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Movie Gadget Friday: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

Ariel Waldman

Ariel Waldman contributes Movie Gadget Friday, where she highlights the lovable and lame gadgets from the world of cinema.

The last installation of Movie Gadget Friday revisited the Final Cut of the sci-fi noir classic Blade Runner. This week shifts from the future of LA to an adventure in the 8th dimension. Achieving cult status over the years since its 1984 release, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension captures our love of silly 80s sci-fi, popped collars, and geeky gadgets. Appearances by sci-fi regulars such as Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow, and Dan Hedaya are in no shortage throughout. While the uses for a lot the hardware featured in the movie aren't visually explained much more beyond "it blinks", we're taking an extended gander at the more elaborate inventions.

Oscillation Overthruster (above)
Small and powerful, this metal-cast, gyroscopic device can transport organic and solid matter into parallel dimensions. The Oscillation Overthruster works by systematically reordering three-dimensional matter, annihilating electrons and positrons to allow for penetration through static surfaces (read: warp). With minimal installation, the Oscillation Overthruster can be activated within a Dimensional Matrix Alignment system. The system emits a blue guidance laser, that when properly aligned, allows you to accurately aim for crossover into the 8th dimension. We can only hope that this gadget comes equipped with a P2i Ion-Mask in preparation for all the Planet 10 alien slime. More after the break.

Massively modified, the Jetcar was created out of the welding of a Ford F-350 truck, Grand National stock car, and a Douglas DC-3, which sounds like a candidate for a Darwin Award. This vehicle is definitely not an ordinary piece of chop-shop junk, as the nicely-equipped General Electric turbo jet engine can propel it past a Mach 1. Other standard features seen in the Jetcar include an embedded CRT for monitoring sine waves and the Dimensional Matrix Alignment system. We have to assume that this "hybrid" also comes with some serious weather stripping in order to keep Buckaroo Banzai safe from the 8th dimensional ooze. Not recommended for street use, as the undeniably large exhaust flames and nitrous oxide injectors may get you flagged by CARB.

3D projection record
Simply referred to as the "yellow record", this device was delivered to Buckaroo Banzai in a pink box from the Black Lectroids of Planet 10. The thick resin-based record requires a mobile alien stylus similar to a VW Van Vinyl Killer, as well as bubble-wrap goggles that both protect and allow the Hong Kong Cavaliers' eyes to view the 3-dimensional projection. Purely light-based, the 3d recording suffers from bad audio echoing, so we recommend using a headset at all times to avoid hearing feedback when communicating between dimensions.

Ariel Waldman is a social media insights consultant based in San Francisco. Her blog can be found at

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