On Hervé Villechaize and Frank Lapenis

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Goddamnit. I knew we shouldn't let the men and the elves interbreed. I said. But oooooooh no! No one listens to me! And now what hath the Elfmen wrought? Another super-uninteresting "cult classic" vanity project. Forbidden Zone is the 1982 brainbaby of Richard Elfman and his little brother Danny Elfman (or, as he was known in the Second Age, Danrond Half-Elven). More specifically, it's a tedious showcase for the Elfmen's extreeeeeemely wacky performance-art band, Oingo Boingo, in the form of a live-action musical Max Fleischer cartoon. Yeesh.

In the basement of the Hercules household, there is a secret door. Go through the door and you get pooped into the sixth dimension, ruled by horny (how I hate that word) King Fausto and jealous Queen Doris. When slender, nubile Frenchy Hercules (an Elfwoman by marriage) roller-skates down the tubes and is imprisoned in Queen Doris's sexual-torture dungeon, a bunch of other weirdos set out to rescue her. The film offers all the forced, hollow weirdness of a Betty Boop cartoon (as I have stated in previous columns, I do not enjoy the dark machinations of Boop): horny old hoboes, vacant-eyed humanimals, sudden violence, wiggly limbs, '30s big-band musical numbers, impetuous females who laugh in the face of death. Scored by Oingo Boingo and starring (noble full-blooded elf) Hervé Villechaize. YEESH.

Early in the film, (melancholic jelly bean) Villechaize says, "Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like a pillar of smoke?" And speaking of totally convenient segues, let's talk about the Lost finale for a second. I only have three things to say. One: I feel nothing. Even though I watched every episode of this show (really, self!?), I stopped caring back in season negative-100 when it turned out that the Others were just some baby-obsessed community-theater assholes in opossum-fur face-merkins. What-ever. (WHY DID ETHAN HAVE SUPER-STRENGTH!?) Two: Spin-off. Frank Lapenis. Mr. Eko. Buddy-cop dramedy with—hear me out, hear me out—the smoke monster as "Sarge." Lapenis would go, "Sarge, I can get this guy! I know I can! I just need more TIME." And then Mr. Eko would go, "Meesta Lapenis—you ah getting too close to dees case!" And then Sarge would be all, "BAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH! Chuka chuka chuka chuka. BAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" Then he'd eat all the doughnuts. Fatty. Three: Does anyone else wish that instead of being reunited with boring-face Libby in heaven's perma-church, Hurley was reunited with that giant tub of Dharma Initiative ranch dressing? That would have made it all worth it for me. (Just don't let those two make babies—EVER. These half-humans are nothing but trouble.) recommended


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What the hell kind of review is that ??? Check user reviews at and and see how well loved this movie "Forbidden Zone" really is. You are out of touch Lindy.
Posted by Boingy Baxter on May 26, 2010 at 4:11 PM · Report this
What the hell kind of review is that ??? Check user reviews at and and see how well loved this movie "Forbidden Zone" really is. You are out of touch Lindy.
Posted by F Z fan on May 26, 2010 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Lindy West 3
I am aware of the definition of "cult classic." That does not change my enjoyment of the film.
Posted by Lindy West on May 26, 2010 at 7:00 PM · Report this
@3: but don't you understand? As a reviewer, your personal opinion is required to be based wholly on statistical popularity! IT'S THE MATH, DAMMIT!
Posted by j.lee on May 27, 2010 at 8:18 AM · Report this
Oh Lindy. Usually your Concessions articles are funny... if you hated the Forbidden Zone (one of my favorite movies) why didn't you give it a FUNNY bad review. Instead, you just sound like a half-hearted and distracted hipster (updating yr facebook?) saying how droll the new Arcade Fire singles are, how expected and played out it is. In fact, upon reading your column it's as if someone said "hey chicka - write about the forbidden zone OR ELSE!" and you replied "awww mooooooom do i haaaaaaaaaaave tooooooooooo?" then got out a flyer for the pita pit and wrote whatever you thought of on the back of it as fast as you could and turned it in. I get it... it's not for everyone. It's a movie I hand to my friends and say "either your welcome or I'm sorry... you decide". I'm sorry Lindy, I'm sorry.
Posted by ManDrone on May 29, 2010 at 12:42 PM · Report this
I saw Oingo Boingo the night of the day that John Lennon was murdered. The show must go on but Elfman's gunfighter skit fell very flat in Palo Alto you may be assured.
Posted by strandwolf on May 29, 2010 at 4:02 PM · Report this

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