not by any means! A lark? You betcha!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best movies from the 80s

    Incomprehensible plot? OK, a genius neurosurgeon / rock star / nuclear physicist invents a truck that can, thanks to the Oscillation Overthruster, drive through solid matter by way of the 8th Dimension. When the evil Red Lectroids, banished to the 8th Dimension by the Black Lectroids, learn of the Oscillation Overthruster, they try to steal it so that they can return to their homeworld, Planet 10. The Black Lectroids threaten to attack the Soviet Union if Buckaroo can't stop the Red Lectroids. This attack would appear to come from the US, and thus would cause a counterstrike which would effectively destroy the world. SO, Buckaroo Banzai aong with his friends / colleagues / bandmates (The Hong Kong Cavaliers) have to stop the mad scientist who is possessed by the Red Lectroid leader to save the Earth, and Buckaroo's dead wife's long lost twin sister. See? Is that so tough to follow?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

    Over the top!

    Remarkable that so many can consume so much of the Harry Potter sort of stuff that is churned out nowadays--and not appreciate something else so outright enjoyable. This movie is a lot of fun no matter how many times you see it. And Peter Weller, John Lithgow and Jeff Goldblum are terrific. So watch it at least once. Twice would be better!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Frank from SF has no clue

    This is a true cult classic-'The deuce you say'! Frank from SF just must not get it. An all-star cast and some great lines-'Laugh while you can' and 'Wherever you go, there you are', 'If it was a snake it would have bit me'. Nice soundtrack too! Dr. Emilio Lizardo (Lithgow) lives! Orson Welles was right after all!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    LOVE IT IF YOU DARE!!

    Peter ''Robocop'' Weller, Jeff ''The Fly'' Goldblum, John ''Third Rock'' Lithgow, Ellen ''Sea of Love'' Barkin, and on and on. If you love parody, satire and just plain FUN on the screen, this is for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of 10 worst movies ever made

    Really. This movie is that bad. If B&N had allowed negative stars, I would have awarded them. It's right up there with Plan 9 from Outer Space and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Incomprehensible plot, unfunny jokes, Jeff Goldblum in the dorkiest cowboy outfit ever, and John Lithgow as the most irritating mad scientist ever portrayed. I disliked this movie so much that it permanently soured me on Goldblum and Lithgow. I'll walk miles to avoid a movie with either of those two. And I have never seen a single episode of Third Rock from the Sun, thank God. Save your money. Avoid this movie at all costs.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    At Last!

    Yeah it's a doofus movie, but it's classic doofus! I mean John Lithgow, way before Third Rock, chewing up the scerary, spitting it out and chewing it up again. (And don't forget Lewis Smith as Perfect Tommy.) This is the Saturday morning cartoon for grownups.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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