Light up your cigar, because Howard the Duck is (definitely not) the Greatest Movie EVER!
Click on the movie poster or the title above to download our review of the film,
featuring Sean ‘Hollywood’ Hunting and Rachel Pandich of Skin Crawling Comics.
Review in a Nutshell: A terrible mish-mash of raunchy adult comedy with family-friendly summer adventure movie, Howard the Duck is legendarily bad. How it managed to garner a cult following despite its numerous flaws continues to confound explanation. Rachel and Sean love it, though.
When Tammy saw Howard the Duck show up at the tag of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (which we finally saw last night!), she snarled “No! I HATE Howard the Duck! I do not get WHY Howard the Duck has a career….”
OTOH, she loves Rocket and Groot – she wants them to live with us now. 😮
“Heavy Metal” wasn’t a Bakshi film.
“OTOH, she loves Rocket and Groot – she wants them to live with us now.”
I bet she’d love to have a spin-off movie all about those two!
I’m glad I’m out of this comic book crap, yet I noticed a Rocket Raccoon toy figure thingy at Kmart a couple weeks back and almost thought to buy it because of how rather well-made it looked, let along giving us some choice lines from the film (Hey, I got a short life span here). I still haven’t seen the movie I hate to admit. Not really big into action flicks anyway but from what I seen, it’s glad that film got off the ground at all. Disney certainly found a safe bet there.
Now for Howard, where do I go here? I will say what I remember best (besides the duck breasts) was how Howard had to make that terrible decision at the end that left him stranded on our planet forever. The words “Good Bye Duck World!” still resonates for me, yet I never did see the original comics this movie bastardized. As a 9 year old watching this for the first time on VHS, I though less of the borderline PG rated mayhem and more of a silly film of a displaced character trying to find his way (home if possible, but of course that didn’t happen). I suppose I drowned out the Playduck magazine and chick in the bathtub in my head given how quick those flied by, the fact though he lands in Cleveland, I sorta wished it had to be my town instead (Toledo)!
Thinking of Paul’s rather creep out thought of duck penises made me think a bit about that (also the condom earlier), given the mammalian breasts they otherwise gave female ducks were he comes from, shouldn’t that suggest they have genitals as similar to that of humans as well? I would only speculate on that given the dried-out condom in Howard’s wallet (I don’t think you could put that on a duck’s phallus given it’s shape anyway). I’ve seen enough Rule 34 doodles of Darkwing Duck to know the fans simply don’t care either way, they just want compatibility (the “furry” community certainly is an ugly thing to behold). The condom alone, I suppose I’ll never understand why it wasn’t sealed up. You’d think it would’ve still gave us the same idea what it was if it was just a wrapped condom with some stupid name plastered on it like “Duckex” (Durex), as a kid I think I didn’t really know what that was yet, nor did I even bothered to ask my folks about it too, they didn’t seem to mind I was watching something that could’ve been an R-rated flick had they went there instead of holding it back the way it was. The movie doesn’t know what it wanted to be so it went both ways.
I will say it had a cool soundtrack, and the orchestrated tunes by John Barry still resonate a little for me. I see in Italy there was a CD release back in ’99 that was just his tracks from Howard The Duck combined with his OST to The Black Hole, not a bad CD there (though I picked up an old LP of The Black Hole’s music anyway).
I noticed a mention of DuckTales here. When this movie came out, that show hadn’t been on the air yet, though most kids like me would recall them more in the comics anyway as I use to read the Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge stuff from Carl Barks and others of the past. The comics of course were the foundation for the TV show that followed, and thinking of it sometimes, I often thought of Howard’s world as what I thought Duckburg was like anyway (though not as adult-laden as we see, but still an interesting idea). Only a shame we’re there during the opening credits anyway given how short it was, but I’m sure it was murder on the puppeteers and other FX guys that had to work on that.
I bet she’d love to have a spin-off movie all about those two!
Probably more than she wants to see the GUARDIANS sequel, Chris! She was kind of “ehh” on Quill and Gamora – though she also thought Drax was good (gee, Tamora Pierce liking a single- and literal-minded warrior – who’ve thunk it?).
She and our niece threw things at me when I said I was sorry Nathan Fillion didn’t show up as Quill’s father, Starlord Senior – aside from Fillion and director James Gunn working together a lot, he seems like he would have been Gunn’s first choice to play “Starlord” in the mid-Oughts, back when he was still fairly slender and ruggedly handsome. Now that Fillion looks more like a domesticated tomcat (of which we have several), he kind of fits the the ramshackle alien nobleman I vaguely remember being introduced as Quill’s father in the comics.
“Probably more than she wants to see the GUARDIANS sequel, Chris! She was kind of “ehh” on Quill and Gamora – though she also thought Drax was good (gee, Tamora Pierce liking a single- and literal-minded warrior – who’ve thunk it?).”
I’m sure they’ll never give us a Rocket Raccoon flick, but who knows, it could happen if they know where to put their money to. We can all dream.
I hate to bring this up, but I have to interject into the whole Jeffery Jones controversy: Deadwood was after. I believe it was largely because he wasn’t around children while filming. Even in scenes in Sofia, they used a stand-in and editing. You can watch that scene were he has breakfast Alma and Sofia, because you never see Sofia’s face in any of the shots he’s in, because they used a stand-in.
There’s simply no way that Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, or even Spider-Man 3 can be the worst theatrical US comicbook superhero movie, because as long as you adhere closely enough to the modern comicbook superhero movie formula–there must always be a “city under attack, shot 9/11 footage style” finale!–you will still get a movie that is relatively coherent and has at least something about it which most will enjoy. You have to venture beyond those, down into Catwoman or X-Men 3: The Last Stand territory, before you start approaching the mark.
My favorite part of this podcast is when Rachel defended the good honor and quality of one Ralph Bakshi by pointing out how much she loves the original Heavy Metal movie, a film which Bakshi never worked on. You can tell he didn’t, because it’s not about the exact same things as all of his other films (including the one he’s currently making). In her defense, there’s a possibility Rachel was referring to Heavy *Traffic* since they share a word in the title, but if she does indeed like Heavy Traffic then it’s pistols at dusk on Valentine’s Day. Dusk, because I don’t do mornings.
If you ever wanted a strong metric of the death of home media, look no further than all the speculation regarding the implications of Howard the Duck in Guardians of the Galaxy. The Blu-Ray with the extras detailing the exact why and whats behind this came out weeks prior to this recording, yet nobody here seemed to have seen/heard them firsthand. Perhaps actually owning the home video and viewing the supplemental extras is the “uncle who works at Nintendo” for the modern age?
I don’t know if Rachel is the best fit for this podcast. I am not saying she is bad or unintelligent (I agree with much of her defense of comic book films) but her style is a bit crass for my liking. I can listen to this podcast most of the time without my little ones picking up on any of the more adult discussion because Paul usually speaks in a way that goes over their heads. I had to turn it off when they were around for this episode (for example I know never to listen to AWO while my kids are around though I love AWO). I found that the conversation also devolved at many points to where there wasn’t quite the thorough analysis of why this film did not succeed artistically. Just my two cents. Again, no diss on Rachel. There are other podcast formats that I think would suit her personality better, but you do this great podcast for free so do whatever you want.
I was actually an extra in this (one of the “dirty punks and mods”)
and we could tell, even then, that this movie was going to suck.
Oh, and nerdy trivia bit! – Richard Edson (Ricky) was also Spike in the Mario Brothers movie, as well as the original drummer of Sonic Youth.
Just a Heavy Metal clarification; I didn’t mean to say that HM is Bakshi, but that I enjoy the rotoscoping style-ish he does that is prevelant in HM which is one of my favs. After listening to the podcast I did not make that clear. Sorry guys and gals. Got excitable and misspoke.
Also, yes Daryl, be seeing you on V-Day regardless.
That’s a tough one, Evan – I stopped listening to several movie podcasts, not because of strong language per se as a decidedly “Dudebro”/geek’s locker room air to the conversation which annoyed me personally – and which both my wife and Twentysomething niece found highly offensive. While you don’t want to censor anyone, there are certain podcasts you know you can listen you any time, any place – and those you know you can only listen to in the car or at the gym by yourself. Those podcasts didn’t have enough meat to them for me to make time for their Beevis & Butthead posturing.
I can still listen to this one anywhere – I hope that continues to be the case.
I agree Tim. It is a tough to make a good podcast and this one has remained on my short list for a very long time.
In other news – I take it this means Rachel and Tom split up, and are both feeling decidedly saltier in their language? Listening to the BOOK OF BANTORRA podcast, and Tom sounded like Paul recorded the entire ‘cast with his finger over The Censor’s BEEP!
::sigh:: Seriously – if they both want to curse and swear as a sign of their fresh liberation from each other, it’s certainly their right to do so, and Paul’s to air it if he so chooses. I’m old enough to remember what heavy-handed censorship of language and content did to both Hollywood and the television industry, and a bunch of us watch Indian movies on Sunday nights to reinforce why Censorship Is a Bad, Creativity-Crushing Thing With Weird Unexpected Consequences (except, apparently, for dance numbers!). My own personal feelings on the appalling misogyny and homophobia of many other movie podcasters remain that – My Personal Feelings, full stop.
I guess I’d just appreciate a Listener’s Advisory that “The Following Podcast May Contain Strong Language and Discussions That Some May Fine Offensive – So If You Don’t Like it, Fuck Off!” – as PALEO-CINEMA PODCAST‘s Terry Frost used to say….