Adventurer, brain surgeon, rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his crime-fighting team, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil alien invaders from the eighth dimension who are planning to conquer Earth.

Director:

W.D. Richter

Writer:

Earl Mac Rauch
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3,063 ( 188)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Weller ... Buckaroo Banzai
John Lithgow ... Lord John Whorfin / Dr. Emilio Lizardo
Ellen Barkin ... Penny Priddy
Jeff Goldblum ... New Jersey
Christopher Lloyd ... John Bigbooté
Lewis Smith ... Perfect Tommy
Rosalind Cash ... John Emdall
Robert Ito ... Professor Hikita
Pepe Serna ... Reno Nevada
Ronald Lacey ... President Widmark
Matt Clark ... Secretary of Defense
Clancy Brown ... Rawhide
William Traylor William Traylor ... General Catburd
Carl Lumbly ... John Parker
Vincent Schiavelli ... John O'Connor
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Storyline

Brain surgeon, rock musician, adventurer Buckaroo Banzai is a modern renaissance man and has made scientific history. He perfected the Oscillation Overthruster, which allows him to travel through solid matter by using the eighth dimension. But when his sworn enemy Dr. Emilio Lizardo devises a plot to steal the device and bring an evil army back to destroy Earth, Buckaroo goes cranium to cranium with the madman in a battle that could spell doom for the universe. Along with his crime-fighting team, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, Buckaroo must stop the evil alien invaders from the eighth dimension who are planning to conquer our dimension. He is helped by Penny Pretty, the long-lost twin sister of his late wife, and some good extra-dimensional beings who look and talk like they are from Jamaica. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

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Taglines:

Your only hope is Buckaroo Banzai. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Overall concept and several names appear to be taken from the Doc Savage pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s: both main characters are multi-talented surgeons, adventurers, and musicians; and both have an inner circle of sidekicks with nicknames (Renny, Ham, Monk, Long Tom, and Johnny, compared to Reno, New Jersey, Perfect Tommy, and Rawhide). See more »

Goofs

A running gag has Buckaroo shocking whoever he touches after he is charged by the Lectroids. When he first touches Penny in the Pitt there is no shock. See more »

Quotes

John Ganty: John Valuk is dead, he fell on his head. But perhaps John Parker will get through with our message to Buckaroo Banzai.
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Crazy Credits

During the closing credits, Buckaroo's team assembles, one by one, walking along. Included in the group is Clancy Brown, whose character, Rawhide, dies during the film. (There is a claim that his character is not dead but in a coma under constant supervision and that was simply never dealt with in the film.) Also in the Closing Credits, Perfect Tommy's (played by Lewis Smith) outfit changes See more »

Alternate Versions

One TV version features some voice-over narration at the beginning to set up the story, and shortens the end credits by several minutes. (This also leaves out the reference to any upcoming sequel in the end credits) See more »


Soundtracks

Since I Don't Have You
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph Rock and James Beaumont with The Skyliners
Performed by Peter Weller
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User Reviews

 
Laugh While (If) You Can, Monkey Boy!
19 November 2004 | by Arriflex1See all my reviews

"So what? Big deal."- A Lectroid commander in THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI.

Greetings honorary members of the Hong Kong Cavaliers and to all you neutral observers and detractors as well. Hoping to clarify the mystery and purpose of this 1984 docudrama, I have scoured all available data (including movie reviews), scrutinized the musings of the film's director via the DVD's special features, and held extensive conferences with official representatives of the Banzai Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Strategic Information. I hasten to point out that my findings are inconclusive and that many questions remain.

The film is (negatively) a rambling, disjointed pastiche of pseudo-hip, sci-fi/comic book inspired shenanigans that (positively) manages to generate inordinate amounts of charm and wonder through its fortuitous collusion of eccentric story line (battling aliens; a deeply depressed damsel-in-distress, (Penny Priddy); the actual Hong Kong Cavaliers honing their rock and roll chops; Buckaroo himself, pushing his new jet car- with the incredible Oscillation Overthruster -through the forbidding regions of the 8th dimension) and the glowing charisma of the actors at play: John Lithgow's Dr. Lizardo is hilarious and ingenious. W.D. Richter's nerdy persona obscures his inability to fashion Earl Mac Rauch's free-wheeling screenplay into a coherent whole. Still, the many facets of the story remain intriguing and Michael Boddicker's synthesized music is majestic and buoyant.

However, the questions persist. What did happen at Grover's Mill in October of 1938? Was Orson Welles part of an invasion plot that involved mass hypnosis? Are there extraterrestrial biological entities living among us? Documentation outlining an thorough governmental inquiry into these matters has reached this commentator. A report by the investigators, special agents Mulder and Scully, shall be made available to the public in due course. A final note: a page, supposedly torn from Welles' personal diary and written in a shaky, nearly illegible hand, carried the following, ominous message: keep watching the skies!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1984 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$620,279, 12 August 1984

Gross USA:

$6,254,148

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,254,148
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sherwood Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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