Like everyone else on Earth, I was delighted as all Hell when Howard T. Duck showed up at the end of writer-director James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. Needless to say, I'm a fan of the character. In fact, I damn near wore my VHS copy of the original George Lucas-produced Howard the Duck movie out as a kid and so it was a joy to see the little guy back on the screen. And if you're as much of a fan of the character and/or the cult classic movie as I am, then you'll be sticking your tongue in your car's cigarette lighter to know that this April, 101 Films will be bringing us the UK debut of the George Lucas cult classic Howard the Duck on Blu-ray.
Yes, yes, this is just the UK Blu-ray but I can only hope this is a mere precursor to a similar US version. This new Collector's Edition features bonus materials that include a new 20-minute featurette in which the BFI's Vic Pratt discusses Howard's comic book origins and the character's journey to the big screen. Plus two brand new commentaries featuring Wil Jones and Robert J.E. Simpson, and Charlie Brigden and Dan Whitehead.
On top of that, this new edition boasts a limited edition booklet that includes 'How The Duck Who Couldn't Swim Survived a Sinking Ship' by Lister Appleton and 'The Madness of King George' by Charlie Brigden. Additional extras include special looks behind the scenes of the stunts of Howard the Duck, along with the special effects, and the music of the movie from John Barry featuring songs by Thomas Dolby. And to top it all off, there will be a handful of teaser trailers included as well.
For those of you out there that might not be familiar with the character and the movie, here's a quick rundown of what's what. Howard the Duck is based on the Marvel comic book character, who lives a sleazy existence on Duckworld, a planet obviously filled with intelligent (and creepy) humanoid ducks with arms and legs and all that good stuff. Howard is just sitting around at home one night, minding his own business reading PlayDuck, when he's beamed, armchair and all, across the galaxy to Earth. Cleveland to be specific. From there he saves and befriends an 80s punk rocker played by Marty McFly's mom, and teams up with Andy Dufresne to save the world from Jeffrey Jones, who has been possessed(?) by an evil alien force. It's all much sillier and scarier than it sounds.
Howard the Duck was directed by Willard Huyck (Best Defence) from a screenplay he co-wrote along with producer Gloria Katz (American Graffiti, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) based on the character created by Steve Gerber. George Lucas (THX 1138) was the movie's executive producer. The cast includes Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Some Kind of Wonderful) as Beverly Switzler, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, Mystic River) as Phil Blumburtt, and Jeffrey Jones (Beetlejuice, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) as the evil Dr. Walter Jenning. And let's not forget Chip Zien (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead) who provided the voice for Howard T. Duck. This title will be released on April 22, 2019. The update comes to us via BluRay.com.
- Blu-Ray Special Features
- Howard: A New Cult Hero: Vic Pratt on Howard the Duck
- Commentary with Wil Jones and Robert J.E. Simpson
- Commentary with Charlie Brigden and Dan Whitehead
- Limited edition booklet: includes 'How 'The Duck Who Couldn't Swim' Survived a Sinking Ship' by Lister Appleton and 'The Madness of King George' by Charlie Brigden
- Additional Extras
- A Look Back at Howard the Duck
- Releasing the Duck News Featurette
- The Stunts of Howard the Duck
- The Special Effects of Howard the Duck
- The Music of Howard the Duck
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature