The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Monday, 03 November, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

I wouldn't have written up this atrocityi, but for this comment :

Get over it, junior Eberts!
28 January 2004 | by Ichiro (United States)

I've read several comments by people under the age of 30 who trash on this film, call it crap, and characterize us fans as vapid, thorazine-addled retards. Whatever makes you happy, folks! If trashing on a film that was seminal in the annals of low-budget cinematic resourcefulness makes you feel special then I'm happy for you.

There is a reason we love this film. The script is clever, a veritable mosaic of silly twists and throwaway jokes so layered that it takes multiple viewings to keep up with it all (favorite line: "It's not my ******* planet, Monkey Boy!"). And the direction and approach is equally exciting: rather than annoy us with underfinanced special effects that pretend to be Lucasfilm quality, the director revels in his low budget, using conk shells as models for space ships and populating alien ship interiors with tubes, pipes, rods and duct tape. The aliens come off as resourceful-albeit-goofy packrats, bumbling about and managing to stay just a few steps ahead of Buckaroo until the very end.

For many of us over 30, this film was something special. We caught it at midnight movie houses and relished in the warm presence of a movie made by people who shared our dark, twisted senses of humor. In college, it was a regular rental; we held Bonzai parties, dressed as characters, turned it into our private video Rocky Horror. No, it's not Citizen Kane ... but what do you want from a movie called Buckaroo Bonzai?

I have little doubt that some dudes somewhere did exactly what "Ichiro" describesii, dedicated "parties" and everything. Considering how poorly this "cult hit" did at the box office however, there certainly weren't "many of us", if indeed there more of that "us" than just the speaker himself. There's also little doubt that the dude(s?) in question were the exact epitome of the 80s dork, poor hygiene & social skills y compris.

I have little doubt that this pile of crap is relevant for some dudes somewhere. The problem is that it is relevant to them only, and for the wrong reasons. Some people may perhaps become attached to the particular mailbox their parents had on their lawn for that single year in 1978 when they went for a whole 10 months without drinking themselves into a stupor, beating each other into a pulp or spending every other night in police custody. The law of large numbers make the existence of such fetishists a certainty, and similarly makes a certainty the existence of any other, randomly described fetishists. Add the internet to the mix and suddenly you have comments on the mailbox' seller's webpage discussing the mailbox' "warm presence" and how it was "made by people who shared our dark, twisted senses of humor". However, no such thing has taken place, the mailbox is just an old piece of junk, and the poor sods fixated on it mere customers for the psychiatric ward.

The construction is appaling. Some footage of a kid's fifth birthday is being branded by a voice-over as some sort of momentuous event. You know what it contains ? Some "scientist" "doctor" dude playing with a length of rope, like a very inept cowboy making a very inept reata. Because yeah, that's what professors do, in cowboyland. The whole thing's a consumate, absolute realisation of

Square jawed highschoolers somewhere in Iowa donning a bunch of bedsheets and imagining that thereby they’re now epoch-accurate Anthonys and Cleopatras while chewing gum and tipping hats.

that sad disease of ignorant, self-satisfied stupidity as seen in all places inhabited by ignorant, self-satisfied imbeciles, such as Ichiro's United States. Which is what explains its popularity with the ignorant, the self-satisfied imbeciles.

tl;dr : If you like this film you are, essentially, a cow. That is all.

  1. 1984, by W.D. Richter, with Peter Weller. []
  2. Talking about low budget : the director couldn't even afford first names, all he has are initials! []
Category: Trilematograf
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