First up please accept my deepest sincere apologies. Seriously how the blue blazes had I never seen The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension before I really have no clue! Yep that’s the title and yep it’s a wild ride. Big shout out going to the original card carrying Blue Blaze Irregulars member Todd over at Cinema Monolith. Thanks for giving me a gentle nudge with a tongue electrode.
To be honest I always knew of The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension. Really how could you not have noticed that title? But shamefully I’d never seen it. I can’t answer why? So without further ado I got off my Big Boootay and loaded up this cult feature film ready for my viewing pleasure. Here’s a summary of what went down on the journey through the 8th dimension!
Tagline – Your only hope is Buckaroo Banzai. Expect the unexpected. He does.
Let the madness prevail. Don’t worry for spoilers as if you haven’t seen it then whatever I write will make absolutely no sense whats so ever but if you have? I’m quite sure it will be crystal clear, well maybe!
Right let’s go. Dr. Emilio Lizardo (John Lithgow) and Professor Hikita (Robert Ito) are two brilliant scientists building a prototype oscillation overthruster in 1938. A device that, if it works, has the potential to breakthrough different dimensions in time and space. With a, let’s say a slight mishap, Dr Lizardo ends up in a home for the criminally insane. A place where he’s been living out his days entertaining himself with electronics. Happily insane! Until that is a news report comes on the television.
The years had passed by right up to 1984. Dr Lizardo’s old partner Professor Hikita had continued the work on the overthruster. A speed test had been set for the souped up Ford F-350. This baby was kitted out to the max, it was a rocket on four wheels. The number plate summed it up, ROKIT 88. The professor just needed someone with the skills to drive this experimental beast.
There was only one man to attempt something so ridiculously dangerous and that would be the brilliant neurosurgeon Dr Buckaroo Banzai. Buckaroo was no ordinary mere mortal, no sir. The maverick son of a Japanese father and American mother. Buckaroo wasn’t content with poking his fingers in the gooey mess of craniums. No he needed to be constantly learning. First he mastered the disciplines of martial arts from all around the world before moving onto the mysteries of particle physics. But no that wasn’t enough for our hero. To unwind, he was also a multi talented musician and leader of his own band, Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers.
Buckaroo Banzai – “I’ve been ionized, but I’m okay now.“
With Buckaroo racing at unimaginable speeds across the salt lakes and an encounter with a mountain, this starts the catalysts to the ensuing adventure that lays ahead for us. Here are a few things to expect along the way. Right strap yourself in, here we go!
A Watermelon, Alien Brain Ball? A Flugelhorn, Ellen Barkin’s Legs, Kamikaze, Jumping Rastafari, Bubble Wrap Masks, Monkey Boys, Jeff Goldblum as a Cowboy, Queen Of The Netherlands, Aliens all called John!, Katana Sword, Camel Toe Shoes, Cold War, Interdimensional Species and Christopher Lloyd called John Bigbooté.
President Widmark – “Buckaroo, I don’t know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A girl named “John”?“
Lucky for Buckaroo his trusty band of brothers, New Jersey, Perfect Tommy, Rawhide and Reno Nevada are there to help him out. And if they get in a jam there’s also the underground loyal squad of guerilla fighters that have pledged their lives to helping Buckaroo save the world called the Blue Blaze Irregulars. Can they all stop the invasion and stop the possible destruction of the world before it’s too late? You gotta tune in to find out.
I can’t imagine you will ever see a cast like this again.
- Peter Weller is of course everyone’s favourite avenging mechanical police enforcer Robocop in the 80’s. He also did the weird sci-fi horror Screamers and starred in David Cronenberg’s cult movie Naked Lunch.
- John Lithgow can go from playing the Bigfoot friendly Dad in Harry and the Hendersons to action bad guy giving Sly a hard time in Cliffhanger. Then turn out a creepy sinister part in debatably the best season of Dexter.
- No point mentioning what the legends Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd have been up too.
- Any chance director W.D. Richter had to get Ellen Barkin to show off her legs, that opportunity was taken and praise the lord. Miss Barkin can be found in my write up of Johnny Handsome where she starred alongside Mickey Rourke. She was also in 1989s Sea Of Love with Al Pacino.
- Rosalind Cash pops in on the action. She is best known to me as the tough mannequin along side Charlton Heston in 1971s The Omega Man.
- Vincent Schiavelli and Dan Hedaya lend their distinct faces to the “John” clan.
- Clancy Brown is here looking his most handsome I’ve seen him! He’s known for the voice of Krusty The Krab from SpongeBob SquarePants and a million over voices not to mention films. All starting from the 1983 film Bad Boys.
- Buckaroo’s bestfriend Perfect Tommy is played by Lewis Smith. You might know him from Southern Comfort with Powers Booth.
- In a small part you can see Jonathan Banks aka Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. But he’s popped up all over the place. Gremlins, Stir Crazy and 48hrs to name a few classics.
- Director W.D. Richter only made this and one other film in 1991 starring Peter Berg called Late For Dinner. Though he’s known for his screenwriting on two big classics. The science fiction horror Donald Sutherland version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and the Kurt Russell fantasy in Big Trouble In Little China.
I really adored this film. It’s incredibly good fun and actioned packed. It’s quirky, crazy and hits the bell on the top of the hammer tower with full power cult status. It might of taken me 35 years to get here but I’m pretty certain I will be watching it again soon. In the meantime I can’t wait to watch the sequel Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League as soon as I can, wait what? Nooooooooooooooooooooo
Now strap on your alien seeing bubble wrap glasses and pass through the 8th dimension over to Todd’s Review over at Cinema Monolith.
Thanks for having a read. Been having trouble finding time to write posts recently but hope to be back in the swing of it properly soon.
Big love…. Mikey Wolf