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Rated PG
Copyright 1984 Sherwood Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Buckaroo Banzai - Peter Weller! Brilliant particle physist and neurosurgeon, he is also a martial arts master and plays in a band.
  • Lord John Whorfin - John Lithgow! Evil leader of the "Red Lectroids." Buckaroo vaporizes him.
  • Penny Priddy - Ellen Barkin! The lost twin sister of Buckaroo's deceased wife.
  • New Jersey - Jeff Goldblum! A cowboy at heart, this neurosurgeon partner of Buckaroo is joining The Hong Kong Cavaliers.
  • John Bigboote (Bigbooty! Hehehehe!) - Christopher Lloyd! Red Lectroid from planet 10, shot by Lord Whorfin for talking back.
  • Rawhide - Clancy Brown! (He played Kurgan in "Highlander.") Member of The Hong Kong Cavaliers, poisoned by a Red Lectroid.
  • Perfect Tommy and Reno - Two of The Hong Kong Cavaliers. Tommy has some serious bleached hair.
  • John Parker - Black Lectroid, sent to help Buckaroo save Earth before his people are forced to destroy it.
  • John O'Conner - Vincent Schiavelli! (He's been in lots of stuff, the teacher in "Better Off Dead" and the subway ghost in "Ghost.") A Red Lectroid. Vaporized.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This movie has more famous people in it than most blockbuster films! Look at them all! Just look at them! What we have here my friends is a seriously out in left field piece of work. Buckaroo Banzai and his partners have just perfected the "Oscillation Overthruster" and it allows them to travel into the 8th dimension. Why did we miss all the ones between? I dunno! How can a 3rd dimension being interact on the 8th? I dunno! Lord Whorfin is trapped on Earth with a select group of followers, he wants to steal the overthruster and free all the Red Lectroids from exile in the 8th dimension. Then they will return to their home on the 10th planet and defeat the Black Lectroids! Black Lectroids are the good aliens by the way, they're also all Jamaican oddly enough. Need a romance in here somewhere so Buckaroo runs into Penny while performing at a club, she's the lost twin sister of the woman he loved. (She died, we don't really know how.) Well, the Black Lectroids can't let Lord Whorfin escape Earth, they are fully prepared to precipitate a nuclear war if necessary. They do have the courtesy to shock (literally) Buckaroo so he can see the alien's true forms. With his elite band of six shooting scientists, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, Dr. Banzai is able to defeat Whorfin and save Earth. Do you get the idea? What more do you need? Okay, how about Christopher Lloyd running around and everyone calling him "John Bigbooty?" Or Jeff Goldblume as New Jersey, decked out like a cowboy - he even has black and white spotted luggage. Gateway 2000 luggage! Watch the film two or three times, the plot is there...

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Neurosurgeons shouldn't tug on things they don't recognize.
  • Rocket powered pickup trucks don't look right.
  • The 8th dimension looks a good deal like what you might see through an electron microscope.
  • New Brunswick, Maine is a tough town.
  • Aliens with bird like ships should stay well clear of Earth during duck season. Especially you, yeah you, darn Romulans.
  • Alien Lectroids have nads.
  • Hologram viewing glasses are made out of bubble wrap.
  • Girls: Never try to get intimate with some guy carrying a electric charge.
  • Bacteria can affect people via television.
  • Good aliens appear to hail from Jamaica.
  • Four star generals should not use the phrase, "I'm barely holding my fudge."
  • Alien thermal pods carry parachutes.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - This is some serious high tech stuff!
  • 10 mins - Buckaroo is driving through a mountain?
  • 13 mins - John Lithgow is applying electric current to his tongue!
  • 23 mins - If Peter Weller was bawling out a song to me I'd do the same thing.
  • 32 mins - Somebody shut Penny up, damn blonde...
  • 48 mins - That little asian guy looks funny riding a Harley.
  • 50 mins - Awful lot of folks named John.
  • 53 mins - What the heck did the alien kill him with? Spit?
  • 60 mins - Yeah, why is there a watermelon there?
  • 78 mins - These guards don't notice a double decker bus?
  • 85 mins - Now that is a mad looking slug, um thing.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note buckaroo1.wav Buckaroo: "No,no,no,no. Don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to."
Green Music Note buckaroo2.wav Lord Whorfin: "Laugh while you can, monkey boy!"
Green Music Note buckaroo3.wav Lord Whorfin: "I wanna make a call to Mr. John Bigbooty at YoYodine Propulsion Systems."
Green Music Note buckaroo4.wav John Parker: "Wait a minute, I need see Buckaroo Banzai in person. My name is John Parker."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipbuckaroo1.mpg - 2.5m
Just a moment ago Vincent Schiavelli and Christopher Lloyd were sitting there, but now Buckaroo can recognize them as aliens from the 8th dimension! Lost? That's a normal reaction for people watching this the first time.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 ... 11
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #1. Posted on February 16, 1999, 04:02:38 PM by Pat Bowden
Buckaroo Banzai is a pretty out-there movie. It's
fun to watch and the cast is good (Peter Weller and Jeff Goldblum are really good). I really don't
know why this was such a failure. Maybe it was too
strange for the average movie-goer...
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #2. Posted on February 27, 1999, 02:56:51 AM by
They're testing the structure of the hybrid watermelon to see if it can be airdropped into famine areas without a parachute. Duh!
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #3. Posted on March 12, 1999, 06:58:20 PM by Alex Talpur
Well, what can I say? Pure genius. The story, the cast, the script, the direction, the music, everything! Absolutely fantastic! The whole cast is amazing. Peter Weller as Buckaroo really is brilliant. Why can't more people make films like this anymore? Let's hope the much talked about TV-Series goes into production. Keep up the fantastic work on the page. And remember, we don't have to be mean, 'cause remember no matter where you go, there you are!
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #4. Posted on June 21, 1999, 10:05:43 PM by
I have shown this film to many people. In fact, at our network game nights, this film is screened as often as StarWars 4/5/6 and Army of Darkness, much to the confusion of new people.

The first time I screen it, people go "What the hell are they doing in 1930 now ? Who are all these guys ? Why are you all laughing at the watermelon ?" and generally wanting to know where they can get the 1st movie in the series that explains everything.

The second time, people start going "Oh, I see, the white aliens are the evil aliens and the rastafarian aliens are the good aliens. Oh, but now the good aliens are trying to blow up the earth, and the bad aliens are just trying to get away ??"

The third time, it starts sinking in and people start figuring out the difference between the characters.

About the tenth time, we start getting the chanting at lines like "Threee.... Twoo.... Onee....", "Laugha while you can monkey boy" and reciting with relish 'Declaration of war - the Short Form' 'Sekret! No Monkee Boyz Alowed'

It's a disease - but most people are resistant to it, and need multiple exposure.

By the way, Buckaroo Banzai turn up in the weirdest places - he has appeared in three books and two rule suppliments to the FASA/Mechwarrior universe (the rules state that he invented mechs such as the Hatchetman), the technology appears in Back to the Future, and even the Austin Power film has been known to quote a few lines from it.

And if Buckaroo's good enough for Dr Evil, he's good enough for you.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #5. Posted on August 13, 2000, 09:56:24 PM by a bear
It sure is a shame. I remember loving this movie as a kid and the fan club was really trying hard to keep the excitement up and to get all the fans to write the studio to convince them to allow a sequel. Then it all petered out after a while. I guess they realized the studio didn't agree with them.

I must admit I watched this again and it had turned somewhat from cool to cheese. Especially after seeing how fantastic Peter Weller can be in Naked Lunch.  Maybe in another 10 years I'll re-watch it and it will look cool again.

I've always thought Peter Weller looked like Adam Ant and wondered why Adam Ant never did anything weird and cool with his floundering acting career, like Buckaroo Bansai.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #6. Posted on November 06, 1999, 08:40:23 PM by Greg Childs
Maybe the greatest movie ever made, can't believe there is no soundtrack CD. Never saw it in the theater sadly, but now own it and it's a holiday staple for my brother and me. Too many great scenes and lines to cover here, but the horn Buckaroo plays at the concert and John Bigbootay, tay, tay giving Lithgow the finger are too funny.
By the way, either you get this movie or forget it. You can't explain it or help someone like it, must be genetic.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 1999, 06:33:02 PM by Katrina Keefer
My family and I have a tendency to like 'campy' films. Buckaroo is one of our favourites. My boyfriend has yet to see it, but when he does, he's a-gonna love it! It's up there with 'Flash Gordon', 'Riders of the Storm' and 'Yellowbeard', in my estimation. Not very well known, but a pleasure to anyone who's odd enough to sit through it! (I include myself, naturally)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #8. Posted on January 07, 2000, 05:02:18 AM by
This has to be one of my favourites. Too bad I can't find it on DVD. My ma tried to get it for me  (in any form) for my b-day but we can't find it anywhere. Anyway, the movie is great. What made them make black lectoids Rastas? I went to Jamacia for spring break 2 years ago but didn't think of even introducing myself as John Parker. What was I thinking???? That would have been just too cool. Guess I was too 'out-of-it'. -If anyone knows where I can get a copy e-me, thanks.
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