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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

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Some actors know how to play crazy really well. Like Christopher Walken in Dead Zone, The Prophecy, and pretty much everything else he’s ever done. It’s like this special gift only a select group of actors have that spice up Hollyweird’s ever-growing number of archenemies, supervillains, bad guys, and general crazy people. John Lithgow is one of those who knows how to play off-kilter characters to a “T”. Remember the movie version of the Twilight Zone where he descends into this unbridled madness due to something that closely resembles a Gremlin? Everyone who saw that segment was never the same afterwards, and so it goes with the 1984 film, Buckaroo Banzai. Though it has nothing to do with cuddly little creatures from Hell, it does feature Lithgow portraying a demented doctor who vows to destroy Earth by unleashing an army of killer aliens from some planet in the eighth dimension (the Red Lectroids from Planet 10, in case you were wondering).

The mild-mannered, Renaissance-man hero Dr. Buckaroo Banzai — physicist, neurosurgeon, inventor, test pilot, and (most importantly) rock musician — has to save the world by defeating said band of inter-dimensional aliens. Peter Weller, who plays Banzai, is actually an accomplished musician; he played the guitar and pocket trumpet, did his own vocals, and learned to mime piano playing in the film. The Hong Kong Cavaliers are Buckaroo’s posse in both science and rock ‘n’ roll, and provide reinforcement for his gigs/adventures.

The Alamo Drafthouse referred to this film as “the dimension-crossing chronicle of rock ‘n’ roll alien science gone berserk,” which pretty much sums it up for us. Your kids are sure to enjoy this insane rock-sci-fi adventure; Buckaroo Banzai is a movie the whole family call their own, and laugh at due to sheer amounts of awesomeness, silliness and cheesiness.

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