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Forbidden Zone1980

  • 3.9
In Richard Elfman's FORBIDDEN ZONE, sexy Frenchy falls into an insane underworld ruled by a horny little king and his jealous queen. Chicken-boy comes to the rescue, only to have his head cut off by the soul-singing Devil himself (played by Danny Elfman and the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo). Frog butlers, topless princesses and rioting school kids sing and dance in unforgettable musical numbers by Danny Elfman, Cab Calloway, Josephine Baker and other greats. FORBIDDEN ZONE is truly a ground-breaking, fun-filled timeless classic.

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Madcap Midnight Monster-piece! "Forbidden Zone" is an H-Bomb of creative energy that showcases Underground Los Angeles--art, music, theatre--of the late 1970's. It's like a pre-code Betty Boop cartoon come to life, hopped up on Bennies and Goofballs, driving straight into your cerebral cortex by way of the 6th Dimension. Other than that, there is no way to describe "Forbidden Zone" except watch it...and celebrate the madness that was the Midnight Movie!

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Member Reviews (10)

Easily to dismiss as low-brow and course, in actuality, this brilliant piece of theatre of cruelty is a fantastic, creative hodge-podge of wackiness and Dadaism. This isn't simply some random concoction. There are definite homages here, from the 1930s and 40s blues and radio jingle-esque music, the minstrels, the Jewish vaudevillians and the heightened sets and makeup that harken to classic surrealism such as the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. There are cult films that are SO bad, that they are great. This is not one of them. This is truly a good, nutty film with great music, wonderful animation, a pinch of nudity and several tablespoons of WTF. And yet, with the entire catalog of cookie cutter films were are inundated with, isn't a little WTF a good thing?

2 members like this review
81629.small
top reviewer

Madcap Midnight Monster-piece! "Forbidden Zone" is an H-Bomb of creative energy that showcases Underground Los Angeles--art, music, theatre--of the late 1970's. It's like a pre-code Betty Boop cartoon come to life, hopped up on Bennies and Goofballs, driving straight into your cerebral cortex by way of the 6th Dimension. Other than that, there is no way to describe "Forbidden Zone" except watch it...and celebrate the madness that was the Midnight Movie!

1 member likes this review
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A true "cult film" that defies any other genre. Creative, funny, inappropriate, perverse and completely wrong -- Richard Elfman's sick movie is so deeply unique it is hard not to love it.

Suuuuuuper racist. Hard to enjoy the experimental and delightfully cartoonish vibe because of the blatant racism.

I love this B&W wacky movie. Why? It's weird for one thing. With the singing it has a Rocky Horror Picture show crazy stuff going on. Or just could be me. It's also like a play on stage with the props set ups. If you want a let your mind go something different. I think it's a great film for that..

A truly crazy cartoon of a movie that just dazzles with an enthusiastic mix of low humor and inspired lunacy. Although it looks like it was made for a few thousand bucks, Richard Elfman got a lot for his money. The movie's a bizarre combination of Flash Gordon, vaudeville, and the Marx Brothers, all in a Max Fleischer cartoon underworld that features a frog-headed servants and a human chandelier. The infectious musical numbers weave together 30s swing with catchy 70s pop synth. Everyone and everything in the movie just goes full-steam ahead without reason or explanation, including Herve Villechaize and Academy-nominated Susan Tyrell. I'm happy this movie exists.

Well, you can't fault it for being boring, but I wouldn't say it was greatly enjoyable either. It reminded me a bit of watching Steve Carrell in The Office; you cringe to think what foolishness he might utter next. Totally politically incorrect, but it seemed obvious to me that the stereotypes were being toyed with, as if the intent was to both shock and highlight the foolishness of the assumptions some make of others. Were the story line more intriguing, or at least somewhat novel, I would have had a far greater appreciation of this film. As it is, I found it somewhat humourous, somewhat interesting, and somewhat enjoyable. However, it seems more like an opportunity lost, as though the director/writer had an interesting idea he wasn't able to fully articulate. Jokes/stereotypes were used repeatedly, the characters were hollow (perhaps intentionally) and the homage elements seemed lackluster. A must for fans of quirk, but unlikely to be satisfying for anyone else.

A much more interesting bit of midnight-movie than most including the vaunted RHPS. A little bit of Dali/Bunuel, a little bit of Tristan Tzara, some fun music and some over-the-top theatrics make this a good ride.

Its hard to describe this movie.. so I wont. Ill just say you have to watch it. Its strange, and not ashamed of the fact. The music is all written by Danny Elfman, he also plays the devil in the movie. His name may be familiar he was the front man to Oingo Boingo and writes movie music, he did the SImpsons theme, the Tim Burton Batman movies, actually a lot of Tim Burtons movies from Beetlejuice to Edward Scissorhands. Black and white and looking like an old cartoon from the early 1900s this movie is a strange romp through bad trip dreamscape. if you are really into strange musical movies(there are some nice boobs too) then this is something you cant miss.. If you are not into weird movies at all i would seriously question why you are on this site at all :)

Sophomoric. Local high schoolers can write better satire than this.