HOWARD THE DUCK

“HOWARD THE DUCK” soundtrack (1986)

I don’t know why this movie is shit upon so much. It’s actually both funny and entertaining. In it, health Jeffrey Jones gives the most fevered, diet frenetic and brilliant performance of his career, surgery and Tim Robbins also checks in, portraying the first of what would be several great “goofy” roles for him throughout the ’80s (see also “Tapeheads”, “Bull Durham”, “Erik The Viking” and “Cadillac Man”.) Also, the special effects are pretty great.

So why does “Howard The Duck” have such a terrible reputation? Perhaps it’s because George Lucas’ name was attached to it as producer, and everyone was expecting another “Star Wars”/”Indiana Jones”-like spectaulcar, but instead got an unending barrage of duck jokes. Or perhaps it’s the only PG-rated film ever to have multiple jokes about beastiality. Bad Movie Planet sums it up like this:

The ‘Howard The Duck’ from the comics was a witty, satirical character that had strange adventures with even stranger foes (the Kidney Lady, Dr. Bong, Status Quo). This movie wasn’t witty….the jokes all boiled down to ‘Hey! He’s a duck! Get it!?’. Man, there’s only one or two times that’s going to funny…and even then it ain’t that funny.

Okay, okay — maybe the movie does suck after all. Here’s the soundtrack by John Barry and Thomas Dolby.

“Howard The Duck” soundtrack (ZIP file)

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106 Responses to HOWARD THE DUCK

  1. Paul says:

    My God, the soundtrack is very dated. Reminds me of the worst that the 80s produced. Very bad – sort of like Starship when it had absolutely no cred.

    I remember seeing the movie in the mid 80s and not thinking it was that bad. Thanks for the memories – I’ve discovered that some are best left forgotten.

  2. James says:

    One of the many strengths of the comic book was Steve Gerber’s satiric swipes at the conventions of the fantasy genre – both in comic books and sword-and-sorcery genre. Gerber particularly mocked the adolescent wish-fulfillment core of the superhero genre (although this wasn’t the only satiric target of Gerber’s scripts, by any means). The Howard the Duck comic even spoofed Star Wars – in the summer of 1977, incredibly.

    I’m not someone who thinks a film adaptation has to slavishly recreate the source material for the movies, but a Howard the Duck film that satirized film conventions the way the comic book satirized comics conventions could have been much better that the film that was actually made.

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  4. Eeklair says:

    The movie got dogged back in 85 and for about 20 years thereafter because people just weren’t ready for it. I got into it because I’m a fan of Thomas Dolby, a fact for which I’m left rather unsatisfied here, but having seen the movie for the first time in 20 years just the other evening, I can say I enjoyed it more this time.