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Trivia / The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

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  • All-Star Cast: While the film seems like it has this in hindsight, at the time none of the main actors were really considered stars. Peter Weller (Robocop) and Ellen Barkin (The Big Easy) were still years away from their breakthrough roles, while John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Goldblum were just thought of as familiar character actors, before they started having big hits as headliners.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget $17 million. Box office, $6.3 million. Despite a stellar cast, this oddball film failed in theaters, not helped by competition from Ghostbusters (1984), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. It would later become a Cult Classic on home video, however.
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  • California Doubling: A literal example. All of the action that supposedly takes place in Texas, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. was filmed either in or not far outside of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
  • The Cast Showoff: Peter Weller is an accomplished musician, having studied jazz trumpet at the University of North Texas.
  • Deleted Role: Jamie Lee Curtis played Buckaroo's mother in a flashback, but this scene was cut. The scene is available on the recent DVD release as an optional prequel to the theatrical version, and as a special feature. She is visible in a photo on the dashboard of the jet car in the wide-screen version.
  • Deleted Scene: A bunch, many of them containing a running gag about Buckaroo's life long arch-enemy Hanoi Xan, the evil leader of the World Crime League who was responsible for the murders of Buckaroo's parents and first wife, Peggy. Penny even mistakes Lord John Whorfin for Hanoi Xan, which leaves him baffled and even asking out loud "Who's that?"
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  • DVD Commentary: Done in character by Earl Mac Rauch as Reno Nevada, who explains how the events in the movie differ from the actual events as they occurred to Buckaroo and company.
  • Executive Meddling: One reason given for the unexplained presence of a watermelon in Buckaroo's lab: put in so the makers of the film could see whether or not the meddling executives had given up yelling at them as of that point in the production. Yes, seriously.
  • Fan Fic:
    • In the mid-'90s, author Ernest Cline wrote a script for the sequel tagged at the end of the film, Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League, that was well-received in many Banzai fan circles. Many years later, the protagonist of Cline's Ready Player One would cite this as his favorite movie (the film version just had him say that Buckaroo Banzai is his favorite movie, which could mean either the fake sequel or the original film).
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    • BattleTech had a "Team Banzai" mercenary unit that was basically Buckaroo Banzai with the serial numbers scratched (not even fully filed) off, including the watermelon.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The sequel was allegedly blocked by the rights holder for fear that the associated paperwork might uncover his creative bookkeeping. It also led to the video going out of print for nearly a decade and delayed its DVD release until 2002. The film's box office woes didn't help, either.
  • Stillborn Franchise: A continuation of the Banzai character has been teased a few times, but has never came to pass:
  • Testing the Editors: The scene in which Reno and New Jersey, while traversing the Banzai compound, pass a piece of industrial equipment with a watermelon lodged in it. New Jersey asks "why is there a watermelon there?" to which Reno replies "I'll tell you later." (He never does.) This meaningless scene is an un-detected decoy that the writers and directors put in to check whether the frustrated executives, who had been trying in vain to steer the film away from the far-silly end of the Sliding Scale Of Silliness Vs Seriousness, were still paying attention. When the scene raised no objections, the creators knew the censors had given up and they were free to be as goofy as they pleased.
  • Throw It In!: John Bigbooté flipping off Lizardo was an improvisation by Christopher Lloyd.
  • What Could Have Been:


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