• Smapti Jones

    Nice write-up! I love this film, and the end credits are unquestionably the best end credits in all of cinema. That’s just science:
    https://youtu.be/8MqJ3iGBdOo

  • ZoeZ

    First of all, I approve of the various Streets of Fire references.

    I really agree with the idea that the works of art we grow closest to are the ones that feel distinctly and somehow unarguably themselves. (Perversely, it’s probably significantly harder for a work to achieve this if it’s good rather than bad: a failure on the craft front might harm a good work, but who would really care if they glimpsed a boom mic in The Room?) At least for me, this might be an entirely emotional response–there’s that falling in love comparison again–where you can point to things you like but can’t use them to explain how you feel.

    Maybe the best test for whether or not something is a cult work of art isn’t whether or not its obscure outside of the cult but how beloved and fundamental it is within the cult, whether it gets quoted and evoked, whether or not people sometimes group together based on fondness for it. Bonzai would qualify either way, but it’s particularly intriguing to me as “much-loved,” as opposed to “rarely seen.”

    • Really the definition of “cult work” is that it’s obscure outside the cult; otherwise it gets called “mainstream entertainment.” Buckaroo Banzai has the same status among those in science that Spinal Tap has for those in music: you recognize yourself in it, you instinctively get it before you can articulate it.

      • ZoeZ

        I suppose I’m trying to wrangle a term for a kind of “fan-factor” (because I’m not using that) some art has that seems to draw a deep, passionate engagement in some without necessarily being dismissed or disliked by the mainstream. Like how The Big Lebowski has a great critical reputation and is generally popular but also has the people who really like it, from those who just quote it a lot–like me–to the people who go all the way in and drink White Russians at Lebowski-fest. Or even Star Wars–obviously mainstream, liking it doesn’t give you any geek cred. But liking it a lot still does, and it’s one of the things, for all its faults, that a lot of people tend to like a lot.

        Though I feel remarkably thickheaded this morning, so it isn’t the best time to try to coin new terms or bend existing ones.

  • henry van der westhuizen

    I suppose I’m trying to wrangle a term for a kind of “fan-factor” (because I’m not using that) some art has that seems to draw a deep, passionate engagement in some without necessarily being dismissed or disliked by the mainstream. Like how The Big Lebowski has a great critical reputation and is generally popular but also has the people who really like it, from those who just quote it a lot–like me–to the people who go all the way in and drink White Russians at Lebowski-fest

  • Maarten de Wees

    First of all, I approve of the various Streets of Fire references.I really agree with the idea that the works of art we grow closest to are the ones that feel distinctly and somehow unarguably themselves. (Perversely, it’s probably significantly harder for a work to achieve this if it’s good rather than bad: a failure on the craft front might harm a good work, but who would really care if they glimpsed a boom mic in The Room?) At least for me, this might be an entirely emotional response–there’s that falling in love comparison again–where you can point to things you like but can’t use them to explain how you feel

  • kimsoohyun

    Really the definition of “cult work” is that it’s obscure outside the cult; otherwise it gets called “mainstream entertainment.” Buckaroo Banzai has the same status among those in science that Spinal Tap has for those in music: you recognize yourself in it, you instinctively get it before you can articulate it

  • How can I possibly add anything?

    Well, except to say that the film has such an amazing cast to do all the heavy lifting. And that I hope the proposed TV series never, ever happens. It would ruin everything.

  • thesplitsaber

    ‘there’s the Streets of Fire-style lighting (speaking of which we should do THAT sometime as a Conversation)’

    If you write about Streets of Fire, I will show up.

    I think the thing BB and SoF have in common, and something that makes so many of the fantasy films of the 80s such curiosities, is the scale of commitment to a singular vision. Its so all encompassing-the wardrobe, the dialogue, the pitch of all the performances. It feels like the characters are walking around inside the creators imagination.

    Messy though it may be that vision has an internal logical consistency. It has to coming from a writer and a director in this case who probably didnt even know what studio interference was.

    Thats, maybe even subconsciously, what i think keeps people coming back to these oddities 30+ years on, movies like this or Streets of Fire, or their peers like RoboCop, Dick Tracy, Conan the Barbarian can no longer be manufactured by the film system.

  • thesplitsaber
  • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

    Where ever you go, there you are.