“She took my eggs.”
- The Dark Overlord
I was first introduced to Howard the Duck via the marvel comic series of the same name. To this day I still love the cigar smoking, foul mouthed, girl chasing waterfowl. Howard was just an everyday schlub in a world of heroes and villains who just happened to be a sentient duck from another world. Howard was funny. Howard was brave. Howard was a believable character despite his physical appearance. When I heard a Howard The Duck Movie was coming out I was thrilled—finally I would be able to see a real comic book movie.
The results were mixed to say the best, but in a really good way.
Our adventure begins with Howard happily living on his alternate Earth known as Duckworld. I have no idea why they call it Duckworld, wouldn’t they just call it Earth? We don’t call Earth Humanworld or Monkeyworld, or some such other bullshit do we? Although to be fair Duckworld has two moons so maybe it's not an alternate Earth maybe it’s just an Alien world where they speak English, and everything is like Earth but with ducks.
My head already hurts.
Howard is lounging in his recliner, and I shit you not reading a Playduck magazine when some force grabs him and drags him from his apartment building and into space. This scene has the single biggest what the fuck moment in the entire movie. As Howard is being pulled through his apartment he passes through one of his neighbor's bathrooms. The bathing neighbor is a female who sports a prominent set of bare duck boobs. Boobs on a duck complete with nipples and all. I’m not saying young Josh paused that scene over and over when he finally rented the VHS version of the movie, but I’m not, NOT, saying it either.
Eventually, our hero crashes in Cleveland, because of course he does, and meets Beverly (played by the lovely Lea Thompson) who’s in the middle of an attempted rape. Using his skills in Quack-Fu Howard beats the shit out of the rapists saving Beverly who’s very grateful. Learning Howard has nowhere to go Beverly invites him back to her apartment for the night.
Howard is a three and a half maybe four foot tall talking anthropomorphic duck. I don’t care if he saved her or not, if I was Beverly I’d have run screaming or maced the little freak. I mean ducks have corkscrew penises and are known, rapists… look that shit up I’m not kidding.
The following day, Beverly takes Howard to Phil. Old Phil (played by Tim Robbins) is a scientist who Beverly hopes can help Howard return to his world. After Phil is revealed to be only a janitor, Howard gives up and rejects Beverly's aid like a pissy, little bitch.
Author's opinion: I HATE Phil. I just needed to say that, he’s the worst thing in the entire movie.
Howard briefly works as a janitor at a massage parlor/brothel which he soon quits and rejoins Beverly who takes him back.
I wouldn’t have taken the little bastard back after the way he acted, but I’m a certified asshole.
Howard learns Beverly and her friends play in a band called Cherry Bomb. At the club where Cherry Bomb is performing, Howard comes across their manager and confronts him when he insults the band. A fight breaks out, in which Howard kicks serious human ass. The fight is pretty damn funny, I recommend the movie on this scene alone.
After the fight, Howard goes back to Beverly's apartment where she convinces him to be the band's new manager. Afterward, the two start flirting, and it looks like we’re about to have a little interspecies throwdown when Phil returns, seriously fuck you Phil, with real scientists. The Scientists reveal that a laser spectroscope they were inventing was aimed at Howard's planet and transported him to Earth when it was activated. They theorize that Howard can be sent back to his world through a reversal of this same process.
Upon their arrival at the laboratory, the laser spectroscope malfunctions when it is activated, raising the possibility of something else being transported to Earth. At this point, Dr. Walter Jenning is possessed by a life form from a distant region of space. When they visit a diner, the creature introduces itself as a "Dark Overlord of the Universe" and demonstrates its developing mental powers by destroying table utensils and condiments. A fight ensues when a group of truckers in the diner begins to insult Howard. Howard is captured and is almost killed by the diner chef, but the Dark Overlord destroys the diner and escapes with Beverly.
Howard locates Phil, who is arrested for his presence at the laboratory with no security clearance. After they escape, they discover an ultralight aircraft, which they use to search for the Dark Overlord and Beverly. At the laboratory, the Dark Overlord ties Beverly down to a metal bed and plans to transfer another one of his kind into her body with the dimension machine. Howard and Phil arrive and apparently destroy the Dark Overlord with an experimental "neutron disintegrator." However, the creature has only been forced out of Jenning's body. The Dark Overlord reveals its true form at this point. Howard fires the neutron disintegrator at the hideous beast, obliterating it. He then destroys the laser spectroscope, preventing more Dark Overlords from arriving on Earth, but also ruining Howard's only chance of returning to his planet.
Howard then becomes Beverly's manager, hires Phil as an employee on her tour, and plays guitar with Beverly on stage. Hopefully, they eventually got to fuck with Phil out of the picture.
I love this movie. Yeah, it’s stupid. Yeah, it strays wildly from the source material. And yeah Phil is an idiot. But the Howard costume is awesome. The movie is funny. And the Parts with the Dark Overlord are downright creepy. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it.