Howard the Duck
Directed by Willard Hyuck
Starring Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, Ed Gale, Chip Zien
It was the year 1986
And George Lucas needed money.
He had just finished building Skywalker Ranch
So he commissioned a duck who was funny.
This was right after Return of the Jedi
Had netted him millions more.
He decided to make another film
That had never been tried before.
He hired producer Gloria Katz
And director William Hyuck
To take on the Marvel comic book star–
The inimitable Howard the Duck.
Now Howard the Duck was for adults,
And didn’t translate well for kids.
This fact bothered them not at all.
They would make it for adults AND kids.
So we get a duck doing silly duck things,
And also some adult things too.
How well this all mixes together
Really depends on you.
We start off our film with a live-action duck
–Anthropomorphic in every sense–
Sitting in his armchair and reading some Playduck
In his apartment that seems to be dense
With duck-related paraphernalia,
Like a poster for Breeders of the Lost
He seems to be in a duck heavy world,
In which men-like ducks go to work.
When he gets to the centerfold,
In the middle of his drooling,
Howard is suddenly whisked away,
Into a universe of the writer’s choosing.
He’s pulled out of his universe
And into our galaxy.
He finds himself on the planet Earth
In a garbage-filled alley.
Some street punks try to hurt him,
And he’s forced to use Quack Fu.
He knocks them silly with his awesome skills,
And then wonders what he’s to do.
Fortunately, he meets an Earth girl
By the name of Beverly.
She’s played by actress Lee Thompson,
A radiant Earth beauty.
She takes him to a friend of hers,
Who says he’s a scientist man,
But his claims are proven as fraudulent
Through his intercourse with the duck man.
Tim Robbins starts speaking like Donald Duck
In a condescending way.
Howard declares this a waste of his time
And his interests Fades away.
Howard gets work at a brothel,
In a rather disturbing scene,
But we find out it’s only the first such
Of some later uncomfortable scenes.
He has some more adventures,
In this Oddball f.i.l.m.
That uses Expensive special effects
Manufactured at ILM.
The script should have been much funnier
Then what we ended up getting.
It’s a niche film rather than the Blockbuster
On which Lucas & Co had been betting.
He lost a lot of money on this,
And sold his new CGI business,
Which eventually became Pixar
And helped Disney rise back to the top of the business.
I’m rating this film a three out of six.
I liked it–don’t get me wrong–
But with a running time of only two hours,
It still felt an hour too long