You have been warned.Forbidden Zone
is a completely bonkers
1980 musical directed and written by Richard Elfman and Matthew Bright (who would later direct Freeway
) as a vehicle for the antics of their band, The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo
. At the time, the band was a stage art troupe that would later become a successful New Wave
band, with Richard's little brother Danny Elfman
as its frontman.
The movie's story focuses on a family that moves in a house that has in the basement a door to the sixth dimension that they pretty much try to ignore, but when the eldest daughter returns from her studies in France, curiosity attracts her to investigate. Heavily inspired by Cab Calloway
, Betty Boop
cartoons and Underground Comics
This movie is groundbreaking for being the first film that Danny Elfman
ever composed a soundtrack for (no surprise considering his brother is the director and screenwriter, his brother's wife is the protagonist, and their father and grandfather both play characters in the film). Danny himself plays the devil while the rest of the original Oingo Boingo
band (when it was known as The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo
) are here as his minions. The film also includes a post-Fantasy Island
Hervé Villechaize and pre-Cry-Baby
The film had a huge
influence on both Tim Burton
and Paul Reubens
, who first met while working on Pee-wee's Big Adventure
. The decision was quickly made to base much of their film's visuals on Forbidden Zone
, and to hire Danny Elfman
to write the score. The rest is history.
A sequel is on its way: "Forbidden Zone 2: Forbidden Galaxy." Here's a trailer
: the Princess (now Princess Polly) has apparently taken the helm and is taking the offensive to conquer Earth. Richard and Danny Elfman are both involved, as are Ego Plum and the crew from "Monster Man".