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Howard the Duck: A Descent Into Madness

Howard the Duck.

Safe to say it’s a pretty notorious film.  And one of the first cracks to appear in George Lucas’ armor.  But I had never seen it.  And the Limejuiceboy hadn’t in quite some time.

So we watched it together over some drinks.  And I took notes.  Lots of them.  Take a gander at them and the slow descent into madness we found ourselves subjected to after the jump.

The first note I took that night starts off with a bang:

  • Duck tits.

Wait, what's she doing with her other hand?

  • Duck Tits! And this is what you’re greeted with about two minutes into the film.  Duck.  Tits.  Right there in your face.  Guess when your script calls for a naked female duck in a tub you better pull out the duck tits.  I’ll say it once more:  Duck TITS.  Yeah, this is what we were getting ourselves into.
  • Cleveland: Of all towns for Howard to land in (he gets sucked off his duck planet to Earth at the very beginning for no apparent reason) he lands in Cleveland?  Umm…okay!

This is what's in Cleveland

  • Quack Fu: Yup, it’s what it sounds like.  Howard knows quack fu, or he at least pretends he does.  I don’t think it threatened the thugs very much however.
  • Advertising Copywriter: That’s Howard’s profession on his duck planet.  How this, in any way, plays a part in the story is a complete mystery.  It’s as if the writer just pulled that profession out of the sky!  Perhaps he was too busy dreaming up the duck tits.

  • Bad Puns Found in Howard’s Wallet: Marshington D.C., Bloomingducks, Mallardcard
  • Even Worse Object Found in Howard’s Wallet: A used duck condom!  I’m not even kidding! (I’m only scratching the surface here, people)
  • The Cleveland Sexhouse: Howard somehow finds himself in a place that I can only describe as a sexhouse.  Couples, rooms, sex.  Yup.  I don’t know of any of those around Boston, but in Cleveland they’re apparently all over the place.  There’s some stuff in there called “Lava of Love” too.  I don’t know what that means and I don’t want to know.  Let’s move on.
  • No Emotional Connection to Howard: It was at this point in the movie that I was no longer distracted by the horrors described above and had this realization fall like a ton of bricks upon inebriated head.  I didn’t give one shit about Howard.  He was a repugnant little bastard and I couldn’t care less if he ended up on some Chinese food restaurant’s serving platter.
  • Selective Duck Freakouts: One of the many things wrong with Howard the Duck is the fact that the human characters only selectively freak out about the fact that there’s a talking, walking duck beside them that dresses like Don Johnson.  Sometimes they act appropriately (with horror) and sometimes they don’t even give him a second look.  I mean just look at him!  How could you ignore something that looks like that?

Non-ignorable

  • Religious Connection? Perhaps it was the scotch and mai tais, or perhaps it was the cinematic equivalent of a lobotomy that Howard the Duck is, but Limejuiceboy at one point asked me if I thought that the movie had some religious undercurrents.  I’ll answer it for you this way buddy:  If it does, it’s only that it’s proof that there is a devil.
  • Feathered and Crimped: This was the best way to describe Leah Thompson’s hair in this film.  At least for two guys with no real knowledge of hair terminology.
  • The Ferris Bueller/Clear and Present Danger Connection: Know the moustached man in the parking garage that takes Cameron Frye’s Ferrari out for a spin with his friend?  Know the drug kingpin from Clear and Present Danger who spent some time in his personal batting cage fretting about Jack Ryan?  Both in this film.  Pretty sure they’d both like to forget it.
  • The Ol’ Knife Through the Earring Trick: This was Limejuiceboy’s favorite moment.  In a bar Howard got into another scrum and put a knife through a thug’s earring, pinning his head to the bar.  It was a lot less cool than it sounds.  Because a duck did it.
  • Howard Doesn’t Care About Going Home/Howard Cares About Going Home: Another major problem with the script here.  In some scenes Howard cares about going back to his duck planet.  In others, as scientists (Tim Robbins being one of them) are discussing ways of sending him back, he couldn’t care less and tells them to be quiet.  Seriously, what a shitty script.  What a shitty character.  Fuck you, Howard.
  • Duck Ass Money Shot: Much like the duck tits, the duck ass in this movie is on prominent display.  You see, Howard doesn’t wear pants.  And he’s got a pointy duck butt like Donald, Daffy, etc.  But when you put that on a little person in a suit, it’s just gross.  And at one point the camera makes a point of it by zooming right on in there.  I don’t remember what the film’s excuse was, I just remember being horrified by it.
  • Howard the Expository Duck: Jesus Christ is there a lot of exposition in this film.  Blah blah BLAH!  Quit the jibba-jabba and get back to the duck tits!

  • Leah Thompson: Why So Lonely? I think most men can agree that Leah is NOT a bad looking lady, but in Cleveland, apparently, she’s a pig. How else can you explain that no men seem to be interested in her in this film?  And how else can you explain her interest in Howard?  She even spends time in bed with him in her underwear!  (No, they don’t screw.  At least I don’t think they do.)  C’mon Leah, you can do WAY better.  Like Calvin Klein for example.

  • That Guy CSI: There’s a guy from CSI in the movie.  I don’t know who.  I don’t watch CSI.
  • “Book Him Ducko”: Yeah, that’s a line from the movie.  It’s even worse hearing it than reading it.
  • Jeffrey Explains All: Oh Jeffrey Jones…  Sure, you might like some kiddie porn, but you’re not a bad actor.  But Howard the Duck can make any actor look bad (something George has gotten quite good at).  He becomes possessed by an evil force.  And explains every step of the transformation.  “I’m becoming something evil!”  To which Howard doesn’t listen or care.  Kinda like how he feels about going home.  Sometimes.
  • Howard the Dick to Waitresses: Howard is a total dick to waitresses.  You’ve seen his type.  People that yell from their booth across the place to get the server’s attention.  Yeah, this is the guy the movie’s named after.  The guy we’re supposed to like and identify with.  What a dick.
  • “Hostility is Like a Psychic Boomerang”: Something the poor waitress said.  Go ahead.  Try to wrap your head around that slice o’ pie.  I still can’t decide if this is the smartest or stupidest thing said in this turd of a movie.
  • “It’s Closing Time!”: Something Jeffrey says when he unleashes his evil-ness in the diner.  He’s more right than he knows.  Because the next thing I wrote that night was…
  • Losing Steam: It was at this point I knew I couldn’t make it through the rest of Howard the Duck.  The weight of it all was starting to hurt.  And then it was…
  • 11:40 PM: It ends.  I think there was a third act still coming.  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  It had to stop.

And it did.  Let this be a lesson to all of you.  Sometimes bad movies are fun.  Sometimes they are NOT.  And that’s about all the wisdom I can muster.

Be careful out there.

–Cap’n Duck Tits

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Lush Here
    September 8, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Apparently I had completely blocked out this movie from my childhood. I don’t remember any of this and I am glad for it. How did Lucas think this was a good idea? Seriously? Oh wait…let’s ask Jar Jar.

  2. September 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    gonna send this to my mom

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