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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘HOWARD THE DUCK – Party Fowl’

hops-and-box-office-flops-howard-the-duck-party-fowl

Howard the Duck is a mess. That’s as simply as I can put it. And it was a high profile one for George Lucas, who shepherded it to the screen. What was originally envisioned as an animated project transitioned—becoming a live-action movie in service to a contractual obligation of Lucas’.

That term, as the pod has noted many times over, is a dreaded one. This duck wasn’t roasted properly. Its script is not only unfunny—tragically so for a supposed comedy—it lacks an actual narrative; and it culminates in a third act as random as the appearance of an anthropomorphic duck on earth. Frankly, it’s all wet.

Lea Thompson and Ed Gale (presumably) in Howard the Duck

Critics and audiences agreed. Howard the Duck left some serious egg on Lucas’ face. It sits at 15% on Rotten Tomatoes with 48 reviews; and it grossed a paltry $38 million on a budget of $37 million. That is some puny-sized poultry.

It’s failure also left Lucas’ pockets bare. Worse, the poor director’s (Willard Huyck) career flew south for the winter—an extended one. 

But, hey, Howard’s trip to earth earned him a rocking credits song! And the disastrous film wasn’t without some form of technical merit—even if that never came across onscreen.

So sit back, hook your space tentacle into a few Galaxy Drifter American IPAfrom Pontoon Brewing Co., and play some righteous air guitar to the musical stylings of Cherry Bomb! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are priming the neutron disintegrator to blast the Dark Overlord back to the void of space!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – We dive deep into Lucas’ bizarre attempt to translate this Marvel character to the big screen. (00:00)
  • Our Overall Impressions – This is certainly a strange movie, but did any of it work? (48:35)
  • The Quacktastic Trivia Challenge and More Open-Ended Questions – Chumpzilla challenges us to trivia about the film, as well as the curious sex life of actual ducks. (1:13:15)
  • The Shit Movie Championship Showdown and Recommendations – This is not a good film. Is it bad enough to topple the pod’s reigning champion, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, though? We debate. And next up: Prepare for some turbulence! We take to the skies one last time with Summer Rage with Nicolas Cage’s bonus episode, Con Air! (1:34:33)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—how Howard‘s flop led to Pixar and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIn, and iHeartRadio!

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Thomas L. Kelly

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