Words like “sequel” and “reboots” fill my heart with wholly cynical dread, complete with me quoting John Hurt from "Spaceballs", mouthing “Oh no! Not again!” Given the bloated six-headed beast that Hollywood has become, burping and farting up remake after sequel after reboot, I think this reaction is most natural. Just when I feel completely and thoroughly turned off to the idea of such creatures, a sequel comes along that actually feeds me some curiosity and hope. Who better to supply such twin elementals of joy than Mystic Knight of Oingo Boingo founder and the man responsible for one of the greatest cult musicals ever created, “Forbidden Zone,” Richard Elfman?
Thirty plus years later, Elfman has created a fundraising page via Indie-a-Go-Go for this very special and unexpected sequel. The immediate question that may come to mind with a sequel to “Forbidden Zone,” is how? Most of the core cast, namely Susan Tyrell and Herve Villechaize, have shuffled off this mortal coil and given the Max Fleischer from Mars approach that the original possessed, one has to wonder, how could anything possibly live up to all of that?
But the stills, including Elfman himself as one fabulously scummy circus clown gone to seed, look promising. The premise is pretty spectacular, involving amazons, inbred corn-pone mommas, wee sized royalty, interracial romance involving a character named Pythagorus Jones, a giant army of cloned pinheads and Elfman's daughter-in-law and former “Dharma & Greg” star Jenna Elfman performing an aerial dance described as “ballet of the chicken.” Also, there are some great pictures on Richard Elfman's Facebook of his clown, Papa Jupe, getting wailed on by fringe culture/stage phenom Jesse Merlin (“FDR: American Badass”). Even better is that the music promises to be a mix of old standards with originals courtesy of Richard's younger brother, sonic genius Danny Elfman. (Whom any of you cool enough to be in the know will also remember playing the most suave version of Satan ever in the original “Forbidden Zone.”)
Interestingly enough, there's no mention of Matthew Bright, who was both one of the main writers, as well as pulling acting duty playing both Rene and Squeezit Henderson (under the exquisite pseudonym, Toshiro Baloney) in the original. But the fact that Richard is at the helm, along with smartly creating a universe of new characters, all of this promises to be anything but boring. This is one sequel that has all the potential to thrill one's black little crusty-cynic soul with big bright hope.