Richard Elfman’s Forbidden Zone is an often overlooked classic of the 1980s. Created by Elfman and his brother Danny – Yes, that Danny Elfman – the movie was a vehicle for their band Oingo Boigo’s music set against a bizarre story about a family who discover that they have a doorway to the Sixth Dimension in the basement of their home. A mixture of music, live action and animation, Elfman drew inspiration from a number of sources, including very obviously the 1930s cartoons of the Fleischer Studio, to present a story woven around a dozen Oingo Boingo songs.
Back in 2009, Elfman announced his intention to create a sequel titled Forbidden Zone 2: Forbidden Galaxy but not much has been heard about the project until now. Bleeding Cool is reporting that recently at Mexico’s Morbido Film Fest he screened some already shoot footage in advance to it showing up as part of the SyFy Channel’s upcoming reality series Monster Man which looks at various make up effects houses and how they create various creatures for the movies. If you’re not sure how one relates to the other, just watch the clip below. (Two notes – Firstly, it appears as if the song has been repurposed to serve as a promo piece for the Morbido Film Fest, though it still gives us a hint of the visual direction Elfman is going in for the sequel. Two, there’s a brief flash of butt crack towards the end so it may be considered NSFW.)
On his blog, Elfman explained the plot of Forbidden Galaxy thusly –
Ma and Pa Kettle leave the depressed Dust Bowl with their kids, Stinky and Petunia, and drive their old jalopy down to Crenshaw in South-Central Los Angeles. Stinky is a hyper-active 12-year-old, played by a hyper-active 50-year-old; Petunia is a lumbering 13-year-old slut, played by an actress over 18 (hopefully); Ma is a corn-cob pipe-smoking inbred, and Pa is a craven, drunken carnival geek…with a bad disposition…even before his carnival job folded after the last dust storm. Together, they hope to find a better life in California. Unfortunately, the little shack they rent has a basement connected to the Sixth Dimension–a bizarre underworld, ruled by a megalomaniac midget King, his jealous Queen, and an array of fantastical creatures, the most outrageous being The Princess Polly, a man-hungry gal with a to-die-for sexy, voluptuous body and an over-sized, grotesque, cartoon-like head. Her wild get ups and show-stopping musical numbers will give Gaga a run for the money!
Daughter-in-law Jenna Elfman will do a surrealistic aerial dance routine (did you know Jenna’s a professional dancer?); I’ll get brother Danny to reprise his Devil role, singing a knockout version of “St. James Infirmary Blues,” and we’ll shoot the “Crenshaw” scenes in Ghana. Crenshaw will look like a cartoon version of 1910 Harlem, but everyone will be INCREDIBLE dancers and acrobats – from the Ghana National Dance Company. Of course that brilliant rascal, writer/director/actor Matthew Bright (aka “Toshiro Boloney” in the original Forbidden Zone) will reprise his role as Rene Henderson, as well as co-write the script.
Forbidden Zone 2 will have all the ABSURDITY and balls-out zaniness of Forbidden Zone 1 but with more technical tools and a greater budget to play with. I can guarantee that Forbidden Zone 2 will have unforgettable musical numbers.
Well, storywise at least, the sequel sounds to be in the same crazy territory that the original is in. How the rest of it shapes up remains to be seen.
Founded by the brothers Elfman in 1972, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo were a rock band whose on-stage theatrics had expanded to a point by the end of the decade that Elfman found unwieldy and burdensome. and intended the film to capture the spirit of the band’s live shows before they scaled everything back to a more traditional band set up. Below is the trailer for the original Forbidden Zone, followed by the band’s appearance on the classic ’70s game show The Gong Show to get a vague idea of what their live shows must have been like. Following that are two musical numbers, the first being “Pico And Sepulveda,” a long-time staple of the old radio syndicated Dr. Demento Show, and “Bim Bam Boom,” which features the Kipper Kids, who you may recognize from an appearance in weird Al Yankovich’s UHF.