1980s Science Fiction Crazy Comedy Classic Sends You To Another Dimension, Stream Now Without Netflix

By Nikola Pajtic | Updated

adventures of buckaroo banzai

Underrated and unforgettable, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is a well-hidden superhero sci-fi comedy gem of the 80s. It combines sci-fi action with a healthy dose of absurdist humor making it my favorite movie, and it might become yours as well. This cult classic, written by Earl Mac Rauch and directed by W.D. Richter (of Invasion of the Body Snatchers fame) in his first-ever directorial effort, flopped at the box office but has since found a devoted fan following thanks to its outrageous premise. 

Buckaroo Banzai

adventures of buckaroo banzai

Buckaroo Banzai is a neurosurgeon by day, a rock star by night with his rock band The Hong Kong Cavaliers, and an interdimensional alien fighter whenever duty calls. Perfectly portrayed by Peter Weller (pre-RoboCop fame), with such deadpan seriousness, I wonder how he and the rest of the cast kept a straight face while filming. 

The plot of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is best experienced, not explained, so I recommend you watch the film, after reading this.

The Set-Up

This underrated ‘80s flick starts with Buckaroo testing a device called ‘oscillation overthruster’ that lets him travel through solid matter. He does that by driving his jet car straight through a mountain. This opens a portal to another dimension, and by the time he is on the other side of the mountain and out of the other dimension, Buckaroo Banzai realizes that an alien organism is attached to his car. 

This is just the start. I wasn’t prepared for the whole lot of ‘wtf am I watching’ moments throughout the sci-fi action comedy, but that is where the film shines. Instead of chrome alien ships, you will see something more organic, and aliens like you have never seen before. From then on, our hero and his rock crew, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, are a bunch of lovable goofballs who just happen to be saving the universe.

Full of over-the-top madness, a soundtrack that is pure 80’s synth glory, and outlandish costumes that made me question if they really thought this would work.

A Convoulted Plot, But It’s Part Of The Package

To say that the plot is a bit convoluted is an understatement, but that is all part of the charm of Buckaroo Banzai. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will once again say that Buckaroo Banzai deserves your attention.

A Parody

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension can be looked at as a parody of the superhero genre that would thrive only decades later. However, it is also a nod to the 1930s pulp heroes (read Doc Savage). 

Didn’t Fare Well With Ticket Sales

The film’s only flaw is that it competed against such heavyweights as Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This hindered it chances at box office success, resulting in a gross effort of $6 million against a $12 million budget. The film holds a warm 69 percent positive review score on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics have unanimously praised its lunacy. 

Stream It Now

adventures of buckaroo banzai


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is certainly not a film for everyone. With delightfully low-budget effects, a convoluted plot, and the cheese factor that will make you rethink the entire idea of watching the film, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is designed to become a cult classic.

And eventually, it did. There are a ton of references to the film in other media, including in Steven Spielberg’s box office hit Ready Player One. With all this said, Buckaroo Banzai is a must-watch so you better prepare for a trip through the 8th dimension as you stream it on Amazon