The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
Eric S Brown
What’s good about the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension? It featured a mega cast of super talented actors including Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin, Christopher Llyod, John Lithgow, and more! What’s bad about the film? Just about every bloody thing else!
Buckaroo Banzai is a high concept, SF/Action film released in 1984, and shot on a production budget of over twelve million, earning less than half of that investment back during its time on the big screen. The title character is a super genius – physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot, and rock star. Buckaroo Banzai, along with his large group of friends, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, (each skilled in their own areas as well) quickly find themselves up against aliens who are threatening to fake a nuclear explosion in Russia.
The film’s plot is over the top, full of holes, and almost intentionally cheesy. The effects were far from the greatest, even during the time of its release, and certainly do not stand up to the test of time. The writing is more often weak, almost stilted, than not. Despite all these things, however, Banzai has managed to become a cult classic that retains a devoted cult following to this day.
The film was turned into a two issue mini-series by Marvel Comics which were also collected in a single oversized, Marvel Super Special. Written by the legendary Bill Mantlo, creator of Rocket Raccoon, he improved the high concept beyond the limits of the big screen.
Banzai also lived on in another comic series which began in 2006 published by Moonstone Books, and as now, the adventures of Banzai continue in many formats of media.
Darkhouse is also releasing a direct sequel entitled The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Against the World Crime League.