B-Sides: They Call Him Howard the Duck

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Turkey Day has come and gone once again. This weekend’s B-Sides stems from a real turkey that’s really more of a duck. The theme song to Howard the Duck is sort of like the turducken of B-Sides.

If you weren’t around in 1986, you missed out witnessing first-hand one of the all-time famous box office fiascos. Produced by George Lucas hot on the heels of finishing up the original Star Wars trilogy, based on the cult comic book published by Marvel, brought to the big screen in the form of a heavily hyped big budget summer blockbuster directed by Willard Huyck, Howard the Duck was not supposed to be such a critical and financial boondoggle that for years afterwards future box office flops were often referred to as “(title) the Duck”.

Howard was a wisecracking, cigar-chomping, four-foot tall alien duck-man unintentionally zapped to Earth. The sci-fi comedy followed Howard as he tried to assimilate into earthly society and save our world from a monstrous alien menace threatening to conquer the universe. In between all that he also found time to flirt with the idea of some hot girl-on-duck action with a rising rock star played by Lea Thompson. The film’s ending saw her band Cherry Bomb hitting the big time and performing a song about the movie monikered mallard.

The admittedly catchy “Howard the Duck” song inspired this little seen MTV music video in which you’ll see more of Lea Thompson and co-star Tim Robbins than you will the actual star both the song and the film are named for. That’s because the Howard the Duck marketing campaign was very much built around keeping the look of its star a secret until the movie opened. Depending on whom you talk to, many people probably wish the film had remained unseen as well.

Disney now owns both LucasFilm and Marvel. Could a Howard the Duck remake be in the future? Probably not.

B-Sides: They Call Him Howard the Duck

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