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Forbidden Zone (1980)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,145 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 59 critic

The bizarre and musical tale of a girl who travels to another dimension through the gateway found in her family's basement.

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(story), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Forbidden Zone (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gisele Lindley ...
Jan Stuart Schwartz ...
Marie-Pascale Elfman ...
Virginia Rose ...
Gene Cunningham ...
Huckleberry P. Jones / Pa Hercules (as Ugh-Fudge Bwana)
Phil Gordon ...
Hyman Diamond ...
Matthew Bright ...
Squeezit & René Henderson (as Toshiro Boloney)
...
...
Joe Spinell ...
Brian Routh ...
Harry Kipper (as The Kipper Kids)
Martin von Haselberg ...
Harry Kipper (as The Kipper Kids)
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Storyline

A mysterious door in the basement of the Hercules house leads to the Sixth Dimension by way of a gigantic set of intestine. When Frenchy slips through the door, King Fausto falls in love with her. The jealous Queen Doris takes Frenchy prisoner, and it is up to the Hercules family and friend Squeezit Henderson to rescue her. Written by Scott Murdock <scottm@kc.grapevine.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A chaotic musical fantasy.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

21 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tiltott zóna  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film originated largely as a showcase for the musical performances of the Elfmans' musical theater troupe, The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo (with Danny Elfman's Satan character from the film being one such holdover from these stage shows). In the documentary "A Look Into The Forbidden Zone," director Richard Elfman states that he started the film with no particular audience in mind, merely as an exercise in unrestrained creativity and "to capture on film what I was no longer doing on stage with the Mystic Knights." See more »

Quotes

King Fausto: [getting ready for battle; to Flash and Gramps] Hurry up!
Flash: [having sex with a fat woman] That's what we're trying to do.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Witch's Egg
Performed by Susan Tyrrell
Written by Georg Michalski(as George Mishalsky) and Susan Tyrrell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extremely Original
20 December 2005 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Danny Elfman's outlandish 1980 film "Forbidden Zone" has to be seen to be believed, and if you are not at least slightly demented you should probably pass on the seeing part. Imagine a cross between "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", with lots of animation in the style Monty Python's Flying Circus and the rubbery Max Fleischer cartoons of the 1930's (which probably inspired much of the original Monty Python stuff anyway). Also deserving mention is the fact that this relatively low budget black and white film is a musical.

There are a lot of characters and the story is somewhat hard to follow so here is what I hope is a helpful summary. The Hercules family (father, mother, son, daughter, and grandfather) live in a house with a door to the Sixth Dimension a/k/a The Forbidden Zone (think Wonderland). Their daughter Frenchy (think Alice) and son Flash (who looks like third stooge Joe Besser in a cub scout uniform) go to school one day. When a gunfight erupts in the classroom Frenchy runs home.

Tripping on a roller skate she tumbles through the door into a large intestine and ends up in the sixth dimension, which is ruled by a King and Queen of dice-used instead of wonderland's playing cards. There are a lot of half-dressed wonderland type characters down there although only the Frog Footman looks the same. There is a shapely princess who runs around topless, a living chandelier that eventually decays into just a skeleton, a devil (Elfman) who is like Cab Calloway playing the Cheshire Cat, and a rival queen.

Frenchy's family and one of her classmates go into the Forbidden Zone to attempt a rescue. The film is a mix of live action and animation. The editor deserves a lot of credit because the whole thing is sequenced quite well and even has a strange unity. There are racist stereotypes (generally too silly to be offensive), lively swing music, and sets that look to have been painted and constructed by a third grade art class.

If this whole wacky concept sounds interesting you should check it out.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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