Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey

19
Aug
13

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) or “Why is there a Watermelon there?”

adventures-of-buckaroo-banzai-poster-1

“No, no, no, don’t tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to.” -Buckaroo Banzai

a Primal Root written review

He’s a rock star, neurosurgeon, mystic, nuclear physicist and the star of his own comic book series, Buckaroo Banzai (Weller) is a man of many trades. But above all, he is a man of action.  Let me try and lay the story out for you to the best of my ability…which spells out trouble, really.  Deep breath, here we go!

“The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” drops us right in the middle of this action as Buckaroo is testing out a new jet propelled Ford Fiesta, equipped with his when he takes an unscheduled detour into the side of a mountain the side of a mountain going at speeds that break the sound barrier…and passing right through unharmed thanks to the vehicle being equipped with a piece of hardware of Buckaroo’s own design named “The Oscillation Overthruster.”  However, this impromptu experiment in dimensional travel unleashes more than Buckaroo and his colleagues/ team /bandmates, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, ever imagined. Within this rock were stashed several Evil Black Lectoids from Planet 10 who have been exiled there and have now been unleashed from the 8th Dimension.

buckaroo 02

“Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!”

News of Buckaroo’s successful journey across the 8th Dimension spreads quickly and manages to reach Dr. Emilio Lizardo (Lithgow), whose failed Overthruster experiment in 1938 ended up leaving his body possessed by Lord John Whorfin, an evil alien creature who is compared to Adolf Hitler. See, Whorfin is the leader of the Red Lectroids, a race of  reptile, alien creature who waged war against Planet 10 and were later banished to this 8th Dimension.

Still with me? Groovy.

Well, due to Lizardo’s botched overthruster experiment,  and the release of Lord John Whorfin, many of these Red Lectroids pilgrimaged to earth and now work at YoYodyne Propulsion Systems posing as employees and working on a spacecraft while pretending it’s a project for the U.S. Air Force.  Their plan is to rescue the remaining exiles in the 8th dimension and take over Planet 10m which is populated by the far less aggressive Black Lectroids, who threaten Earth with a fake nuclear attack which will set off World War III if Lord John Whorfin’s plans are not halted within 24 hours.

Now, the fate of the entire planet lies in the  hands of Buckaroo Banzai, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, the civilian Banzai Institute volunteers known as The Blue Blazers,  John Parker (the Black Lectroid messenger) and the beautiful Penny Priddy (Barkin).

Buckaroo Barken

“I can see your whole clam bake, Penny.”

As you can kind of guess, “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” is one VERY convoluted, complex, whacky mess of a story. It’s a story it took a couple viewing for me just to wrap my mind around just what the Hell was happening. TAOBBAT8D never gives the audience a moment to catch it’s breath, from the very get-go TAOBBAT8D starts flinging ideas, concepts and theories at break neck speed and dares us to try and keep up with the action on screen. We and jarringly catapulted from scene to scene, character to character in a film made to play like an episode from a serial that has a long standing history with fans, only there was NOTHING that came before this and NOTHING to come after. Well, there was a sequel planned (Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League) but since the movie bombed like Hiroshima, that sequel never had a chance. So we are left with a movie that is bafflingly complex, silly and rallies against the typical dramatic structure we, as viewers, are accustom to, But all of these elements always left me exhilarated by “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension’s” end credits begin rolling.  You are an outsider invited to be a part of this incredibly cool cat’s latest journey.  you are thrown into this wild world and either you can make the decision to hold on for dear life and enjoy the ride or throw your hands in the air and declare that this stuff makes no sense, and just walk away.  If there is one major flaw in the film, it’s pretty slap dash and difficult to follow. But I have a feeling that’s by design.

One thing is certain, The Adventure’s of Buckaroo Banzai and it’s mix of action, science fiction, and comedy are not for everyone. Where some might find a lot of great concepts bubbling forth from the film;s narrative, others might find this flick more than a little tedious, which is a totally understandable view point. for me, the strength of the film lies in the fact that Buckaroo Banzai is unlike any other film ever made, or ever will be made again. It’s a high concept oddity with A.D.D. crackling under with the static of a head full of crazy ideas.  To me, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is one of the coolest, strangest fucking movies ever made, and with every new viewing, I take away another level of appreciation.  It’s one I don’t recommend easily. If you’re a Hong Kong Cavalier or a Blue Blazer, you will have an instinct to check this flick out for yourself.  As for me? “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” holds a special place of honor in my collection.

SIDE NOTE: Also, Breaking Bad fans, watch early on for an appearance by a young Jonathan Banks (aka: Mike from TV’s Breaking Bad) as an orderly at the mental asylum where  Lord John Whorfin is held.

4 out of 5 Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-Root

21
Jul
11

‘(It’s a) Complex World’: God told us to laugh at you.

a Primal Root review

In a world where rock music, rampant drug use and promiscuous sex is destroying the moral fiber of today’s youth there can be only one solution. Stick some plastic explosives in a keg and blow up a filthy club filled with degenerates! Of course, this is the world of 1992 and the hot bed for this moral degradation is The Heartbreak Hotel in Providence which happens to be owned by the son of a political talking head who is running for the office of the President of the United States of America. Can you say, “conspiracy?”

Well, in this case you would be right. From the very beginning ‘Complex World’ makes it’s intentions clear and let’s you in on what’s happening much like the suspenseful dynamite in the trunk opening of Orson Wells’ classic, ‘Touch of Evil’. Only here, the outcome isn’t made clear till the very end when exhaustive collection of characters and plot lines all come together and lead to a stand-off that will either blow your mind or haunt your nightmares. A political killing is underway as the communist hating, paranoid, presidential nominee has send out an elite terrorist hit squad to wipe The Heartbreak Hotel and all it’s inhabitants off the face of the earth, but first, they try to get a little ransom money out of the club’s manager and presidential nominees son, Jeff. That is, if they can get him to give a shit or fear death…

‘Complex World’ takes place over the course of one night at The Heartbreak Hotel over the back drop of a double billed concert.  Folk-singer/terrorist, Morris Brock, who revels in creating the most negative, violence inducing songs possible (‘Why Do We Feed the Broads?’, ‘New Jersey’), is opening up for an experimental metal band called The Young Adults who sing the ridiculously uncatchy title track, ‘Complex World’ as well as a love song about a man and a bush entitled ‘I married a Tree’,  a hopeful  endorsement of committing suicide when your life is at it’s worst simply called, ‘Kill Yourself’, and my personal favorite, ‘Christmas in Japan in July.’

What I describe to you here is really the bare minimum of the plot. To describe anymore would not only spoil a lot of the fun and magic that is ‘Complex World’, but I doubt me telling you about it would really do the film justice. Take my word for it, the film is a twisted, hilarious trip back to the early days of the 90’s that perfectly captures the strange shift in attitude and music that would come to define the early-mid part of the decade. It’s a movie that also takes a good hard look at the political industrial complex with intense disdain, then shrugs it’s shoulders and walks away from all it’s bullshit. Ultimately saying, if you don’t give into their brand of control and bullying, that only then will we ever truly be free.

‘Complex World’ is well worth tracking down and giving it a go. We happen to have a copy on VHS at Video 21 in Tallahassee if you ever happen to be in the area for an extended stay. I highly recommend you check this one out.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

Here’s a clip from ‘Complex World’ featuring Morris Brock performing ‘New Jersey.’




Dumpster Diving

Categories