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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 ... 8 9 [10] 11
Re: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #73. Posted on May 27, 2008, 10:05:50 PM by NightRelic
Never been so bored in my life. I may have to try it again someday. I probably wasn't seeing it from the right perspective.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai anniversary coming up 2009
Reply #74. Posted on February 13, 2009, 08:52:16 PM by Tommyboybbi
I enjoyed the movie the first time out in the theaters.  With a dedicated group of fans, Buckaroo Banzai has lived on.

It's 25 year anniversary is coming up on Aug. 15, 2009.

Fans from across the United states of creating meeting places in cities to share in the experience with fans.

Keep watch for more details.

Re: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #75. Posted on April 01, 2009, 08:08:46 AM by Bonkers
I loved this movie. But I am conflicted slightly as to the rating. I think it is a good movie and a bad movie. So does it rate a really bad rating or a really good rating?
I am of 2 minds here. So my current decision is 4 stars.
I mean, Alien lectroids from planet 10 by way of the 8th dimesion?
You just can't beat that with a stick.
So I mildly protest the 3 star rating and petition that it should be raised to the lofty status of 4 stars.
What say you fellow fans? Raise your voices and be heard. This travesty shall not go unavenged!
Ok, a little heavy I admit it.   LOL
But still, let this be fixed and I shall attain true happiness.
Re: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #76. Posted on May 16, 2009, 11:56:59 AM by Trudy
When I first saw this movie in the 80's I was still impressionable, and young. Dr. Banzai was then and will forever be my ideal man. This  is on my best bad movie list as number one.
Re: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #77. Posted on August 11, 2009, 10:23:44 AM by Erik
Does anyone realise that the movie wasn't supposed to be any good?

I mean, I love this film too, but the movie was supposed to be a flop, a big loss, a money pit. It was a slightly shady attempt to lose money by the production company

Not exactly true.

The production crew, producers, actors, director, writers, everyone was doing their best to make a great fun film. It was the narrow-minded view of a disturbed mind among the Powers That Be who gave the film the green light, then tried to interfere with (some even say sabotage) the film throughout shooting and into marketing. By the time the film was released, this person was so convinced that the film was terrible that he allocated almost no money for advertising, and released the film in such a limited run so as to guarantee a flop. So it wasn't so much a scheme as a pathologically self-fulfilling prophecy.

A Bad Movie or not, this film changed my life. And that's really all there is say about that.
Re: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #78. Posted on August 16, 2009, 06:24:54 PM by Tuan Jim
Just watched this last night (25th anniversary) at the AFI Silver theater (Totally 80's III) in DC with a full house - absolutely incredible.  Movies like this are so much more fun with the right sort of audience. 
Re: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #79. Posted on July 09, 2010, 12:03:39 AM by Bonesy
I don't really consider this a 'bad movie'. It is highly entertaining, is really original, doesn't take itself too seriously, has some great actors and has some very amusing moments. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as did my flat mates when I put it on a few months ago.

However I'm glad it was reviewed here as I remember seeing it when I was very young and have wanted to watch it since but had no idea what the movie was called or how to track it down. It wasn't until I read this review I realised this must have been it. Like a few other movies reviewed on this website I rate Buckeroo Banzai more of a cult movie rather than a bad movie.
Re: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #80. Posted on July 10, 2010, 08:32:46 PM by Andrew
I don't really consider this a 'bad movie'. It is highly entertaining, is really original, doesn't take itself too seriously, has some great actors and has some very amusing moments. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as did my flat mates when I put it on a few months ago.

This certainly is more of the cult/weird type of film that I review, because it fits with the "feel" of bad movies per my tastes.  It is also one of the older reviews on the site, being one I wrote in the first year or two, and scheduled for updating at some point in the future. 
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