A movie that can’t be quantified, W.D Richter’s The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension is a cinematic fusion of a million ideas, synthesised into a film with an out of this world plot. To explain what goes in Earl Mac Rauch’s screenplay is almost impossible; this is a film that needs to be experienced just so you can attempt to grasp the weirdness of the action taking place on screen. Imagine if Hunter S. Thompson decided to write his own take on Star Wars.
Peter Weller is Buckaroo Banzai, a man of many talents – Rockstar…brain surgeon…test pilot… galactic hero. He’s the only man with the skills needed to battle the evil alien race known as the Red Lectroids and their crazed leader Lizardo (John Lithgow). If that sounds like it doesn’t make sense, then don’t worry. You just need to sit back and go along for the ride.
Richter was hot stuff in Hollywood for a brief time, cranking out an impressive array of top tier movie scripts (including Movies In Focus favourite Big Trouble In Little China). Richter has stacked Buckaroo Banzai with a cast that is just like the film – out of this world. Weller and Lithgow are joined by Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Clancy Brown, Christopher Lloyd, Rosalind Cash, Dan Hedaya and Vincent Schiavelli – while Breaking Bad’s Jonathan Banks also has a small role.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension is the perfect example of a cult film. It may not have achieved great commercial success when it was first released back in 1984 but it has gone on to find lasting love on home video formats.