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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Howard the Duck (1986)

Last night after a recent overwhelming urge to finally see if it truly is as bad as everyone says, I watched:

Howard the Duck (1986)

You might’ve seen my post earlier in the week about the fact that Robin Williams was originally cast as the voice of Howard but quit production after just a few days due to feeling “confined”.

Anyway, in the comments of that post there were a few for and against arguments from you guys about watching it.

I should probably also mention that a friend of mine has been telling me for years that this is "the film Back to the Future tried to be" (like Back to the Future needed to be anything other than what it actually was - not to mention it came out a whole year before this movie).

If you haven’t seen it, not only is it based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name but it’s also the very first feature film Marvel ever put out, loooooong before the days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Amazingly the film was co-produced by Lucasfilm and stars Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption), Jeffrey Jones (Beetlejuice) and features the voice talents of Chip Zien (Snake Eyes) as Howard himself.

This is what it’s about according to IMDb:

“A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop an alien invasion with the help of a nerdy scientist and a struggling female rock singer.”

If you think that synopsis sounds mental you’d be right.

I was prepped for this to be an experience and an experience it was!

Right from the start (although watching with an open mind) I was struggling after just 5 minutes. Strangely it wasn’t even the fact that I was watching a small person running around in a duck suit, talking and smoking cigars. It was more the cheesy dialogue, bad acting and general randomness of the story.

Nevertheless I stuck with it...

Very early on I was a little disturbed by a female duck sitting in the bath with her “duck boobs” on display (nipples and all), not to mention the uncomfortable bestiality vibes implied throughout the film. Considering this movie is a 12 rating there are some pretty questionable moments in it.

The story is all over the place, the effects are of it’s time and the acting (to put it kindly) isn’t the best (Tim Robbins definitely improved between this and Shawshank).

I’m not only amazed this movie got made but I can’t believe some of the actors (who, between them had already made some notable films by this point) ever signed up to star in it. Marvel Movies have come a long way since 1986.

I didn’t hate this movie but to say I enjoyed it would be bending the truth slightly.

I’ve never been into taking drugs but if I had, I imagine it would feel a lot like how I felt watching Howard the Duck.

Seen it? Let me know below.

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