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BUCKAROO BANZAI: The VHS TV Edition

bionicbob

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Imagine an alternate dimension, where The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was not a theatrical movie that almost no one saw, but instead a short-lived network television show that almost no one watched!

That is the premise of this little fan edit. A long lost VHS recording from 1986 of a Second Season episode of NBC's much hyped but ratings disaster BUCKAROO BANZAI: ANCIENT SECRETS & NEW MYSTERIES.

The original movie has been Reframed/Cropped 640 x 480 with Pan & Scan when necessary. A slight Gaussian Blur has been added, along with a low VHS audio hiss and a mild VHS tracking overlay. Authentic 1986 commercials (freely available from Youtube) have been used to help create the VHS recording illusion, though they are of a lower video quality than the main edit.

The edit clocks in at 60 minutes and the MP4 file size is 4G.

I do want to stress, it was not my intent to make the edit truly 100% aged/damaged VHS in quality, as I did not want to make anyone's eyes bleed.
Hopefully, this will be just a fun, alternate viewing experience.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported this edit. But I especially want to acknowledge my Blue Blaze Irregulars:
@addiesin , @Jrzag42 , @LastSurvivor , @Dwight Fry , @dkerin , @MusicEd921 @L8wrtr

Interested parties can PM for the link.

 
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TM2YC

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Love the TV guide coverart!
 

bionicbob

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So I forgot to mention one creative choice I made (and maybe it was a wrong one???), I purposely chose to make the tv commercials LOUDER than the main program, as that is the way they aired back in the day and STILL DO now.

Though in retrospect, maybe I should have dialed them back a wee bit? As a trusted previewer noted, if watched with headphones, it is not a pleasant experience, as he found he has to adjust the audio back and forth for the main program and the commercial breaks. However, I must admit, I did not design this edit to watched with headphones in mind. I watched the edit both on my computer and television, with normal stereo speakers and found the audio levels to be acceptable.

However, if enough people dislike the audio levels, I can always re-adjust them and offer a re-vised version.

Also, probably next week sometime, I will offer a "clean" version -- no VHS elements and no commercials -- if anyone is curious.
 

bionicbob

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"...the deuce you say!"

I am absolutely stunned and delighted by @Jrzag42 very generous ( perhaps, too generous?) review.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! :)

I agree this fan edit is probably not for the general viewer but more for lovers of the original Buckaroo movie or of 80s tv nostalgia.

I have taken to heart the concern you (and others)have expressed that the commercial breaks are too loud (even though this is how they presented back in day, to wake the sleepy viewer up in front of the tv and make them pay attention to the products they were selling) and I am presently doing another pass on the commercial audio mix and will have this revised version ready by Wednesday. As much as a fan edit should be for yourself first, I must acknowledge if one wants their edit to appeal to a wider audience, then one must take their observations and critiques into serious consideration.

You are right, this is Fan Mix rather than Fix and the story plays out very similarly to the movie, though some scenes were moved around or cut, including (sadly) some very classic lines of dialogue by New Jersey.

Thanks again for your support and taking the time to post a review. 😊
 

Dwight Fry

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37 years ago today, August 10, 1984, the Doc Savage of the 80s hit the silver screen!

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Now this was timely! Of course true stardom was still three years away. I remember a VHS cover for Buckaroo Banzai that used as its tagline "Before he was RoboCop... he was..."
 

Jrzag42

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Huh, I just looked it up and I'm seeing mixed things, some saying that it was released August 10th, others saying 15th. Well, no matter when it was released... There it(you) is(are).
 

bionicbob

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Huh, I just looked it up and I'm seeing mixed things, some saying that it was released August 10th, others saying 15th. Well, no matter when it was released... There it(you) is(are).
Yes, it is very confusing.... according to Wiki the official release date is listed as August 15th, but all the BB fan sites, it was actually August 10th. Much like the plot of the movie, the history of BB is seemingly as convoluted LOL
 

bionicbob

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THANK YOU to @gilhodges for taking the time to post a review, and an entertaining one at that!
Was that Extra Buttery Jiffy Pop?

I loved your comment about going out to drive around L.A. to look for locations! One of the bonkers elements I love about this movie is it supposedly takes place on the East Coast in the state of New Jersey, and yet, zero effort is made by the production team to hide the fact that the entire movie is obviously filmed in Los Angeles, California. In many scenes you can see Palm trees in the background lol.

But this element lends it's self perfectly to believing this was a Network tv show of the 70s or 80s, where less care was often given to disguise/transform a location due to budget and time constraints. I recently re-watched the infamous MANIMAL, which is supposed to be in New York City, but except for the stock footage scene establishing shots, it is clearly hot sunny granite L.A. not cool skyscraper lined N.Y. 😋
 

bionicbob

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@Dwight Fry THANK YOU for your wonderful nostalgia soaked review!

I am SO HAPPY that the edit worked for you.... trying to recapture the feel of a bygone era can easily go off the rails and jump the shark lol.
But the commercials do help sell the illusion and hopefully they were as entertaining as the main edit itself.... yes, Stanley Tucci was quite the "hunk", as Joanie would say back in the day.

Yes, there are quite a few Easter Eggs in both the opening and closing credits. They were really fun to make. When I designed the opening titles, I actually created an episode synopsis for all the images I used.... maybe I will share them? Since I don't know if a copy of the legendary "Crime League" episode will ever be found, maybe a complete episode breakdown of the lost two seasons of Buckaroo Banzai Ancient Secrets & New Mysteries would suffice? 😄
 

Dwight Fry

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@Dwight Fry THANK YOU for your wonderful nostalgia soaked review!

I am SO HAPPY that the edit worked for you.... trying to recapture the feel of a bygone era can easily go off the rails and jump the shark lol.
But the commercials do help sell the illusion and hopefully they were as entertaining as the main edit itself.... yes, Stanley Tucci was quite the "hunk", as Joanie would say back in the day.

Yes, there are quite a few Easter Eggs in both the opening and closing credits. They were really fun to make. When I designed the opening titles, I actually created an episode synopsis for all the images I used.... maybe I will share them? Since I don't know if a copy of the legendary "Crime League" episode will ever be found, maybe a complete episode breakdown of the lost two seasons of Buckaroo Banzai Ancient Secrets & New Mysteries would suffice? 😄
Now that's dedication! Please do share the synopses, so we can dream and picture those episodes in our heads! :D And thank YOU for making such a fun ride! :)
 

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DELETED SCENE:

In our home dimension, the closest we ever got to a tv show as delightfully bonkers as BUCKAROO BANZAI, was on NBC in 1985 with MISFITS OF SCIENCE!!!

Again, I absolutely adore this show. It only had one brief but glorious season. It has never had a physical home media release here in North America, but it did get a DVD set in Germany ages ago. Most, if not all, the episodes can be found on good old Youtube.

The following commercial was in my fan edit until the very last second. In the end I cut it as it did not fit with my head canon as the promo was for a September premiere and Ancient Secrets & New Mysteries did not return to NBC until January 1986.

 

Dwight Fry

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DELETED SCENE:

In our home dimension, the closest we ever got to a tv show as delightfully bonkers as BUCKAROO BANZAI, was on NBC in 1985 with MISFITS OF SCIENCE!!!

Again, I absolutely adore this show. It only had one brief but glorious season. It has never had a physical home media release here in North America, but it did get a DVD set in Germany ages ago. Most, if not all, the episodes can be found on good old Youtube.

The following commercial was in my fan edit until the very last second. In the end I cut it as it did not fit with my head canon as the promo was for a September premiere and Ancient Secrets & New Mysteries did not return to NBC until January 1986.

Your reasoning for deleting it is understandable, but now I NEED to watch this!!!
 

Jrzag42

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DELETED SCENE:

In our home dimension, the closest we ever got to a tv show as delightfully bonkers as BUCKAROO BANZAI, was on NBC in 1985 with MISFITS OF SCIENCE!!!

Again, I absolutely adore this show. It only had one brief but glorious season. It has never had a physical home media release here in North America, but it did get a DVD set in Germany ages ago. Most, if not all, the episodes can be found on good old Youtube.

The following commercial was in my fan edit until the very last second. In the end I cut it as it did not fit with my head canon as the promo was for a September premiere and Ancient Secrets & New Mysteries did not return to NBC until January 1986.

This show sounds amazing.
 

bionicbob

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This show sounds amazing.
I think it has a lot of bonkers charm. Much like BB, it dives deep and fully embraces it's own ridiculousness. It also has one of great pure 80s awesomeness theme tunes ever (!!!) composed by none other Basil (Conan the Barbarian) Poledouris !

:cool::love:
 

bionicbob

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Meanwhile in another dimension....

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The Origins of the Buckaroo Banzai television series is shrouded in mystery, contradictions and the bizarre. It has become a thing of urban legend. One story claims writer Earl Mac Rauch was approached by an unidentified individual at a party in the late 1970s, who claimed to work for a top secret think tank called the Banzai Institute and that they wanted to recruit Rauch to join their organization as their media representative. Rauch supposedly was employed by the Banzai Institute for many years, and his experiences with them are the inspiration for the characters and events depicted in the series.

Another story claims that the series was the brainchild of NBC president Brandon Tartikoff after he mysteriously disappeared for three days in September 1983 (Tartikoff was absent for during the key Fall Schedule Promotion launch with no adequate explanation ever given) and upon his return to his Network offices, he greenlit a hereto unknown pilot called The Banzai Files for immediate production. An odd coincidence, during the period Tartikoff was unaccounted for, the space shuttle Columbia experienced "technical difficulties" and was out of contact with NASA for almost 48 hours. This is interesting, as it would be a significant plot point of the Banzai Files tv pilot movie.

The original first draft of the pilot movie was credited to a Reno Nevada. All later drafts list Earl Mac Rauch as the writer and creator. It has led many to speculate that Nevada and Rauch are the same person.

It is also interesting to note, that in the credits of the pilot movie only, that a Reno Nevada is listed as Executive Consultant and there was a title card from the producers thanking the co-operation of the Banzai Institute. While these these specific credits never appeared again in the main series, the show did retain an unusual end title card with a logo for the Banzai Institute and a disclaimer that described the show as a "docuseries" and that the stories and characters were fictionalized versions of real events. When asked about this odd end credit, executive producer Glen Larson said it was just an in house joke. Though in an interview decades later, just days before his death, Larson recanted this statement, claiming there was more truth to story that he was legally allowed to tell and even if he could, he did not think anyone would believe him because it was too extraordinary.

W.D. Richter was brought in to help flesh out Rauch's screenplay, which many NBC executives felt was too convoluted for television audiences. Legend says, Richter was taken by Rauch to the Banzai Institute for an orientation and script retreat for a week and after he returned, close friends claimed Richter behaved like a man on a mission from God himself, as though something had fundamentally changed his entire world view and belief system.

Production on the pilot movie, originally called "Buckaroo Who?", began in the Spring of 1984 with Earl Mac Rauch as writer/producer and W.D. Richter as producer/director. The pilot movie had the largest tv budget of that time of almost 2 million dollars. However, the shoot was plagued with mysterious accidents -- the main set caught fire and was destroyed, the original Jet Car was stolen and never recovered, and lead actor Dack Rambo quit the pilot 3 weeks into production after claiming his life was being threatened by unknown forces.

When the first cut of the pilot movie was delivered to NBC seven weeks late and an additional 1.3 million dollars over budget, it was described by one executive as "an unfathomable three hour disaster". One remarkable element of the pilot that left all executives stunned and excited, was a sequence featuring the Jet Car helping a space shuttle land. To this day, no Special FX House has ever been credited for this incredible sequence and modern experts are still perplexed how the FX was achieved. FX legend John Dykstra once said, if he didn't know better, he would swear the footage was real and not an effect. And it should noted, when the show went to series, it never again had any FX of that caliber or realism again.

To appease the critics of pilot and to save the show, Tartikoff brought in television super producer Glen A. Larson, along with Kenneth Johnson and Donald P. Bellisario, to recut the pilot and shepherd the series moving forward with a 6 episode commitment.

But that is another story.... ;)
 
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bionicbob

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FYI:

Since I still have the full rip of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension on the old hard drive, I have decided to do cut together a Workprint/Extended Edition for myself.

This will include the original Prologue (with Jaime Lee Curtis) restored and all the deleted scenes re-inserted.

When finished, I will make it available to anyone who is interested.
 

Jrzag42

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FYI:

Since I still have the full rip of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension on the old hard drive, I have decided to do cut together a Workprint/Extended Edition for myself.

This will include the original Prologue (with Jaime Lee Curtis) restored and all the deleted scenes re-inserted.

When finished, I will make it available to anyone who is interested.
Interesting, my DVD actually already includes an extended edition, inserting all of those deleted scenes into the movie.
 

bionicbob

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Interesting, my DVD actually already includes an extended edition, inserting all of those deleted scenes into the movie.
oh wow! That is so cool! Is that the ARROW Blu Ray I have heard so much about? With the textless end credits march?
 

Jrzag42

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oh wow! That is so cool! Is that the ARROW Blu Ray I have heard so much about? With the textless end credits march?
It might be included on there as well, I'm not sure. I'm taking about this 2002 DVD release dubbed "SPECIAL EDITION". I found it for like 5 dollars a couple years ago at a store and picked it up, it was how I first watched the film. When you start it up, it gives you the option for the theatrical cut or an extended version. I haven't watched the extended version, but reviews say that it's simply a branching feature that inserts the low quality deleted scenes that are otherwise available, and not well integrated. It's not mentioned anywhere on the case, which is interesting, and considering you weren't aware of it I'm assuming the feature isn't available on most other releases. It's nothing special, but worth mentioning that an official extended cut does exist in some capacity.
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