Podgodz 261: Peak 80s
Recorded 26 September 2017
Preacher can die in a fire
The Good Place: Season 2 is good, not great
People Of Earth: Season 2 not so great
W1A returns to the BBC
Star Trek Discovery
Back (Ch4) – Web and Mitchel
Bojack Horseman S4
Rick And Morty: not death threat bad
You’re The Worst S4
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
And the Main Topic
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
The premise centers upon the efforts of the multi-talented Dr. Buckaroo Banzai, a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot, and rock musician, to save the world by defeating a band of inter-dimensional aliens called Red Lectroids from Planet 10. The film is a cross between the action/adventure and sci-fi film genres and also includes elements of comedy, satire, and romance.
Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) and his mentor Dr. Hikita (Robert Ito) perfect the “oscillation overthruster”, a device that allows one to pass through solid matter. Banzai tests it by driving his Jet Car through a mountain. While passing through it, Banzai finds himself in another dimension, and on returning to his normal dimension, he discovers an alien organism has attached itself to his car.
News of Banzai’s success reaches Dr. Emilio Lizardo (John Lithgow), currently held at the Trenton Home for the Criminally Insane. In 1938, Lizardo and Hikita had built a prototype overthruster, but Lizardo tested it before it was ready, and became stuck between dimensions. Though freed, it caused him to go insane. Aware that Banzai has succeeded, Lizardo breaks out.
Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers are performing at a night club when Banzai interrupts their musical intro to address a depressed and suicidal woman Penny Priddy (Ellen Barkin) in the audience. During a performance he gives especially for her she attempts suicide, which is mistaken for an assassination attempt upon Banzai. After bailing her out of jail, he finds she is the long-lost twin sister of his late wife. Later, Banzai holds a press conference about his rocket car experience, the overthruster and the specimen of alien/transdimensional life he obtained while traveling through the 8th dimension. Strange men disrupt the event and kidnap Hikita and the overthruster; due to an electrical shock from an unknown source, Banzai sees these men as reptilian humanoids. The others give chase, and Penny happens to encounter Hikita who passes her the overthruster before he is recaptured.
While planning what to do next, Banzai and the Cavaliers are met by John Parker (Carl Lumbly), a messenger from John Emdall (Rosalind Cash), the leader of the alien Black Lectroids of Planet 10, currently in Earth’s orbit. Emdall explains that they have been at war with the hostile Red Lectroids for years, but had managed to banish them to the eighth dimension. Lizardo’s failed test of the overthruster in 1938 allowed the Red Lectroids’ leader, John Whorfin, to take over Lizardo’s mind and enable several dozen others to escape. Now that Banzai has perfected the overthruster, Emdall fears Whorfin and his allies will try to acquire it to free the other Red Lectroids. Emdall had shocked Banzai previously to allow him to see the Lectroids for who they are, and now tasks him with stopping Whorfin or otherwise the Black Lectroids will fake a nuclear explosion to start World War III that will annihilate the Earth and the Red Lectroids with it. The Cavaliers track down the Red Lectroids to Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems in New Jersey, finding that their arrival in 1938 was told by Orson Welles’ broadcast of The War of the Worlds until the Lectroids forced him to admit it was a work of fiction. Yoyodyne has been building a spacecraft to cross over to the eighth dimension under the pretense of a new United States Air Force bomber.
The Red Lectroids invade Banzai’s headquarters and kidnap Penny, unaware she has passed the overthruster off to one of Banzai’s allies. Banzai and the Cavaliers set off to gather allies and confront Whorfin at Yoyodyne, as well as warning the President of the United States as to avoid a nuclear war. At Yoyodyne, Penny refuses to tell the Lectroids where the overthruster is, and they start to torture her. Banzai arrives and chases off the Lectroids, though Penny is wounded and unconscious. While the Cavaliers tend to her, Banzai and Parker sneak into a pod on the spacecraft. Without Banzai’s overthruster, Whorfin insists they use his imperfect model, which fails to make the dimensional transition and instead breaks through the Yoyodyne wall, flying off into the atmosphere. Banzai and Parker separate the pod from the main craft, and use its weapon systems to destroy Whorfin and all the other Red Lectroids. Banzai parachutes back to Earth while Parker returns to his people. With the situation resolved and war averted, Banzai finds Penny remains comatose. When he goes to kiss her, Emdall causes another brief shock to Banzai that revives Penny.
The end credits announce an unproduced sequel Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League.
Kid with a Machine Gun? Sure!
Yakov Smirinoff as the National Security advisor? Sure!
Kinda gross sucker theft? You Betcha
Vincent Schiavelli playing with that random rotating tube thing from the 80s as a prop? Yup!
Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzai, a modern-day renaissance man, top neurosurgeon, particle physicist, race car driver, rock star, and comic book hero. In the film, he is seen as a mild-mannered hero whose latest experiments open the door to the 8th dimension and unwittingly start an interstellar battle for the world.
John Lithgow as Dr. Emilio Lizardo / Lord John Whorfin. John Whorfin is the exiled leader of the violent Red Lectroids; the Black Lectroids describe him as “similar to Earth’s Hitler.”
Ellen Barkin as Penny Priddy. A woman Buckaroo encounters in a bar, who turns out to be the twin sister of his dead wife, Peggy.
Ronald Lacey as President Widmark.
The Hong Kong Cavaliers
The Hong Kong Cavaliers are the main assistants of Banzai in the film and bear some similarity to Doc Savage’s Fabulous Five. They reside at the Banzai Institute, a think-tank located in Holland Township, New Jersey. In addition to being multidisciplinary scientific experts in a variety of fields, they are also Buckaroo’s rock and roll band. They are all referred to by code names or nicknames and, except for New Jersey, their actual names remain secret.
Clancy Brown as Rawhide, arguably Buckaroo’s lieutenant. Plays piano. He appears to be killed by a Red Lectroid’s poisoned barb, but the ‘Pinky Carruthers’ fact overlay feature on the DVD states that he was put into suspended animation until a cure is found.
Pepe Serna as Reno Nevada, who plays saxophone. Reno is romantically involved with another of Buckaroo’s teammates, a woman named Pecos (referenced in a line of dialogue as being in Tibet, she appears in the novel, but not in the film).
Lewis Smith as Perfect Tommy, who plays rhythm guitar, and is generally accepted to be perfect. He designed the Jet Car’s suspension system, which allows it to hug the ground even at supersonic speeds.
Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Sidney Zweibel/New Jersey, a neurosurgeon and a colleague of Dr. Banzai’s from Columbia. He sings a little, dances, and plays piano. He is the rookie member of the Cavaliers, joining the team at the beginning of the movie.
Billy Vera as Pinky Carruthers, one of Buckaroo’s Blue Blaze Irregulars. Plays bass guitar.
Christopher Lloyd as John Bigbooté (mistakenly called “Big Booty” by John Whorfin), Second in command.
Rosalind Cash as John Emdall
Carl Lumbly as John Parker, messenger of the Black Lectroids and ally of Buckaroo
Vincent Schiavelli as John O’Connor
Dan Hedaya as John Gomez
Robert Ito as Professor Hikita
Matt Clark as Secretary of Defense
William Traylor as General Catburd
Mariclare Costello as Senator Cunningham
Bill Henderson as Casper Lindley
Damon Hines as Scooter Lindley
Laura Harrington as Mrs. Johnson
Yakov Smirnoff as National Security Advisor
On the next Lax and Gio Watch Shit
Gio makes me watch something horrible that doesn’t really mean much to him other than it is something I will probably dislike.
Don’t forget that we are a listener supported show…blah blah…Crown Royal sack.
Don’t forget that we are a listener supported show.
You can reach us @podgodz, firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook – that is podgodz with a Zed. You can also help fund this show, or Gio in general, at PATREON.com/Giovanni and hit up those Amazon Affiliate links.
Time to put the Crown Royal sack back on the microphone.
Music Provided by Rucka Rucka Ali, Check out his work at RukasWorld and possibly commission him for your next project.