I don’t think it’s hyperbolic in the slightest when I say that The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is one super weird ass movie. But weird in a kooky fun way. Hell, even it’s first trailer refused to follow any filmmaking norms! See for yourself:
Released in 1984, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was directed by W.D. Richtman (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and written by Earl Mac Rauch. It stars Peter Weller in the title role, with a hell of a cast rounded out by Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Clancy Brown and Christopher Lloyd. Despite all that star power, the film was a huge flop on release as besides for deciding to go up against Star Trek III, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Ghostbusters at the box office, it’s story was also just way too damn complicated to pitch succinctly to potential moviegoers.
The very, very short version of that story followed polymath Buckaroo Banzai, a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot, and rock star who has to lead his rock band, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, to save the world from the Red Lectoids, a group of invading inter-dimensional aliens from Planet 10. There’s superboosting cars, warring factions of Red and Black Lectoids, songs so melancholic they drive you to suicide, escaped asylum madmen, World War III with the Russians and so much more. Like I said, weird. And now, nearly four decades later, that weirdness is set to continue… in a novel!
Nerdist brings word that original screenwriter Rauch (who also wrote the novelization of the first film) will be penning the original story himself. Well, penning the story that was “told to him” by The Reno Kid, a member of The Hong Kong Cavaliers, because it just wouldn’t be Buckaroo Banzai without some meta madness as well. The upcoming book has the full title of “Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, et al: A Compendium of Evil”, because of course it does. Here’s the official synopsis:
Still mourning the losses of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must also contend with the constant threat of attack from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan, ruthless leader of the World Crime League. To make matters worse, Planet 10 warrior queen John Emdall has sent her Lectroid legions against Earth with a brutal ultimatum. Or is her true target Buckaroo Banzai? As the apocalyptic threats continue to mount, only Buckaroo and his Hong Kong Cavaliers stand in the way of global destruction—or in the words of one of the movie’s iconic lines: “Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy!”
If that sounds like your kind of wacky fun, then you can pre-order the book right now. It is set to for release on 10 August 2021.
Last Updated: January 14, 2021