Forbidden Zone tells the story of the Hercules family, who live in a house where the basement just happens to contain a portal to the Sixth Dimension, which reminds me of a Jewish Narnia designed by Salvador Dali. One day, teenage Frenchy Hercules stumbles through the portal and winds up falling in love with King Fausto (played by That Midget from Fantasy Island). Queen Doris isn't too pleased so she captures and tortures Frenchy, and the rescue is up to young Flash Hercules ("young" here meaning "played by a 65-year old man"), his grandfather, and his friend Squeezit. Hilarity, chaos, and 1930s-style musical numbers ensue. The princess of the Sixth Dimension is (apparently) unaware of shirts, the royal butler has the head of a frog. There's a gorilla and an electric pickle and everybody's horny and/or Jewish. It's black and white and was obviously made on the cheap, but it features Danny Elfman as the devil singing Minnie the Moocher. If that's not one of the coolest things ever, there's no point in being cool.
Anyway, Forbidden Zone is my kind of movie.
It was also deemed offensive and banned by UW Madison during its screening here in the early '80s.
I bring all of this up up because last night Tick pointed out to me that Richard Elfman is making a sequel called The Sixth Element. Or maybe it's called Brave New Rosenburg, or else maybe Attack on Chedrania, depending on which working title you like. Either way, the intense fervor which surrounded Forbidden Zone's DVD release must have inspired him to deliver the sequel he promised in the commentary track of that film.
Usually sequels like this are killed between the concept and production stages by lack of funding, but Elfman has been so vocal about wanting to reprise his favorite filmmaking experience that I think he's going to make it happen out of sheer force of will. It's hard to imagine a movie any cheaper than the original, and do-it-yourself filmmaking has advanced so much in the last two decades that he could remake that film for half the price. Besides, IMDB reports that Danny is reprising his role as the devil, which pretty much guarantees a devoted audience of Danny Elfman fans and disaffected amateur composers (same thing, really). We're not a huge audience, but we're the same sort of people who go to movie X to see the trailer for movie Y (picture of my friend Dustin goes here). We'll drive to Chicago to see it in some dingy arthouse theater if we have to. If it's not playing in Chicago, we'll shell out $25 for the DVD without having seen it first.
Anyway, in order to drum up some level of interest in Forbidden Zone and its sequel (which, presumably, will be out within the next decade), I present three of my favorite musical numbers from the film, courtesy of YouTube: