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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 ... 5 6 [7] 8 9 ... 11
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #49. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Wisdom000
Actually the sequel did get made...... Kinda.

Big Trouble in Little china was originally titled Buckaroo Bonzai and the World Crime League.  However due to a new director and the inavailability of the original cast, instead of a wonderful sequel to a spectacular movie, we got a completely original and equally spectacular movie.  People who like either of these films should also check out Remo Williams.  Somehow these three films make up what I like to call the ultimate 80's crazy almost superhero triumvirate.  All of them are just so bizzare and out there, you can't really compare them to anything but each other.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #50. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Jon
The Special Edition DVD is awesome... gives some little known details on the HKC's and other characters such as Hanoi Xan... poor Penny...
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #51. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Frank Burns
This is a movie where all the greats got their start. John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Lloyd (just to name a few) took the experience of this movie and became some of the greatest.  Goldblum was able to create to be americas favorite scientist in my childhood favorite "the Fly".  Lloyd had many great roles such as Doctor Brown in the Back to the Future epics, and who could forget his convincing stab at a camp counseler named  Lithgows roll in third rock from the sun or more better Dennis Van Welker in "Camp Nowhere"? Finally John Litgow, even though some might argue John's work in the thriller "the Day After"  got his foot in the door I would tend to disagree, there has never been anyone to nail the role of Lord John Whorfinknown as well as Jonny did.  He later when on to do cliffhanger and that serious allien thriller "third Rock from the sun".  Yes, if it was not for this "special" movie these three might not have gained the leading actor title they now have.  Thank you Richter for the idea but thank these three for Buckaroo's success in history.  
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #52. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by CharPin
This is one of the all-time great parodies. I am the only one in my family who loves it - I've been quoting, "Laugh-a while you can, Monkey Boy!" for years, and NO ONE gets it! Sad.

Got to get the DVD - my VHS tape is just about worn out, and I can't be without this flick. Seriously fun!

I agree - "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" are also high-camp fun, as is "Into the Night," with Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer. And has anyone seen "Deathrace 2000" with David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone?  Total kick in the pants!!  "It's a hand grenade."

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #53. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Kim W.
1983: I am thirteen.  My best friend and I are planning on a trip to the movies.  Except, we'd initially planned to see STARMAN, but it was sold out.  Also playing at the same time, we noticed, was this little movie called BUCKAROO BANZAI.  We shrugged and saw that instead.  

It was probably a far better move for us than STARMAN would have been; we were both rather weird children.

We came out of the film babbling catchphrases to each other, and for a good two months afterward confused all our friends by shouting "What's that watermelon doing there! BWAHHHH!" to each other across rooms and cracking each other up.

2003: I am overseeing a rehearsal for a play in New York. Our show is being staged in the basement of another theater space, which is running its own show.  That other show has a series of weekly celebrity "guest stars", and the dressing rooms for both theaters are next to each other down in the basement where we are.  Also, one of the exits is through our basement theater space, so I've gotten used to random big-name actors wandering out into our basement space and looking confused; I usually just walk them over to the elevator to the street.

Anyway, on THIS night, I see another person wander out from the dressing rooms looking confused, and go over to walk him out -- and I'm halfway across the room when it hits me that it is Jeff Goldblum.  He spots me at this moment and asks for help getting out, so I make myself act professional and say I'd be happy to.  I walk him to the elevator, answer his question that yes, this does take him right out on to the street, and he thanks me.

For the rest of my life, I will be kicking myself that I did not take the opportunity to ask him, "By the way, Mr. Goldblum, what WAS that watermelon doing there after all?"
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #54. Posted on May 13, 2004, 12:51:23 PM by Tyler Foster
Loved this movie. Any movie that has a doctor/samurai/guitar player/comic book hero has to be great.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #55. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Nashville
   This movie does indeed rock. If you didn't get it, I'm sorry,'s not FOR you.

   If I may clarify an earlier post - Big Trouble in Little China has no connection to Buckaroo Banzai aside from the fact that BB's director, W.D. Richter, wrote the final screenplay for Big Trouble. That's it, that's all. These are the words of Earl Mac Rauch, who wrote BB and did not write any sequels. The "BB vs. the World Crime League" script that has circulated the internet for years is a fraud, a work of fan fiction, and was never the basis for Big Trouble. It's a fun rumor, but a rumor it is, and nothing more.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #56. Posted on June 14, 2004, 01:45:57 PM by Brian
The Extras on the DVD are excellent.  The best part is the commentary track, which explains how the movie is really a documentary, but they were forced to make it look like a work of fiction.
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