Days Are Numbers Film Night No. 3 – Forbidden Zone
Welcome back, my friends… To the show that never ends.
Except it does end – It ends when the film ends, which is generally at around 10pm, but we can’t really get around that. Anyways, we’re proud to announce that for our fun-tastic third film night, we’ll be showing the one-of-a-kind, utterly bizzaro musical-comedy Forbidden Zone.
Now, you may not have heard of the director of this month’s selection – one Richard Elfman – but I can guarantee that you’ll have heard of his brother, Danny. That’s right! Danny Elfman – Hollywood composer extraordinaire and the man behind the world-famous, clanging cacophony that is The Simpsons theme tune. Well, once upon a time Richard and Danny were in a band together, and that band was called, erm, Oingo Boingo. And in 1980 that band decided to make a film…
Our adventure begins with an introduction to the mind-meltingly strange Hercules’ family as they bicker, bash each other and sing a merrie melody or two in the kitchen of their appropriately ”unique” Venice, California home – in fact, the only thing stranger than its occupants is what lies beneath the house itself – The Sixth Dimension, no less. After daughter Frenchy takes a wander into this “forbidden zone” in the basement, she quickly becomes the latest lust-object of its eccentric king, and subsequently the bitter enemy of its evil queen. With dad at work at the tar-pit factory, it’s up to ex-wrestler ”Gramps”, brother Flash and local uber-nerd Squeezit Henderson to delve down and rescue her, but with all manner of crazy creatures and surreal obstacles hindering their progress, they’ve got a heck of a fight on their hands!
Originally conceived as a kind of handover of band leadership from older Richard to younger Danny, Forbidden Zone marks the point at which Oingo Boingo enjoyed one last waltz as an outlandish cabaret act (at this point still known as The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo), before becoming a more straight-ahead new wave rock band. These theatrical origins are very much the lifeblood of the elder Elfman’s film, which often feels like a seriously oversexed and over-ambitious stage school end of year performance gone off the rails (a good thing!) – Although I should make it clear that you really don’t need to know anything at all about either brother or Oingo Boingo to enjoy it. Anyone who’s a fan of cult, kitsch or just plain crazy cinema will lap up Forbidden Zone, and that probably goes double for connoisseurs of oddball musicals, of which this could be the strangest ever made (imagine if Troma mounted an assault on The Rocky Horror Picture Show and you’re not even halfway there!).
Those good folks at Arrow Video are releasing a typically fun-packed and thorough blu-ray of Forbidden Zone on the 7th of May, which I really think you should all rush out and buy cometh the hour. You can check out their website and other releases by clicking the image below.
Before then, however, you should get yourself down to The Montpelier in Peckham on the 26th of April, where you’ll be able to watch Forbidden Zone in the distinguished company of us here at Days Are Numbers. If you cast your eyes below, you can check out a little trailer we’ve made… I guarantee that you won’t want to miss it!