MIFF 2021: Howard the Duck – 35th Anniversary in 70mm


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NEXT SHOWING:

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SYNOPSIS

Prepare to be astounded as this quacktacular Marvel Comics oddity gets plucked from the depths of history for a glorious 70mm screening. Who is Howard the Duck and why is nobody talking about him? The road to the character’s cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Endgame begins with the foul-mouthed wiseacre of Steve Gerber’s Marvel comic strip from the 70s, but his story cannot be told without this infamous 1986 feature executive-produced by George Lucas – a box-office bomb that stands as one of comic-book cinema’s most singular oddities. Hatched by Lucas, and penned by his American Graffiti co-writers Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck (whose 1973 classic Messiah of Evil will have served as forewarning), Howard is the story of your average intergalactic bird who finds himself marooned on Earth, falling for a big-haired pop singer (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future) and evading the dastardly clutches of the Dark Overlord of the Universe that has possessed a kindly scientist (Jeffrey Jones, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). Tarred and feathered by critics at the time, it’s a dispatch from an era when blockbusters were once strange and unruly – when a would-be family-friendly movie could be full of wild tonal shifts, wacky effects and a bizarre interspecies romance. Definitely a galaxy away from anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe of today.