Taglines: More adventure than humanly possible.
27-year-old Howard the Duck lives on Duckworld, a planet similar to Earth, but inhabited by anthropomorphic ducks and orbited by twin moons. As he is reading the latest issue of Playduck magazine, his armchair begins to quake violently and propels him out of his apartment building and into outer space; Howard eventually lands on Earth, in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon arriving, Howard encounters a woman being attacked by thugs. He defeats them using a unique style of martial arts.
After the thugs flee, the woman introduces herself as Beverly Switzler, and decides to take Howard to her apartment and let him spend the night. The following day, Beverly takes Howard to Phil Blumbertt, a scientist who Beverly hopes can help Howard return to his world. After Phil is revealed to be only a janitor, Howard resigns himself to life on Earth and rejects Beverly’s aid. He soon applies for a job as a janitor at a local romance spa. Howard soon quits and rejoins Beverly, who plays in a band called Cherry Bomb. At the club where Cherry Bomb is performing, Howard comes across their manager, and confronts him when he insults the band. A fight breaks out, in which Howard is victorious.
Howard rejoins Beverly backstage after the band’s performance and accompanies her back to her apartment, where Beverly persuades him to be the band’s new manager. The two begin to flirt, but they are interrupted by Blumburtt and two of his colleagues, who reveal that a laser spectroscope they were inventing was aimed at Howard’s planet and transported him to Earth when it was activated. They theorize that Howard can be sent back to his world through a reversal of this same process.
Upon their arrival at the laboratory, the laser spectroscope malfunctions when it is activated, raising the possibility of something else being transported to Earth. At this point, Dr. Walter Jenning is possessed by a life form from a distant region of space. When they visit a diner, the creature introduces itself as a “Dark Overlord of the Universe” and demonstrates its developing mental powers by destroying table utensils and condiments. A fight ensues when a group of truckers in the diner begins to insult Howard. Howard is captured and is almost killed by the diner chef, but the Dark Overlord destroys the diner and escapes with Beverly.
Howard the Duck (renamed Howard: A New Breed of Hero in the UK) is a 1986 American science-fiction comedy film directed by Willard Huyck and starring Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, and Tim Robbins. Produced by Gloria Katz and written by Huyck and Katz, with George Lucas as executive producer, the screenplay was originally intended to be an animated film based on the Marvel comic book of the same name, but the film adaptation became live-action because of a contractual obligation. Although several TV adaptations of Marvel characters had aired during the preceding 21 years, this was the first theatrical released film after the serial Captain America.
Howard the Duck (1986)
Directed by: Willard Huyck
Starring: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, Ed Gale, Chip Zien, Tim Rose, Steve Sleap, Jordan Prentice, Dominique Davalos, Holly Robinson Peete
Screenplay by: Steve Gerber, Willard Huyck
Production Design by: Peter Jamison
Cinematography by: Richard H. Kline
Film Editing by: Michael Chandler, Sidney Wolinsky
Costume Design by: Joe I. Tompkins
Set Decoration by: Phil Abramson, Gary Heider
Art Direction by: Mark Billerman, Blake Russell
Music by: John Barry
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: August 1, 1986