I have seen this movie dozens of times, but none recently enough. It was an underground hit in 1984, gathering a cultish following. It is a comic adventure about Buckaroo Banzai: neurosurgeon, rocket scientist, rock star, philosopher, and lover. His band of followers, the Hong Kong Cavaliers are gaudily dressed, aptly nicknamed scientists, musicians, and thinkers. Together they must fight to save the Earth from the red Alien Lectroids who came here in the fifties through a hole in the eighth dimension. The Lectroids disguise themselves with a chemical hypnotizer that tells human brains what to see (and by calling each other “John”). They have been biding their time at Yoyodine Propulsion Systems (“Where the future is tomorrow”), living off of money from government contracts they never intended to fulfill. Now they are ready to leave earth and conquer the universe. Only Buckaroo Banzai can save the day. Starring Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd and yes, Billy Vera, of Billy and the Beaters.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension***1/2
published September 4, 2000