Written By: John
If there is one phrase in our vernacular that has yet to become cliché, it would have to be “once in a lifetime” and with good reason. The phrase truly speaks to those unique moments in our lives that hold incredible meaning.
Yet if there was any particular medium that could put the unique nature of that phrase into that realm of overused, it would be film. Only because the films that we watch, adore or abhor are that unique. I’ve spoken on several occasions on the power of film and what it means to all of us, yet the phrase maintains its independence.
It is likely due to the fact that film is such an intimate and unique experience for every person that sits down in the theater that uttering such words seems unnecessary. But there are instances of films that truly come along once in a lifetime, where what is displayed before us is something we have never seen before and likely never will again.
Case in point for today’s B Movie Spotlight...Howard the Duck.
Somewhere in the universe there is other life, and much like on Earth they evolved from a more primitive form. They appear to have grown at the same rate as human beings, and go about the day as we do, they laugh, they love, except in this case, this world is full of sentient ducks.
One night, the life of Howard T. Duck is greatly changed as a mysterious beam rips him from the safety of his egg shaped world and deposits him on earth. The scientists responsible for this unexpected surprise do their best to return Howard home, but an error has brought something far worse down from the skies, and Howard must choose between returning to the only home he knows, or saving our world.
While the plot alone cements the film’s B movie status, expectations for the film were that of summer blockbuster quality when George Lucas, yes THAT George Lucas signed on to executive produce this adaption of the Marvel comic. But the end result was a box office egg as critics panned it and audiences simply stayed home.
So why cover a movie with so many flaws? Because believe it or not, despite the special effect of a walking and talking duck that doesn’t exactly work on screen, some over the top acting and bizarre moments that leave you scratching your head, the film does have some redeeming qualities.
There is an incredible sense of fun that this film provides, and surprisingly a sense of adventure. There are jokes that completely work, and while the movie is something awkward through and through it is indeed watchable.
In fact it is has grown enough of a following that after years of missing from the home video scene it was finally released on DVD a few years ago, giving all of the chance to revisit a film that is so quirky and unique that it can only be considered a once in a lifetime event.