Up 690 this week

Howard the Duck (1986)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  1 August 1986 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.5/10 from 31,960 users  
Reviews: 265 user | 77 critic

A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop an alien invader.



(Marvel comics character: Howard the Duck), , 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Punisher (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as the Punisher.

Director: Mark Goldblatt
Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A prince turned warrior named He-Man battles against the dark lord Skeletor on the planet Eternia. He-Man and his comrades arrive on Earth and discover two teenage lovers to find the magical Cosmic Key.

Director: Gary Goddard
Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Meg Foster
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City.

Director: Peter Faiman
Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon
Teen Wolf (1985)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A struggling high school student with problems discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself turning into a werewolf.

Director: Rod Daniel
Stars: Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Susan Ursitti
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child who dark forces want to eliminate.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Eddie Murphy, J.L. Reate, Charles Dance
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw.

Director: Lexi Alexander
Stars: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz
Gremlins (1984)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A boy inadvertently breaks 3 important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton
Innerspace (1987)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan
Weird Science (1985)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Chris Parker agrees to babysit after her "dread" date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Chris settles down with three kids for a night of TV... and boredom. But when her frantic ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan
Flash Gordon (1980)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun


Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard T. Duck (voice)
Steve Sleap ...
Peter Baird ...
Mary Wells ...
Lisa Sturz ...
Liz Sagal ...
Ronette, Cherry Bomb
Cal, Cherry Bomb
K.C., Cherry Bomb (as Holly Robinson)


A scientific experiment unknowingly brings extraterrestrial life forms to the Earth through a laser beam. First is the cigar smoking drake Howard from the duck's planet. A few kids try to keep him from the greedy scientists and help him back to his planet. But then a much less friendly being arrives through the beam... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

laser | duck | planet | alien | singer | See All (54) »


More adventure than humanly possible. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 August 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard, el superhéroe  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


$16,295,774 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Due to the movie's disastrous box-office performance stateside, the film's title was changed from "Howard the Duck" to "Howard: A New Breed of Hero" for the movie's release in various non-US foreign territories such as the UK and Australia. See more »


(at around 1h 11 mins) During the diner scene when the Overlord levitates and begins spinning Howard, the rope was edited out, but the shadow of the rope used to suspend the actor is still visible. See more »


Dr. Jenning: It was just a routine procedure, meant to measure the density of the gases that surround Alpha Centauri. However, partway through the experiment, there was a deviation, and, uh... we lost control of the laser spectroscope.
Howard T. Duck: What do you mean, "lost control"?
Dr. Jenning: Some unknown force was redirecting the laser beam from its original target, so that it hit your planet instead.
Howard T. Duck: Hit my planet? How about 'hit my living room'? Talk about an invasion of privacy!
See more »


Spoofs Dance Fever (1979) See more »


Howard the Duck
Written by Thomas Dolby, Ailee Wills and George Clinton
Performed by Lea Thompson, Holly Robinson Peete (as Holly Robinson), Dominique Davalos,
Liz Sagal, Thomas Dolby and George Clinton
Produced by Thomas Dolby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I'm going to be kind reviewing this one.
12 February 2003 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

HOWARD THE DUCK is one of those movies you have to see to believe.

A whopping boondoggle of sheer notoriety that replaced HEAVEN'S GATE as The Most Embarrassing Miscalculation In Hollywood History, this flick immediately humanized George Lucas; it proved that even he could make a bomb. And that's one of the things that makes it so fascinating--you just sit there, wondering what on earth the man was thinking.

I'm not going to write this with any intent of sarcastically ripping it to shreds, though. I'm going to attempt to both be fair and to express my opinion of it at the same time, mainly because I know that there *are* some folks out there who enjoy it for various reasons.

I'll be honest with you, the moment I heard Lucas was doing this film months in advance (and even then I was convinced the guy telling me was kidding until I saw an article for it in the paper), I rolled my eyes with disgust and didn't see it in the theatres. I saw it when a friend later rented it out of curiosity after it was rushed to video.

So what was it that suddenly possessed me to watch it? Well, I found out that my cousin was in it. You see, my cousin's name is Debbie Carrington (a.k.a. Debbie Lee Carrington), who was an Ewok in RETURN OF THE JEDI as well as a slew of other things, including but not limited to MEN IN BLACK, CAPTAIN EO, TOTAL RECALL (where she got to get on a table in a blonde wig and blast people with a machine gun) and on THE DREW CAREY SHOW ("Mini-Mimi"). So, naturally, I wanted to see this one because I learned of her involvement in it after the fact.

Most people loathe this film, but some like it simply because it's *so* weird in its badness while others genuinely love it for whatever reason. And that's okay. Actually, I kind of got a kick out of it and all its silliness the first time I saw it. We tried to watch it a second time, though, and were bored by it half the way through.

I just now saw it again for the first time since then.

One of the most bizarre things about this movie is how cheap it looks. For all the gobs of cash wasted on it (a record sum), HOWARD THE DUCK looks terrible. And no, I'm not talking about just the duck costume; I'm talking about the overall film, which looks exactly like a low-budget special made for television. Seriously, that's exactly how it looks, and I have no clue as to where the budget went to. I once wondered if it was used to desperately convince the stars involved to be in it, but I doubt it.

And meanwhile... speaking of the stars, I've got to hand it to Lea Thompson. Despite all the oddness here and all the stuff she is asked to do, she handles it all like a real trooper. In fact, this may be the bravest performance she's ever done, especially the bed scene. It also apparently didn't kill her career, thank God. Even though her character isn't at all fitting for a Big City Punkette, critics have nevertheless pointed out that she's still appealing here in her role as Beverly, and I agree. Meanwhile, Jeffery Jones gives quite possibly the strangest performance he's ever done, which is also an oddly effective one.

The biggest problem with the film is its mechanically coy, self-conscious script that has commercialized to death all of the original comic's appeal out of the final result (so what ELSE is new, Hollywood? ;) ). The movie can't decide whether it wants to follow the original concept or sweeten it up to supposedly appeal to a wider audience, and it is badly confused as a result. The movie desperately wants to protect its investment, so much so that the life has been choked out of it. Also, it has a *huge* amount of blah, unimaginatively generic lines ("No more Mr. Nice Duck", "You'll never get away with this", etc.).

But these days, it does have a ridiculous kind of flaky charm, partially because it's such an unbelievable anti-achievement and because it's so incredibly Eighties that it serves as a strong time capsule. And for those reasons and more, HOWARD THE DUCK has earned a place in twentieth century culture.

103 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
im sorry but i like this movie eg855531
Howard should cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy artphobia
Never understood the hate.. shadys_dreams-953-80708
So bad, it's bad gavbrown01
So bad it's good? kristinjohnston04
Pack Mentality thomas_e_clarke69
Discuss Howard the Duck (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: