Blu-Ray Review: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Director: W.D. Richter
Screenplay: Earl Mac Rauch
Starring: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd
Country: USA
Running Time: 103 min
Year: 1984
BBFC Certificate: PG

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is a cult classic from the 80’s that I’d never seen, but always wanted to. I didn’t really know much about it, but I found the title strangely appealing and was aware of its status as an oddball cult classic. Luckily for me, Arrow came to the rescue once again and offered me a chance to review their new feature-packed Blu-Ray re-release. So I strapped myself in for a trip across the 8th dimension.

Buckaroo Banzai (played by Peter Weller) is a half-Japanese, half-American brain surgeon, daredevil scientist and rock star. He and the Hong Kong Cavaliers, his band of hard rock scientists (as described in the opening crawl), are famous around the world, with their own branding and even a comic strip and arcade machines.

After successfully removing a tumour from a patient’s brain, Banzai heads to the salt flats to test a jet powered car which houses an Oscillation Overthruster. Banzai manages to use this device to open a door to the 8th dimension in the side of a mountain. He sees some crazy stuff in there before re-appearing out the other side with a strange creature/thing attached to the car.

This test is celebrated as a great success, but it draws the attention of the Red Lectroids, an alien race (led by Christopher Lloyd and Vincent Schiavelli) who have teamed up with the deranged Dr Lizardo (John Lithgow). In the past, Lizardo had worked with Banzai’s scientist partner Professor Hikita (Robert Ito) on the prototype Overthruster, which went wrong and let the Red Lectroids escape from their inter-dimensional prison. Lizardo and the Red Lectroids now want to get their hands on the Overthruster so they can regain power over the world they were originally banished from, which is currently in the hands of the Black Lectroids. The Black Lectroids meanwhile, although friendly to the humans, feel their only hope of survival is to blow up the Earth if the Reds aren’t stopped in time. Banzai, with his team of agents/band members, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop both sides before it’s too late!

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Cinecast Episode 385 – The Way of all Flesh


There are a lot of rookies out there. The Cinecast ain’t one of them. We’ve seen this before. We’ve seen that before. And we’ve also seen this. And somehow, despite everything discussed today basically being re-hashes of things that have come before, we’re retain the capacity to be impressed, inspired, encouraged and offer kindness. Andrew and Kurt consider the immediate future of the Cinecast as well as the long term future and then in the spirit of re-hashing old things, bitch about pre-show cinema commercials for old time sake. If you put a dollar (or more) in our PayPal, we’ll send you a copy of the show sans the commercial bitching. In The Watch List this week: classic Dr. Who, children being burned alive, whistle blowers, Wes Anderson plot holes and Zach Braff screwing college girls. It’s all here glorious audio format if you only can believe… in a little magic.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



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Trailer: 88

Ahhh, Millennium Entertainment, prolific purveyor of second rate trash cinema, and the ersatz heir to Cannon/Golan-Globus. Usually I try to ignore their star-driven exercises in formula, but this one, directed by a woman (April Mullen), which might be a first for the company, caught my eye.

Canadian cult actress Katherine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, American Mary) stars as an ass-kicking, Memento-memory’d woman out for revenge after a violent thug (Christopher Lloyd, chewing scenery magnificently) had her husband killed. Another cult Canuck actor, Michael Ironside (a personal favourite), plays the cop out to catch (or help?) her before she gets the job done. Blend that up with oversaturated colours, crazy shifts in tone, and other forms of acute lack of restraint and I am all in. Hopefully this Domino-lite will get some limited theatrical somewhere, but I’m not holding my breath considering it has been out on BLU-Ray in The US since January.

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Cinecast Episode 243 – Jump on that Curve and Ride it to Infinity


Soderbegh claims he’s retiring. Yeah right. Every time I turn around my IMDb smart phone app is alerting me to something new he’s working on. Haywire was something we heard about what seems like ages ago now and it’s finally here. Does it live up to the wait and the expectations? Matt Gamble takes another one in the nuts for the team with Red Tails and the latest Underworld picture; in 3D this time. Kurt’s children chime in for a couple of minutes on their thoughts on the 80’s animated series “Dungeons and Dragons.” After that technical snafu, we’ve got a helluva watch list this week rounds out the show with 80s, underrated goofery, catching up with some underseen gems from 2011, a love fest for Ti West’s latest, some Man for Earth discrepancies and a whole lot more.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



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Cinecast Episode 202 – Obviously You’re Not a Golfer


It is a cornucopia, a smörgåsbord, a veritable potpourri of cinema, as the Cinecast regulars get together with nothing on the agenda other than to talk about what they have watched, in the cinema, on the DVD and streamed from the internet or (in an exciting technology development, from the Computer Hard Drive.) Andrew continues to dig into the Foreign Language Nominees with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful. Kurt comes at Oscar a different way with the new documentary on the man with the midas touch when it comes to little gold men, Harvey Weinstein. And Gamble talks best animated film of 2011 with a preview of the flat out awesome Gore Verbinski/Nickelodeon/Industrial-Light-And-Magic Johnny Depp western, Rango. From there, we go from the occult, to Penelope Cruz DTV failures, to two vastly different takes time travel from the 1980s to Chinese shopping malls. Then it is onto Romans wandering about Scotland, Aussie crime dynasties and suburban teenage prostitution rings! It is all a part of your complete breakfast.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



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Cinecast Episode 152 – Modern Detritus

Episode 152:

We take last week’s negativity and turned it upside down in an old school show between Kurt and Andrew complete with our signature tangents in which we keep it fairly positive (except for The Lovely Bones which sadly is a sizable disappointment). There is a lot of unconditional Gary Oldman love in the under appreciated Book of Eli. There is also some kudos to Jeff Bridges both his long career and his recent turn as a grizzled country singer in Crazy Heart. Some really fun DVD picks this week as well as a look back at a time when Robert Zemeckis was awesome. Thanks a bunch for downloading/streaming. Enjoy!

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54 Years Ago Today…

1955: A clock, a slippery toilet seat and a severe concussion lead to the invention of time travel.

Ernest O. Lawrence, Emmett L. Brown and J. Robert Oppenheimer peer at the controls of the 184-inch cyclotron, which was being converted in early 1946 from its wartime use to its original purpose as a cyclotron.


Dr. Emmett Lathrop Brown is known for being a member (unverified) of the Manhattan Project, a physics professor at Hill Valley University, and a talented entrepreneur and handyman. But it’s his contribution to the field of temporal physics for which he is best remembered.

According to archival footage, Brown was standing on his toilet seat on the evening of Nov. 5, 1955, attempting to hang a clock in his bathroom, when he slipped and slammed his head on the side of the sink. Upon regaining consciousness Brown reported having “a revelation, a picture, a picture in my head.” A picture which he crudely scrawled down on a piece of paper and subsequently spent 30 years of his life and family fortune to build.

That picture, of course, was the flux capacitor. And as every high school physics student knows, it’s the device that makes time travel possible.

The main hurdle Brown faced with the flux capacitor was delivering enough power to make it function. The capacitor required a staggering 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to generate a time-displacement field. Brown first surmised that meeting the capacitor’s power needs could be accomplished in two ways: either by channeling a nuclear reaction or harnessing a bolt of lightning. Lightning as it turned out, was pretty much out of the question, because it’s impossible to determine when and where a bolt will strike.

Brown decided to go for the nuclear option. He hypothesized that within 30 years, material like plutonium would be easily obtainable — probably available in corner drugstores. It turned out he was dead wrong.

By 1985 Brown had squandered his family fortune and allegedly committed several acts of insurance fraud to finance his time machine. Built from a Delorean DMC-12 (whose stainless steel body had a direct and influential effect on flux dispersal), it was fitted with a working flux capacitor that was powered by a nuclear reactor. Desperate for fuel, Brown duped a group of Libyan terrorists into providing him with weapons-grade plutonium.

At 1:21 a.m Oct. 25, 1985, Brown (with the help of his protege, Martin McFly) was able to successfully — and safely — send his dog forward and then McFly back in time. After a series of setbacks resulting from the first temporal displacement, Brown and McFly would travel to the years 1955, 2015 and 1885.

Unfortunately, because of a railroad accident near Hill Valley’s Eastwood Ravine a day later, Brown’s DeLorean along with its flux capacitor was destroyed. Despite repeated requests from the media and scientific communities, Brown has declined interviews and refuses to share or replicate the flux capacitor’s technology.

The incidents leading up to the time machine demise also served as the basis for the award-winning documentary, Back to the Future.

We’re Only 6 Years Away from Hover Boards!

Watching clips from Back to the Future 2 at work today, I realized that all the great technological advances that occur between Marty McFly’s teenage years and to the point where he meets himself as a father is actually only 6 short years away – 2015!

So in the next few years, you can look forward to not only hover boards but also mechanized shoe laces, dehydrated pizzas that expand and cook in seconds and the ability to watch fifteen different channels of television all at the same time. I can’t wait.