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BUCKAROO BANZAI Coming To DVD!! Hell Freezes Over!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

I remember the first time I visited Austin. This was back in the days of Glen Oliver running Coax. It was the first time I got a chance to meet Glen and Robogeek and many of the other site regulars face to face, and over the course of a too-short weekend, we traded geek credentials like crazy. One of the things that Glen and Robo and I were all able to share as a common bond was our deep and abiding love of W.D. Richter's cult classic THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION. I remember being given a very cool peek at what we all hoped was going to be a new Fox series based on the film, and I remember sharing stories with them about going to see the movie with Lewis Smith, "Perfect Tommy" from the film, who was the older brother of a friend of mine.

So this one goes out to Robo and to Glen, who I'm sure will be as excited by the news as I am. This letter came in from "Deaks."

I can't claim this is a scoop on my part, I pinched it from the UK DVD new site but it's the coolest DVD news since... well I don't know, I can't think of anything else this cool!


MGM have announced that they will release the adventure comedy The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension on 4th January 2002 (on region one).

Made in 1984 by director W.D. Richter, the movie stars Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd and Lewis Smith.

Buckaroo Banzai is a rock-star/brain-surgeon/comic-book-hero/samurai, who, along with his group, the "Hong Kong Cavaliers", must stop evil creatures from the 8th dimension (all of whom are named John) from conquering our dimension. He is helped by Penny Pretty, who is a dead ringer for his ex-wife, and some good extra-dimensional beings, who look and talk like they are from Jamaica.

The video will be presented courtesy of a new anamorphic widescreen transfer and the disc will carry a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Extras will include a director's commentary track, a prologue sequence that features Jamie Lee Curtis, deleted scenes with commentary, a making-of documentary with the director and cast, the original behind-the-scenes short, storyboards and more.

The suggested retail price has yet to be announced.



Pinch me, I must be dreaming. Between this and the news that a reader sent me mere moments ago that the film's novelization (a work of art in its own right) is coming back into print, it looks like I am a very happy BUCKAROO fan, indeed.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 18, 2001, 5:55 a.m. CST


    by Sobewankinobi

    Kick Ass

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Hong Kong Cavaliers "Not My Planet, Monkey Boy!" Inderdimentiona

    by Redbeard_NV

    New York, DC (Benefit concerts), Grover's Mill, Chicago, St.Louis, Dallas, Reno, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, S.F., Honolulu, Kona and Planet 10. Yippee!

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 6:29 a.m. CST

    My friend cracks up...

    by dastickboy

    ...when he hears the name "John BigBootay". I sometimes wonder if he's from the 8th dimension...

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 6:57 a.m. CST

    THE film of my high school years

    by RenoNevada2000

    Well, as if you couldn't guess by my User ID, TABB is one of my most favorite films of all time. It came out when I was a sophomore in high school, right as I was discovering the wonders of Doc Savage pulp reprints, cool college rock (Before it was called "Alternative") and of course, girls. In fact, TABB was the very first movie I took a date to! (Sheri P. hope you're out there and doing well.) It was a film that taught me to try and experience the most out of life as well as being good to others, a philosophy I strive to live up to daily. I also had my first bits of writing published in 20th Century Fox's TABB newsletter and in the second issue of the Penny Paradox fanzine. (Leni Sommer, if you're still out there, drop a line.) And Earl Mac Ruach's novelization is still an influence on my fiction writing today. So I'd personally like to publicly thank Earl Mac Rauch, W D Richter, Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Clancy Brown, Pepe Serna, Vincent Schiavelli, Lewis Smith, Christopher Lloyd, Robert Ito and everyone else involved in creating one of the truly loopy, great films of our time. Now let's hope FOX gets on the stick with the new series!!!!

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Ok now we have Buckaroo Banzai

    by BadAshe

    So now when the hell is that other cinematic gem Roadhouse coming out on DVD? If it is out then I haven't seen it. I want a full breakdown, analysis and discussion of the "Regular Saturday Night Thing" scene. Plus you have a well-coiffed Swayze beating ass and bad guys throwing out such intimidating lines as "Prepare to die". Plus it has the greatest use of a wrestler in a movie ever (Terry Funk). Well, outside of Hulk Hogan as Rip in No Holds Barred.

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 8:05 a.m. CST

    No matter where you go, there you are.

    by ArchDiver

    Now I really have to go out and get my own DVD player!

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Why is there a watermelon there?

    by Verm

    Man this is gonna be the biggest DvD release (for me anyway) of next year.

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 9:45 a.m. CST

    I Know What The Watermelon Is For

    by season

    Many years ago I attended a sci-fi convention in Florida where Denise Okuda (wife of Michael Okuda who designs all the bridge and computer displays on Star Trek) gave a panel about B.B. She showed an early rough cut of the film which featured the Jamie Lee Curtis intro and some other deleted and/or alternate scenes within the film. During the Q&A session, someone asked about the watermelon and she said that many suits at the studio where concerned that the film was too quirky to play to mainstream audiences and voiced their concerns very loudly to the director, so W.D. Richter decided to piss them off by putting in MORE quirkiness. He threw in a lot of melons for no reason. If you look carefully you can spot melons hidden in corners, people holding melons, etc. She also said that the watermelon was the source of a lot of confusion on the set, so Richter came up with an explanation to appease the perplexed. In the B.B. universe, Buckaroo and his cohorts were trying to develop food that could be airlifted to drought stricken areas in the world and dropped out of the sky, yet survive the impact of hitting the ground without need for a parachute. The watermelon in that shot with Reno and New Jersey is supposed to be a prototype. It's being squeezed in an industrial press to test whether or not it can withstand the pressure of hitting the ground.

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Laugh while you can, monkey boy!

    by Tar Heel

    One of the critic pull quotes that convinced me to pay money to see this in a theater said it best. "Bless its demented little heart." Let's hope this DVD sells well and that we'll see a sequel, a TV series or something. I'm making room on my DVD shelf now.

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 10:58 a.m. CST

    The only thing missing in BB

    by Ardee-El

    was a kick-ass rock and roll soundtrack. The score should've been peppered with the music of the Hong Kong Cavaliers, and they should've brought the house down with a number at their nightclub gig before Penny interrupted them with her suicide attempt. My one complaint aside, why haven't the suits realized that with BB, they've got another (probably bigger) Austin Powers on their hands -- the sequel that would pull in more money than the original? (And, oh yeah, bring on the novel!)

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Foundation Imaging

    by ArcLight

    The Foundation footage was done for a presentation made to execs about the series. A piece of it can be found (assuming FortuneCity isn't being a pain again) at, along with all the latest/greatest BB news. ArcLight

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 11:39 a.m. CST


    by Cheezdanish

    I love this movie. I don't even have a DVD player yet and I shall be purchasing this DVD. "Why should I give her my jacket?" "Because you're Perfect." "Oh. Right."

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Evil Pure and Simple from planet 10

    by Paul Allen Voiq

    Hey I feel riped off after the end credits It said "Comeing Soon Buckaroo Banzai VS The World Crime League" Man I been waiting a while now. Fuckit Im going home "With My Over-thruster" Sell My Stocks in YO-YO-DYNE

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Sweet mother monkey!

    by GoonLord

    It's about time! Pack it up and make it beautiful! Then overthrust that bitch into my hands!

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 4:49 p.m. CST

    "Remember; no matter where you go...there ya are."

    by dreg

    And I know where I'll be Jan. 4. Sweet Jesus, this is the best news I've heard in a LONG time. I'm as giddy as a school girl right now; watching Buckaroo Banzai as I type. Sigh...:)

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 5:35 p.m. CST

    I don't know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortio

    by jocutus

    Yes, this movie had it all. And the book had even more, believe it or not. I was in grade school when this movie came out and became a fan long before I ever saw the movie just from reading a brief blurb in a local paper's summer movie preview article. I waited all summer of '84 for this movie, which the studio seemed to want to disown, and later mistreated with a staggered release. Meanwhile i was grabbing anything I could from the movie: the book, the comic, the poster, Team Banzai t-shirts, magazines with pictures, etc. This movie was a merchandising franchise waiting to happen, and someone dropped the ball. We'd all be wearing Blue Blaze irregular cell phones now if someone had known what they were doing back then. -sigh- As far as I'm concerned, Doc Brown's flux capacitor was a poor-man's overthruster. I sure hope this thing is packed with lost scenes and stuff. I'll put this one right next to my Big Trouble in Little China set.

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Lithium is no longer available on credit.

    by Wallace Nussbaum

    "Where are we going?" "Planet Ten!" "When?" "Real soon!" This is the best news I've heard in a long time. This film is the best! I was saddened to read a few months ago that the Banzai DVD was being shelved indefinitely, but since it's back, well whoop-a-dee-do! It's amazing that the film even got made. A film like that could never be made today. Hey, my DVD list is getting shorter. All I need now is UHF and ET. I don't think I'm going to get any sleep tonight, I'm so excited. I'm all giddy and stuff. I think I'll go reserve my copy now. I think I'll pop in my VHS copy and relive the excitement! Okay, now I'm gushing so much I'm starting to sound sarcastic. Seriously, one of my all time top ten films. Hey, did I hear 20th anniversary re-release? Think about it, studio people, it's a cult classic! Anyways, I'm just happy there's some good news this week. I was beginning to think I was living in Terry Gilliam's Brazil. A tip: When you go to Radio Shack and they ask for your name and address, tell them you are John Smallberries from Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Or my personal favorite- when someone asks for your phone number, give them the Death Star trash compactor number: 326-3827. Works every time. Unless it's your actual number.

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 7:11 p.m. CST

    World Crime League

    by CoolJ

    Hey Harry, when are they going to make Buckaroo Banzai Vs. The World Crime League? Any news on this one? Any spy photos would be great.

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Hot Damn!! Another DVD to add to my growing "Movies with Bad 80'

    by Smugbug

    Very cool. Can't wait to see it......again........

  • Sept. 18, 2001, 11:33 p.m. CST

    now we just need the action figures to be released..........

    by McKenzieFrenzy

  • Sept. 19, 2001, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Cool ending at the USPF Liberty Island Headquasrters

    by Redbeard_NV

    I was living near the Sepulveda Dam Basin when both the endings for TABB and the openings of Escape From New York were being shot and could see the g;low from the lights. Next time you're headed sSouth on the 405 approaching the Ventura (Hollywood) Freeway, take a nice long look right or just exit on Burbank Blvd, and hang a right and "There you are"!

  • Sept. 19, 2001, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Rockit 88

    by Apache

    At last, at last. I'm gonna buy ten. Maybe more. The coolest documentary film of the '80's... who do I bribe to get a sequel?

  • Sept. 19, 2001, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by cooper2000

    I remember seeing this with a friend when I was in High School. The theatre was almost empty. I remember reading that they didnt know how to market the thing and thats understandable. I wanted to show my tape version to a friend recently and its bad. No Widescreen, its really unwatchable. Sooo, I will wait to show it to him. This is a great underrated movie and I hope it finds an audience.I want to see that sequel they always promised us or a TV series. I still have my BB headband I bought at a Convention. Someone mentioned above that with this coming out, maybe we will get Back to the Future. I hope so, that and Grease.

  • Sept. 19, 2001, 8:11 p.m. CST


    by Heffaloo

    Wow, just like that, the value of my very hard to find videocassette plummets to almost nothing.

  • Sept. 19, 2001, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Somewhere, on a beautiful earth in a parallel universe. . .

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    . . .THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION was the biggest film of the year 1984, outgrossing STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES, JAWS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. There were lines around the block, merchandise sold out within days and plans were immediately laid for it's sequel, BUCKAROO BANZAI VS THE WORLD CRIME SYNDICATE which was an even bigger hit in 1988 and won 5 Oscars, setting the stage for the last and best of all: the long awaited Buckaroo Banzai/Ghostbusters crossover, 1992's COLLECT CALL OF CTHULHU. That one grossed US$800 million and won Best Picture. Also in this Universe: John Lennon never gets assasinated; no Clinton or Bush presidencies; Saddam Hussien never comes to power in Iraq and Osama bin Laden and all of his henchmen are busted by the FBI 3 weeks before the planned raid on the WTC/Pentagon can come off. Oh yeah--and Britney Spears is the centerfold in this month's Playboy. Lots of butt-shots. Oh, to be in that universe.