Trash Film Debauchery: The Forbidden Zone

This more-than-just-wacky musical comedy from 1982 was made in an attempt to reflect the work of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Sound familiar? That's because it was the theater/performance-art incarnation of Oingo Boingo, before they became new-wave greats. Richard Elfman directed this tour de force of oddities while his brother Danny claims Forbidden Zone as his very first film scoring credit. Add to the mix Herve Villechaize (the only paid performer in the movie), Viva from Warhol's Factory, and a storyline based on the idea that the Hercules family home contained a portal to the Sixth Dimension. The result is a bizarre trip through what is now a midnight-movie staple. The film was originally shot in black-and-white, but was digitally restored in 2004 and colorized in 2008. There's animation from future production designer John Muto, cameos by the Elfmans' grandfather and accountant, and a princess who is topless quite a bit. And if all that doesn't get you in the door, don't forget the midget king and frog butler. Forbidden Zone is a must-see for cult film fanatics.
Wed., Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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