A while back in Cinematic Swipes, we noted the similarities between the big concert scene at the end of 1986’s Howard The Duck and the performance Michael J. Fox gives in Back To The Future‘s “Enchantment Under The Sea” dance. From the red guitar to the certain dance moves, there were enough similarities to lead us to speculate that there may be more than coincidence at work. And given that Howard The Duck went into production five months after the release of Back To The Future, we speculated that it was at least possible that Howard The Duck director Willard Huyck was looking to leverage the fact that he was sharing star Lea Thompson with that film.
So when the opportunity presented itself this past weekend at the Philadelphia Wizard World show to maybe get a confirmation to this, we took it. We presented the question to Thompson at a panel discussion for Back To The Future with Michael J Fox also in attendance. And Thompson’s answer… was a bit non-committal.
I don’t think so, no. I think that’s the kind of cool moves… But maybe, I don’t know. I’m sorry. I don’t think so.
Fox jumped in and suggested that perhaps Huyuck was drawing on he same inspirations that he was drawing from for his performance in Back To The Future.
I stole all that stuff anyway. I was doing Chuck Berry and Jimmy Page and Van Halen. I was doing everybody. I was ripping their stuff off.
While not a definite answer, it does add a bit more to the discussion. Perhaps at some point Huyck himself will chime in. Until then, the validity of the swipe is still open for debate.