Movie Music Mega Madness: Buckaroo Banzai

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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

Adventures_of_buckaroo_banzaiOne of my favorite cult-following films that I never saw until I was older when it was finally released on DVD, this sci-fi/action/comedy is one wacky little picture. A movie like this would never fly these days (although after Fury Road, who knows anymore) and would probably fit more to being a spoof-like TV show on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. It’s in the same vein as Big Trouble in Little China, so if you like the Carpenter classic then you should enjoy Buckaroo Banzai.

The cast is extraordinary, especially for 1984. Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd, Clancy Brown and Lewis Smith. All hamming it up for this odd little romp. It should be noted that these characters are all before these actors’ more famous roles. This was before RoboCop, The Fly, Back to the Future and The Highlander! I enjoy this film more and more every time I see it and urge any living person above the age of 12 to see it.

Buckaroo Banzai and his crew, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, are all scientists, engineers or doctors as well as members of Buckaroo’s rock and roll band. Like I said, it’s not a conventional movie by any stretch. Goldblum’s code name in this is New Jersey and he dresses like a cowboy. They succeed in driving a jet car through solid matter, battle inter-dimensional aliens bent on destroying the planet, and rock the house.

To further show it’s idiosyncrasy and coolness, the end credits feature the “good guys” strutting their stuff to a very cool synthesizer soundtrack wearing their Sunday, comic book best. If this doesn’t drive you to check out the movie (or see it again!), then just forget it.

Fun Trivia about this end titles sequence: When it came time to film the end titles sequence, where Buckaroo and pals are walking around a dry L.A. aqueduct in step to the music, the music wasn’t ready. Composer Michael Boddicker told the film crew to use the song, “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel as a placeholder because it was the exact same tempo. Those scenes were filmed with “Uptown Girl” blaring from a boom box tied to the back of the camera truck. (copied from imdb) 

4 thoughts on “Movie Music Mega Madness: Buckaroo Banzai

  1. I don’t know… I missed out on this at the time & it strikes me as one that won’t have aged well. Like me! Ha! Suppose I should watch it someday since current movies mostly suck.

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