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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai [VHS] (1984)

Peter Weller , John Lithgow , W.D. Richter  |  PG |  VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd
  • Directors: W.D. Richter
  • Writers: Earl Mac Rauch
  • Producers: W.D. Richter, Dennis E. Jones, Neil Canton, Sidney Beckerman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: February 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000050NS2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,778 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension is one of the most agreeably insane movies ever made. Peter Weller stars as Buckaroo, an acclaimed neurosurgeon, particle physicist, and, of course, rock star. He travels with the Hong Kong Cavaliers, a band of hard-rocking scientists who are also really good dressers. Buckaroo's interdimensional experiments with his Operation Overthruster throw him (and the Earth) straight into the middle of an alien war, and before you know it, he's got just a few hours to save the world. Confused? Hang on, we're only 10 minutes into the movie. Buckaroo Banzai hurls you right into the middle of its comic-book universe and keeps going at a breakneck pace. It's chock-full of overlapping jokes (even as we're trying to make sense of Dr. Lizardo's hospital room, a voice calmly announces that "lithium is no longer available on credit" over the PA system), hilarious throwaway dialogue ("You're like Jerry Lewis: you give me hope to carry on."), and weirdness just for the sheer joy of it ("Why is there a watermelon there?" "I'll tell you later."). You'll want to watch it at least twice--there's just no way to catch everything the first time around. Ellen Barkin has a terrific time doing a dead-on film noir moll parody as Penny Priddy, and John Lithgow turns in a brilliant manic performance as Dr. Lizardo/John Whorfin. There is no reason not to own this movie unless you are cold and dead inside. Laugh while you can, Monkey Boys. --Ali Davis

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy! Buckaroo's BACK! November 3, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai' nearly defies definition! A cult classic, this send-up of alien invasion stories, pulp fiction heroes, and adventure movies is a love/hate proposition; while I found it to be brilliant fun, many of my friends thought it was incomprehensible! One thing for sure...There is NO other film quite like it!
Buckaroo (played with laid-back coolness by Peter Weller) is a Japanese/American race car driver/neurosurgeon/rock star/comic book hero who, with his rock 'n roll commandos, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, balances his time between saving lives, pushing the boundaries of science, troubleshooting for the President, and playing gigs in nightclubs (lost, yet?). The film opens with his performing surgery, recruiting a new Cavalier member (a pre-stardom Jeff Goldblum), then hopping into a prototype race car, supposedly to break the land speed record, but actually to test a device that would allow man to travel through solid objects by adjusting their molecular density! (NOW are you lost?)
The experiment works, but thrusts Bonzai temporarily into the Eighth Dimension, a kind of Phantom Zone for criminals from Planet Ten. The breech allows an alien invasion to begin, as Planet 10 stormtroops (frog-faced creatures who all take the names of various celebrities named 'John') get their marching orders, and invade New Jersey!
This is not the first time the Eighth Dimension has been breeched; in 1938, Dr. Lizardo (John Lithgow, in his funniest performance ever) attempted a similar experiment, but his head became stuck, temporarily, in the hole! An alien presence entered his mind, and Lizardo was shipped off to a mental hospital, where he plotted the destruction of the human race ("Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy! You all are-a gonna die!
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135 of 147 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
BB is second to "Rocky Horror" as the greatest cult film ever.
A lot of the recent appeal is the "Before they were Stars" factor--Peter Weller, Robocop; JOHN Lithgow, 3rd Rock; Jeff Goldblum, Ten Speed and Brownshoe, Jurassic Park; Christopher Lloyd, Back to the Future, Taxi; Vincent Schiavelli, Subway Guy in Ghost; Yakov Smirnov, plays the Secretary of Defense.
They characters look like the people they are supposed to play. Weller is gaunt and tan enough so that he does indeed look half-Japanese. Vincent Schiavelli looks alien enough, and Lithgow does one mean Mussolini. Ellen Barkin is perfect as a lost girl in a big city.
This is sci-comedy, along the lines of Ghostbusters, Hitchhikers Guide, where it simultaneously contributes to the Genera while satirizing it. Look at all of the BB references on Star Trek! In the commentary, Ruach and Richter explain they were imitating the odd humor found in "DR. STANGELOVE," so see that film first before you judge! PS--the watermelon in the Steel press is explained in the audio commentary.
There are emotions surrounding a film, and meaning found in repeating lines, as in Rocky Horror, or Princess Bride. It almost becomes a type of liturgy, where the filmed padre speaks his parts, and we respond-a communion of comedy! A morality play! Ruach and Richter want us to believe that BB is actually a docudrama of a real but enigmatic person. And at a certain level, we want to believe them!
The choice for synthesized music was correct, and also a slice of the times, as in Ladyhawke, or Tron. The music itself is catchy, killer, and DEMANDS TO HAVE A CD ISSUE!
For those who don't like this film, try these things. First, you need to see this film. Secondly, read some of the BB fan-pages on the Internet.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Surreal, off the wall and down right gut splitting funny, BB was a full decade of its time. The cast is clearly having fun with the material. You'd think that the folks from Planet 10 would learn something from Superman's experience with the Phantom Zone--limbo can't keep nasty, evil and weird aliens out of your hair forever.
This deluxe DVD has a beautiful wide screen transfer of the film, 14 outtakes taken from the workprint (and integrated into the sequences they were cut from so they actually make sense)and the alternate opening with Jaime Lee Curtis as Buckaroo's mom (that explains this film!). THe cast is a who's who of cult films and odd ball performances; Peter Weller plays the brain surgeon/rock star/agent for good (ala Doc Savage)with wit and a sparkle in his eye; Ellen Barkin sparkles in one of her first major screen roles as Penny Pretty the despondent, sexy secret twin sister of Buckaoo's late lover; Jeff Goldblum helped define quirky with his straight faced performance as "New Jersey"; John Lithgow shines as the possessed scientist Dr. Lizzardo playing Lizzardo as an over the top melodrama villian (with a bizarre Italian accent no less!). The cast also includes Christopher Lloyd, Clancey Brown and a watermelon...
The inclusion of the trailer for the never made television series from 1998 is a gem although it doesn't quite convey the quirkiness of the film. I kept wondering, who else besides Peter Weller (who's much too old to play BB nearly 20 years later) could pull the role off?
My only complaint is that since I don't have a nuon enhanced DVD I can't enjoy this weird feature. Still, with the running commentary from Richter and pop up factoids of Pinkie, this deluxe edition of a great cult classic finally gets its due. It gives me hope that MGM went to as much effort as they have at putting this fine DVD together.
My only complaint (the movie is 5 stars; the DVD 4 1/2) is the lack of new cast and crew interviews about the project.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I've always loved this off-beat movie
I have the VHS and wanted the DVD also. I've always loved this off-beat movie.
Published 4 days ago by joni kattou
5.0 out of 5 stars Give us more!
One of the most brilliant films to erupt from the 80s. Seriously, how did they not get around to making a sequel or six? Read more
Published 11 days ago by M. Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic cult flic
Awesome as it was in the day - never seen it? Try it, you will like it if you are into great b-flic films with an all star cast.
Published 22 days ago by Atomkey
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie ever
OK, if you are of a certain mindset. But I am, and to me it's a deathless classic. Just remember: Wherever you go -- there you are!
Published 25 days ago by Narada
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I saw that it was compared to Big Trouble in Little China, but once watching the movie it doesn't even touch Big Trouble in Little China. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Julius S.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Laugh while you can Monkey Boy."
This movie is a bunch of years old now I guess, and I hadn't screened it in quite some time (years). Yet I can still quote dozens of lines from it. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Paris6
4.0 out of 5 stars Get Weller Soon
An impossibly cool Peter Weller leading his band (in every sense) against trans-dimensional foes makes for 100 minutes of awesome. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shayne Pace
4.0 out of 5 stars for adults that never growup
Love fun 80's movies :-) ? Than this one is for you slightly long but who says you need to finish it all in one day.
Published 3 months ago by Zoe Skir
1.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps THE dumbest movie ever made!
The acting is terrible, the plot is ridiculous, there are some big name actors in it but none of them can redeem this train wreck of a movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by epona
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome
One of the best,bizarre 80's movies ever made. The ideas and characters are so over the top, and references are made thru-out the movie as is you have been following the adventures... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lukacs
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Topic From this Discussion
Is Guy Pearce in this movie?
You have a point there. ;)
Jan 27, 2008 by Curtis G |  See all 3 posts
Is the DVD anamorphic?
Yes. On the back cover is printed "New Anamorphic Transfer" (upper, left of the "Special Features" section).
Aug 10, 2010 by strix275 |  See all 2 posts
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