Ducks on a plane

On my way to Baltimore today, with three hours to kill in the company of a giddy Southwest Airlines crew (if you’re not familiar with their antics, such as auctioning their “desperately single” hostesses to the highest bidder, I suggest you give them a try), I decided to bring my HOWARD THE DUCK DVD along as my flick pick. I hadn’t seen the film in years, and I thought it was high time for me to brush up on my knowledge of anthropomorphic ducks–with Comic Con around the corner and all.

Howard the... oh, you must be f***ing kidding me..!

Howard the... oh, you must be f***ing kidding me..!

I only managed to sit through the first 28 minutes. Was the Southwest crew that entertaining..? I’ll do my best to finish it on the return flight. Highlights so far include a full frontal of a buxom female duck enjoying a bubble bath as Howard crashes through her bathroom window, and the establishing shot of the twin moons over New Stork City (hmm… did the Executive Producer have any say in this..?)

It’s bad all right, but its unmistakable 80s flavor is hard to resist (I’m a sucker for FRIGHT NIGHT, MANNEQUIN and just about every John Carpenter flick of the period), and I have mixed feelings about the fact that it’s still getting such a bad rap to this day. If George Lucas hadn’t executive produced it, wouldn’t we remember that movie with a tad more fondness in our hearts? Would we perhaps have forgotten it? Would it still be the conversational piece that it is today?

Of course, it’s hard to talk about HOWARD THE DUCK without mentioning CAPTAIN EO. For months, I was actually wondering how that profoundly weird and disturbing Coppola/Lucas collaboration would organically earn its way into our doc–until the creator of a puppet by the name of Skippy sent me a rant about the film that literally made me fall off my chair, brilliantly tying our collective childhood to both George and Michael Jackson. Disturbing? Oh, yes. A wonderful little skit that will, no doubt, make the final cut.