Movie Night – Banzai
Cult Classic, 1984’s The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension fits that designation as well as any film I can think of. Buckaroo Banzai (for short), is a science fiction film about The multi-talented Buckaroo Banzai and his “gang/band”, The Hong Kong Cavaliers and their fight to defeat the evil Red Lectroids from Planet 10. This film has some of the most preposterous plot points you’re likely to see, but it’s well worth sitting through the 103 minute run time.
Our title character and protagonist, played by Peter Weller, is a multi-talented individual who is a neurosurgeon, physicist, rock star and adventurer. He’s recently invented the Oscillation Overthruster, which allows the van it’s equipped on to travel through solid matter. He attracts the attention of an insane Italian physicist Dr. Emilio Lizardo, wonderfully played by John Lithgow. Dr. Lizardo’s mind is taken over by the leader of the Red Lectroids, John Worfin. The Red Lectroids are attempting to build a ship to take them to Planet 10 in order to continue their effort to take the planet from the Black Lectroids and they need the Overthruster!
The Red Lectroids appear to be normal Caucasian humans while the peace-loving Black Lectroids appear to us as Jamaican Rastafarians. The Red Lectroids are all named John, with last names like Smallberries, Yaya and Bigboote (which quickly becomes a running gag). They’re the remnants of the aliens who came to earth as reported by H.G. Wells in his famous radio broadcast that the government later tried to convince us was a fictional account and hoax.
Buckaroo is helped by his crew, The Hong Kong Cavaliers whose most famous member is Dr. Sidney Zweibel “New Jersey” played by Jeff Goldblum. New Jersey spends most of the movie dressed in a crazy red cowboy outfit.
This is a real love it or leave it kind of movie, personally I’m on the love it side. It’s definitely a strange flick and it may take a few viewings and a slightly twisted sense of humor to appreciate, but keep an open mind and give it a shot.