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>
Just saw this as Surprise #1 at the 28th (my 24th) Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Science Fiction Marathon. My buddy brought his twelve year-old son, who provided the quote I'm using as my one-line summary above. You know what they say about the mouths of babes.
I spent $25 to see the fifteen Marathon movies, meaning I paid $1.67 to see this. That was about $1.67 too much.
This is one of those movies that make you wonder, "What were the film makers thinking?" The only reason I can imagine this movie exists is George Lucas' presence as Executive Producer. He was hot off the original Star Wars trilogy at the time and the studio must have figured anything he touched would turn to gold.
This is also one of those movies that make you wonder, "What was the CWRU Film Society (organizers of the Marathon) thinking?" I guess they showed the film because it is set in Cleveland, Ohio where the annual Marathon takes place. But if you live somewhere other than Northeastern Ohio, don't expect to gain any insights into life here by watching this movie. The WMMS sticker on Lea Thompson's guitar case, an RTA bus, the mention of East 9th street, and the logo of Cleveland Museum of Natural History are the only touches of authenticity. The city in this film and the surrounding countryside don't even remotely resemble the Cleveland metropolitan area. And if you come here to visit, don't look for the Cuyahoga Nuclear Power Plant - it never existed.
I understand this is science fiction, and that location shooting is expensive, but nothing in this film rings true. For example, Lea Thompson's character plays electric guitar in a Cleveland rock band. Well, I happen to play electric bass guitar in a Cleveland rock band and I've never walked home from a gig like Lea Thompson's character does, for the very simple reason that I have an amp that weighs 125 pounds! When I saw that scene, I couldn't help but ask aloud, "Where's her amp?"
In conclusion, don't waste your time or money by watching this movie. The character of Howard the Duck is intended to be humorous, but comes across as merely annoying. I've never seen a "comedy" with fewer laughs, even unintentional ones. Two hours of unexposed film stock has more entertainment value.
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