“The Forbidden Zone Phenomena”
Hi! Richard Elfman here—and that devil in the picture is my younger
And to put it simply, I need your help to make an (even more) insane sequel to our insane film Forbidden Zone. We ultimately need to raise over a million, but anything over $100,000 will get the ball rolling and cover pre-production. The more we raise, the more creative freedom we have--and that is what this is all about.
How the madness all got started:
My background is both musical, as a professional Afro-Latin percussionist, and theatrical—I spent my formative years in a Paris-based theatre company, Le Grand Magic Circus. My mentors were Jerome Savary, later to become director of the French National Theatre, and his mentor, the troupe’s executive producer, Peter Brook, renowned director at that time of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Eventually I came back to the states and together with Danny, Frenchy Elfman, Matthew Bright (Squeezit), and a few friends, we formed an “arty” but wildly entertaining musical-theatrical troupe, the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. We performed older musical gems, both known and forgotten, as well as original creations by my musically gifted brother. The shows, laced with comedy and dance, were fun, fast-paced and outrageous.
(Original Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Danny left, me right.)
As time went on, the quirky thirteen-member troupe evolved under my brother’s direction into
an eight-piece rock band, simply called Oingo Boingo.
I wished to preserve on screen what we had been doing on stage, so I embarked on my first film, Forbidden Zone—a low-budget labor of love that encapsulated the spirit of the Mystic Knights. As my background was stage and music, you might say that Forbidden Zone was my “film school.” I did many things backwards—started shooting 16mm then changed to 35mm, didn’t get proper musical clearances and had no idea the ultimate time and expense of traditional animation.
Five minutes of animation ended up costing more than seventy minutes of live-action footage. Clearing music rights after-the-fact cost more that shooting the film.
The journey making Forbidden Zone cost me my house and bankrupted me. I even lost my rights
to the film along the way (only gotten back recently). But giving Captain Ahab and Atlas run for their money, I persevered and somehow completed the movie.
(Herve Villechaize and Susan Tyrrell in Forbidden Zone.)
Forbidden Zone did a summer of midnight shows in 1982, caused a minor stir and poof—
it was gone. Or so I thought…
About ten years ago after putting up my first website I got thousands of hits from Forbidden Zone fans around the world. The film has subsequently been re-released on DVD, BluRay and cosltly colorized (with my blessing). I now attend screenings around the country filled with younger fans who seem to know every word. But why the popularity and longevity of this absurdist little musical-fantasy?
The film does have its share of fun and laughs. But ultimately, it’s that Forbidden Zone, like the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, has timeless “memorable” music—as opposed to simply “serviceable” music.
What I’m about to say may piss some people off, but Chicago is a good example of serviceable music. I personally enjoyed the film, especially the way the musical numbers were staged and shot. Later however, many of the melodies seemed to mush together in my head. Other than a few catchy lyrics (all that jazz), the songs just weren’t that “take for life” memorable. But they worked fine along with everything else—to service the vehicle.
Memorable music stands on it’s own, without the visuals. Time only burnishes it. I’m talking;
Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Nightmare Before Christmas, even O’ Brother Where Art Thou, which deftly mined forgotten folk music, buried in plain sight.
Forbidden Zone has memorable music—both forgotten classics as well as great original material by my brother Danny. The audience takes it home in their heads, they enjoy hearing it again. Or more fun, enjoy seeing the film again. And again.
Well, now it's time for Forbidden Zone 2. Between my library and my legacy, we definitely have
the music. We also have the right team in place to deliver everything else the Sixth Dimension might require. And I guarantee you something bigger, badder, bolder—and even more damned FUN than the original.
So please dig deep, give big, and come help me make Forbidden Zone 2!
AND PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!
Feel free to Email Me (email easier to answer than FB message).
In a timeless fantasy world, PAPA JUPE, a tough crusty carnie geek, staggers drunk from his circus tent, just as it blows over in a Dust Bowl-era sand storm. He gathers his family and goes to seek a better life out west.
His wife, MA, is a corn-cob smoking inbred. Son STINKY is a short hyperactive thirteen year-old (to be played by a short, hyper-active forty-year old). White trash daughter PETUNIA is a huge lumbering teenage slut. Together they drive across country in their ancient vehicle, where Pa finds some cheap ghetto shack to rent. Unfortunately the basement is connected to the Sixth Dimension!
A tale of poignant and forbidden love unfolds as Petunia is smitten by poor black little PYTHAGORUS JONES, the misbegotten son of a notorious local “crack ho.” Even though the bespectacled young teen is working on miraculous science projects for school—anti-gravity devices, water from air, etc.—no one gives him any respect. Especially not Petunia’s violent, drunken and, yes, virulently racist father.
complicate matters, little brother Stinky is busted for masturbating in class
and sent to
Dr. Yodlebien's office—where he inadvertently kills the esteemed therapist after receiving some testicular-shock sex aversion treatment. (Please note that DR. YODLEBEIN will be played by the esteemed actor, my son Bodhi Elfman.)
Stinky escapes into the “Forbidden Zone,” only to be captured as a love slave by the horny petulant, PRINCESS POLLY—she of desirable shape and monstrous face. Her parents, the sexy QUEEN FLORA and randy Germanic dwarf KING FRITZ wouldn’t mind a piece of Stinky as well, which leads to much heart-rending family drama.
...although King Fritz has more important matters to attend to. He is cloning an army of giant pinheads for his upcoming invasion of Earth. If only they didn’t have the brains of chickens and he had an anti-gravity device to raise them to the upper world! And so the plot thickens—with outrageous laughter, music and dance!
RICHARD ELFMAN'S PRODUCTION NOTES
MUSIC is a key
element to FZ2. The standard will
Exhilarating. Unforgettable. Timeless. Along with reprising great older gems, FZ2 will, of course, feature some hot new fabulous Danny Elfman originals.
DANCE is another
key element. My lovely daughter-in-law Jenna Elfman will descend from the sky in an
aerial “ballet of the chicken,” so
mind boggling as to put Swan Lake to
shame! Jenna was trained in classical ballet, has danced professionally—and her choreographer will be none other than Shana Carroll, who
recently designed aerial/acrobatics for Cirque du Soleil’s Iris.
Also, the National Dance Company of Ghana will fill FZ2’s Harlem saloon and old-time gospel church scenes, where hot American 20’s and 30’s dance moves will turn on a dime into precision acrobatic African tribal ensemble—and then back. As a professional Afro-Latin percussionist, I’m familiar with West African music and dance and look forward to taking a few key actors to Accra, Ghana for several days filming.
PRODUCTION DESIGN will create a total fantasy world that incorporates animation and wacky cartoon-like effects. FZ2 intends to engage the work of artists such as Robert Crumb and others to give you the most incredible settings and backgrounds!
CHARACTERS will be so outrageous that you will never forget them—Richard Elfman’s guarantee on that! Our key roles will be performed by seasoned stage actors. Cameos will surprise you with exciting famous faces.
TONE can be
summed up in three words: Funny.
Aesthetic. Absurd. The humor
can be described as totally outrageous. Expect to laugh, to cry and wet your pants!
Forbidden Zone 2!!
¡VEA EL VÍDEO EN ESPAÑOL!