Quick DVD Review – ‘Howard the Duck’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I received two Christmas presents from my best mate Stephen from school in 2021. One is Marvel-related; the other is nominated as ‘the best worst movie ever’. I think Stephen wanted me to review these movies on my blog. Which I’m fine with! 😀 And I’m pretty sure to find entertainment in both films.

As you’re probably aware, I’ve reviewed quite a lot of Marvel superhero films and shows on my blog. Whether they’d be Spider-Man or ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’-related, I often look to check out those films or shows in order to embrace my knowledge about what goes on in the Marvel universe.

With that said, this film is about a duck! I’m doing a review on a Marvel film about a duck!!! 😀 Yeah, this is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in terms of film adaptations of Marvel characters. It’s also regarded as one of the worst films of all time and that’s saying a lot as far as I’m concerned.

‘Howard the Duck’ was released in 1986, way before the ‘MCU’ ever took place. Lately, Howard the Duck has appeared briefly in ‘MCU’ films like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’. He also appeared briefly in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, which I didn’t realise until I checked it out.

It’s interesting that this happens to be the only film adaptation of Howard the Duck from Marvel Comics. I’ve not read any of the comics featuring Howard the Duck, but I imagine the film took some liberties in the adaptation process. I gather the comics are supposed to be parodies or satires.

The film was produced by George Lucas (Yes, that George Lucas of ‘Star Wars’ fame). It was also produced by Gloria Katz and it was directed by Willard Huyck. I’m not sure who’s entirely to blame regarding the creative choices of ‘Howard the Duck’ as a film, but there are clearly some missteps. 😀

In the film, Howard, who lives in a parallel dimension where everyone is a duck, gets pulled out of his world and ends up on the planet Earth in our dimension (I believe). There he befriends Beverly, whose of the planet Earth (I think 😀 ) and with her help seeks to find a way to return his homeworld. 😐

Now the film would be good if a lot of the creative choices didn’t involve comedy that’s…well, let’s be honest here, not funny. For example, there are a lot of duck puns said throughout the film that aren’t funny. I honestly think that Mr. Freeze’s ice puns in ‘Batman & Robin’ are funnier than that. 😀

There are also a lot of sexual references and innuendos featured throughout the film, which do feel uncomfortable, especially in the build-up to where Howard and Beverly are about to have…sex together? Um, if this film was meant to be for kids, surely things like that shouldn’t be included here.

Howard the Duck is mainly performed by Ed Gale and is voiced by Chip Zien. Now, I have to admire the puppetry and animatronics that went into making Howard the Duck come to life. Perhaps the lip synchronisation isn’t totally accurate, but I can see how much effort went into making the quacker real.

Lea Thompson (well-known for ‘Back to the Future’ fame) stars as Beverly Switzler in the film. As much as I admire Lea’s performance in the film, her character development is rather odd to say the least. Thank goodness that she redeemed herself by appearing in ‘Back to the Future, Parts II and III’.

Tim Robbins stars as Phil Blumburtt. Thank goodness he did ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ after this, as I found his character Phil very annoying. There’s also Jeffrey Jones as Dr. Walter Jenning, a scientist who becomes a monster in the film. Sometimes the monster was rather over-the-top here.

Incidentally, the DVD I received last Christmas features a censored cut of the film. The reason why I bring this up is because some moments are edited out of certain scenes of the film, including some sexual moments like Howard working at a sleazy sauna parlour and a condom from Howard’s wallet.

But that didn’t stop a female duck with ‘duck boobs’ in a bath from being edited out. Seriously, I checked the scene again on DVD and it was there. Ugh!!! Why did they include that in the film? What was the point of it? Again, if this is meant to be a kids’ film, they shouldn’t have included that!

‘Howard the Duck’ is a weird film. I gained some entertainment in a strange way and I have to admire the effort put into making Howard the Duck come to life by 1986 standards. But this isn’t an ideal Marvel superhero film. Heck, Howard doesn’t even have any powers to make him a superhero.

What can one say but…what the quack?!!! 😀

I’ll be sharing a review on the second Christmas present Stephen gave me from 2021 soon! Stay tuned! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂

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