March 17, 2021

Midweek Mention... Howard the Duck

Midweek Mention... Howard the Duck

Our Midweek Mention begins our week long delve into the world of Marvel movies.

Egged on by Sidey's unrelenting claims that Howard the Duck is the best Marvel movie, Reegs picked this classic tale of girl meets duck. 

There are many strange moments in this PG rated film. They include but are not limited to: duck wanking, potential rape, Dark Overlord transmogrification and flying a microlite.

To summarise, this movie is fucking rad.


Howard the Duck


Reegs: Midweek movie mentioned kicking off our Marvel week This week we're reviewing the very first Marvel movie to be distributed in theaters 1986 is very well received Howard the duck

Sidey: We stopped doing metrics a long time ago but I did dig them out for this movie Because they're quite interesting 4.7 out of 10 or nine MDB That's the best one

Reegs: Right

Sidey: 13% on rotten tomatoes 28 on Metacritic and 72% on Google

Reegs: That's pretty low for Google

Sidey: all wrong because this movie is fucking rad

Dan: Oh okay May have watched the wrong movie

Reegs: Did you know the Swedish title was England blocker Howard which means nobody's plucking Howard and the Japanese title was who prosecuted Howard the duck which is an interesting take on things

Dan: that watched the film I'd imagine

Sidey: Something's lost in translation there because that doesn't add up at all

Pete: There's no real prosecutions involved

Reegs: None that I remember obviously the titular Duck's name is Howard Yes He's not technically a duck He's kind of more a duck man sharing some of the physical characteristics of both a duck and a man this becomes important Straight away really Because well we're introduced to Howard sort of in shadowy silhouette is hinted at you Don't quite you know you you don't see his full reveal but you do see the titular duck people when he opens a copy of Put what is it Pen play duck That's right Yeah And straight away within about two minutes you've seen a pair of duck breasts

Pete: I

Dan: watching this with the kids and I thought no you know it's Marvel three minutes They lasted before it went off And it was just after after that there was a they went through they just went into this from the very beginning I think

Sidey: they missed a treat it sort of sets up as like I dunno to me it felt like it was trying to be a film noir or that was what it sort of looked like It had that music the style and then he yeah

Dan: scene that that reads is you're talking about the the no reveals just shadows in

Sidey: Yeah It looked like he'd just got home from a hard day's work or whatever and he's having a cigar and he sits down and he gets out of porn mag And I was like Oh he's going to have a whack What the fuck And then he gets zapped away through some fucking enormous laser beam

Pete: So bearing in mind I'd never I'd never heard of this film until you started mentioning it on the podcast I've never seen a single Marvel film before I watched this So 30 seconds in or not even a minute And I was wondering what the fuck I was watching or about to watch And I had serious concerns at that point especially when even before the first minute or two is up before he's even left the planet which happens really quickly We've seen two pairs of duct tests Cause we've seen some actual duct tits in another room as well

Reegs: Yeah So I mean it is worth talking about because I did want to sort of stop on this point a little minute which is the tractor beam the electronic telescope whatever it is that comes from earth that that sort of zones in on Howard and brings him through it sort of pulls in through duck world And you get to see a few of the inhabitants as he flies past on his chair and he goes through a bathroom where there is a girl dark who possess large breasts and she's in a shot And it does

Sidey: this is a PG butter

Reegs: Yes I don't know whether this is covered

Dan: in at this stage

Reegs: I don't know whether this is covered elsewhere in the in the Marvel Universe but ducks don't have tits and a not

Pete: We do have breasts I've I've had duck breasts before so I know

Reegs: they don't have nipples on though

Pete: Not the ones I've ate and no

Reegs: And yeah they are quite nice breasts as well Aren't they it's a confusing moment Especially if the first time you saw this you were like nine or 10 years old

Pete: They cut They kind of sat like like full like sort of breast implants like so I don't know whether that was because specifically this female duck person had had implants or that's what female duck people's tits looked like

Reegs: It's it's the sort of question that doesn't get answered afraid well Yeah Yeah

Dan: I really liked actually about this Phil one of the few things it was the idea of a multi-verse and I think it was one of the first times that it'd been brought into a film like this in a Marvel film The fact that you've got Howard the duck being taken and now it's obviously a lot more popular that that theme and everything

Sidey: it's it's come full circle cause that everything they're doing now is about the multi-verse So this was ahead of its time In many ways

Reegs: One thing I did notice in the apartment is that there are and this goes throughout the whole film Really There are a lot of references to ducks in duck world So for instance They have Indiana Jones Raiders of the lost Ark but it's breeders of the lost stalk and they have Flashdance but it's splashed dance And you know it the posters say things like coming to duck world And you think Alice doesn't say coming to planet earth like you know unless I haven't looked at a movie poster in a long time I haven't been to the cinema in a while Maybe they do say coming to human world now

Dan: do now Yeah

Pete: I mean what the my first The the question I had at the beginning and and it never really got answered And you guys as Marvel fans and presumably people who knew about how the duck may be even before the film or around about whatever it was like why why like why why is he a duck That that never ever gets I know I know he comes from a planet that has duck people but why do they have duck people But what is is there a backstory to this Is that yeah

Sidey: The story is this I mean this is the

Pete: but it just starts off with like this this is a planet there's loads of ducks on it duck people on it and now he's coming to earth and that's it There's no real like point

Sidey: he was basically a Deadpool character before Deadpool came along So he was jokey sarcastic broke the fourth wall stuff like

Reegs: that

Sidey: Yeah I was so cool that I not only used to be the comments but we used to play the role-playing games as well

Pete: Wow Wow

Sidey: And he was always in there So you could read

Pete: Wow You must've been fighting the girls off

Sidey: we had so many checks because I had to just dial it down and play some role playing games Yes

Dan: an absolute Romeo here here

Reegs: So Howard gets

Sidey: Wait we should point out because I think this is quite important This is a George Lucas film

Pete: it's a it's a Lucasville yeah It's Lucasfilm

Dan: in this you know Tim

Pete: Yeah

Reegs: This was his first movie What

Pete: what what do you think he thinks What do you think he thinks about that film That performance I mean he's he's very believable as the character that he plays you think

Sidey: I love this film but I do wonder what the people who were in it think of it And also they would probably go into thinking Fuck you know not Marvel now like it is now but George Lucas film you know we're going to hit the big time after this And mm

Reegs: Yeah the screenwriters are a married couple And when the film was released they apparently knew it was going to bomb So they fucked off to Hawaii for a holiday So they wouldn't have to be part of the

Dan: red carpet

Pete: So I I've got I've got a question and I know where we we haven't really moved far Along the the the plot of the film or anything but this did you say it was like the first kind of screen adaptation of of Marvel anything Right And they they there was quite a lot of like weight put behind it by the looks of it But I think I looked up how much it cost to make and so on And it like I think I think it was released the same year as back to the future the first batch of the future film and it costs double The the you know cost double what back to the future yeah but

Dan: have a duck in back to the

Pete: future it didn't So that that was obviously a significant consideration but why this one I mean surely to God I don't know a lot about Marvel and we'll come on to that you know in another podcast but I don't know enough about Marvel or much at all but why have they decided this particular character

Sidey: really strange

Pete: and and chucked a load of money at it And I think that they thought it was going to be a really big hit especially like you get George Lucas behind it like after the success of the the original trilogy So it was strategy So do

Dan: Think of the era you know we're in the eighties here so them all put in their money and there On on Howard the duck as it were and gambling that he's going to be the next big thing They're going

Pete: to be able to of the entire like catalog of Marvel characters How have they arrived at Howard The duck being the one that they're going to Chuck that this is their first impression

Dan: there's how in it

Pete: and yeah

Dan: he might've

Pete: gone Yeah I don't know if you guys knew the answer to that

Reegs: like a good question to ask And one I don't know the answer to how it came to be that it was Howard

Sidey: Yeah Seems like there was a lot more obvious choices of you know well-known comic book characters that might have been the

Pete: probably easier to make as well

Sidey: to know that they did try a lot

Dan: What else was around her at Tommy eighties though You know these kinds of puppet characters or there No not in they are puppets aren't there it wasn't

Reegs: seem real

Dan: It was a real human duck man Yeah but you know I mean obviously CGI was used CGI Was it used Was

Reegs: when it's roto scoping the drawing It's like they have an artist basically animator on the on the individual frames

Pete: That's what it is due to bikini lines now Isn't it rotoscoping Is it I thought it was something to do with like personal grooming

Dan: like a B yeah th this this kind of yeah took a little while to Turn back on after they're initially turning off Cause I I thought the kids aren't going In fact they were telling me turn this

Pete: off So

Dan: kind of gave it away and I I'm sure my eight year old if she would have had the terminology she would have said what the fuck is this Dutch

Pete: Well

Dan: obviously it's too sweet

Pete: I'm going to go quite early I thought it was Bizarre trying to get my head around the first five minutes or so And after once I accepted how would the duck I thought this was fun Can class

Sidey: Quite quite

Pete: Yeah I like the I like the characters in it Yeah The the storyline was okay but the characters were fun

Reegs: There's a lot of good gigs as well

Pete: I thought yeah it was the whole film was was good Fun And Once I realized cause I didn't know whether at the beginning it was going to be taking itself really seriously I didn't know if this was like a genuine like hardcore Marvel superhero guy who you shouldn't be laughing at him You should be in a because I don't know what the backstory is or what the comics were like once I realized that none of this was to be taken seriously whatsoever I had loads and loads of fun watching it

Reegs: Nice

Dan: Yeah it did allow you not to take him seriously And you know I think just looking back did you feel it looked very dated or not dated when you're

Sidey: I thought the dry it I actually thought that the the actual I dunno animatronics or whatever it was that they did the Howard suit look good You know

Dan: it wasn't too bad Yeah It's still it's still

Sidey: And he talked about the money the budget for it was 38 million They spent $2 million just on Howard's So

Dan: it you know what we 20 years down the line 30 years down the line and it actually does look okay

Pete: It doesn't hold up against today's stuff but for the time and instead of accepting what was around it at that time as well and even like the monster at the end And so and it was it was exciting having having grown up in that era of watching films with all kinds of you know animatronics and CGI rotoscoping and th these kinds of things it was all In keeping with the times they obviously spent a good amount of money on it And the way it looked was I think to somebody who was born in the nineties and beyond this this would look pretty terrible But I grew up in this era and there were loads of films that not not obviously about dark people but if you think of things I had that same kind of look and feel a lot of the eighties kind of themes and the clothes and the Those types of characters and anybody who's going to mug someone on the streets in the eighties had like Whitlow like they were dressed like new romantics or had like you know fish net tight So

Sidey: it was that idea of what punks look

Pete: Yeah exactly Yeah And they were there They were always even if they were just mugging somebody they looked like they were sex predators even if they weren't

Reegs: which is what is happening when Howard arrives on planet earth specifically Cleveland which is how I always pronounce Cleveland Now I don't think I've ever you know I don't think anybody's ever gone Oh how would the dark so yeah How would crash lands in Cleveland and finds himself outside the bar I can't remember what the name of the bar was but the band playing a cherry bomb fronted by Leah Thompson looking massively glam eighties Madonna Cindy law that sort of style and they're singing hunger city I think is the name of the tune which is actually Leah Thompson singing Yeah in a bar that's so rowdy they have to erect a cage around the stage Yeah Which seems like a pretty decent bar Anyway she's nearly raped on the way home by a gang of futuristic punk guys who Howard then stops Doesn't he he stops the sexual assault

Sidey: it quite close to

Reegs: equate fees them

Dan: He listens for a little while and then eventually thinks are fuck it I've got to get up and do something there Doesn't he he doesn't really want to get

Sidey: disorientated He doesn't know what's going on

Pete: again it's probably worth saying having already mentioned back to the future that this is Marty McFly his mum

Reegs: right This was a very confusing time for me because Leah Thompson is clearly really really hot and she looks really hot in this movie But the two things that I can remember is that she wanted to focus on And later in this movie she wants to bang a duck and so she's

Pete: Did she

Reegs: And I also wonder do you guys know what furries are Yeah Yeah It's a

Pete: In what context

Sidey: that this is a hit in the furry

Reegs: the furry community Yeah So fairies are people who have sexual thoughts about mascots and like plush I know Yeah

Pete: This is so neat

Dan: you

Reegs: it is niche but you know I think there would have been a few people who would have got a big kick out of this movie

Sidey: There's there's this scene the scene that I think really is the best thing to talk about is the scene in the diner there's a lot that goes on there You mentioned a bit about movies at the time That was definitely the force lightening special effect that the dude did on that

Reegs: Yeah So that's act to Jeffrey Jones who plays Dr Jennings who is the leader of the scientific community that accidentally brought Howard to earth And then later accidentally did it again this time with the dark overlords from the nexus of songs

Sidey: So

Reegs: when he played Rooney in Ferris Bueller

Dan: Yeah Was he in breakfast club as well Was he

Reegs: No that was the other one He played the eighties asshole Yeah But

Pete: he was in quiet He was in quite a lot of films around that time Yeah

Reegs: He's also a notorious sex pest in 2000 And let me just get my numbers right here But in 2002 Jones Jeffrey Jones was arrested for possession of child pornography and accused by a 17 year old boy of solicitation to pose for nude photographs so he's still registered on the I haven't got the photos I couldn't find them online but yeah he's he's still on the sex offenders list which makes the fact that he's one of the best things in this movie A bit of a shame Really

Sidey: Yeah There's also the same where Leah Thompson makes it look like she's going to fuck Howard And I thought she was going to get her boobs out and she also goes in his wallet and finds a duck Johnny

Reegs: Yeah

Pete: Yeah

Reegs: So there's a lot about that So first of all on dot quilt they take all the condoms out of the

Sidey: Yeah That was weird It's just loose like

Reegs: it was just loose I mean let me do this and yeah And then I don't know whether anybody's thought to look up the anatomy of a duck but a male duck has a corkscrew shaped penis so

Sidey: So you have to twist it on presumably then

Reegs: well you certainly ha how does it work And then if they had got to the stage where they were actually going to attempt some sort of penetration because they're they're a bit you know basically in the animal kingdoms you've either got like one like Animals that will do some kind of courtship Like the guy will sort of display

Sidey: it's always the bloke

Reegs: it's always the bloke

Pete: Yeah Yeah I saw that at the weekend Actually I saw some turkeys displaying for female

Reegs: Brilliant Brilliant Do you take any

Pete: yeah yeah One of my children's stroke the Turkey whilst he was performing this this dance So I've got footage of that as well I think I think what's the what's the actor's name Yeah I think Jeffrey Jones is already downloaded those pics

Sidey: So

Reegs: yeah in the animal kingdom you basically got ones who want to seduce their partner with a display of strength or intelligence or something And then you've got rapey ones really Ave just they kind of know and ducks are a bit more rapey than other animals That's why they have the they have the corkscrew shaped penis They have the barbed bit like a cat Yeah to stop them Yeah

Sidey: Wow So that's like nature Nature's way of facilitating rape

Pete: D saying that when they made that film it was so that in what what is that 35 36 years time guys like us would be talking and and breaking down the anatomy and all of these kinds of things on a on a podcast

Sidey: Well

Dan: think they would've seen that come in to be honest

Sidey: I don't know but there's also the scene where Tim Robbins Mrs the show of the band and he just barges into their dressing room and he says sorry I missed the show but I came to watch you undressed

Reegs: up

Sidey: And everyone's totally fine with it

Pete: sign of the times

Sidey: one

Reegs: that's really odd about this movie is the inconsistency in the general human's reaction To Howard like a lot of the time like sometimes if he's walking cause he doesn't try and disguise his darkness he's dark and he's proud And so when he's out and about sometimes people will scream and be really terrified Other times they'll try and give them a job and say stop being freaky

Sidey: Well he's a child it's Halloween and someone says it's too early for Halloween Yeah Is weird There's no sort of Like I've gone insane I'm seeing a human Doug going

Reegs: get you a job And so she she makes him a handout lube and towels at a sex sex place which is just

Pete: there's a lot of there was a lot of like undercurrent

Reegs: is this movie for It's a PG but in the first two minutes we've seen two pairs of duck tits Then we have this weird sort of cross species into breeding that is hinted at

Dan: a threatened ripe

Reegs: you have a threatened rape Yeah

Dan: and then you have this woman going through and finding a ducks condom yeah

Pete: So how old were you guys when you first watched this

Reegs: I reckon I was about nine or 10

Sidey: 14

Pete: Okay could you imagine as a as a young sort of immature boy that like there'd be a lot of like lulls to be had in this film

Reegs: sure he spanked one out over the dock tickets as well So

we can edit that Right

Pete: staying in

Sidey: But they did they did pump a lot of money into this and it does look Decent nights It's not a B-movie on-site this is it's got a good look to it It's still the scene in the microlight where they're flying around looks Looks good

Pete: that went on for quite a long time

Sidey: They were really ambitious how they wanted the big bad to look And it did look to you now but

Reegs: No it looks amazing

Sidey: I thought that was the weak point to

Pete: is this the monster

Reegs: Yeah the vagina

Pete: saw it again If you compare it to like the rang core in the turn of the Jedi and stuff it seems similar

Reegs: Well the guy The special effects in this movie we've done by the legendary stop motion special effects guy Phil Tippett who was the guy who worked on star Wars Jurassic park Robocop And he actually co-developed the animation technique called go motion which was this sort of animation of like the Imperial walkers or the tauntaun and stuff in empire strikes back He actually invented that so you definitely yeah you're right To pick that out I thought that it looked

Pete: I think that because I've seen films with things like that I'm used to that and it is acceptable to me But again like watching it back now if you'd never seen anything from the eighties or that kind of animation style or whatever you call it it would be pretty pretty weak But I thought it was okay

Reegs: I

Dan: the look of the monster I thought it was re it just didn't have the same look as it seemed wasn't from the same film but I mean give it give it his credit It was you

Pete: quite scary

Dan: 35 years ago Yeah And it was you know it was a decent looking he like predator

Pete: it

Dan: It was like a

Pete: Eight or nine when you first watched this rigs were you scared by that monster or did you just laugh or or where you cranking another one out Yeah

Reegs: I saw I saw a lot of stuff that we probably shouldn't have done because I had an older

Pete: that explains a lot

Reegs: would like have parties and stuff And for some reason I was allowed to be well you know I remember watching critters and how it the dark and a few other movies that you know on a Saturday night wherever they were way too old for me really and for some reason I was allowed to join in I don't know I wouldn't have done it the other way around I wouldn't have let her

Sidey: Sorry just keep going back to the money on this It was a lot and George Lucas had just spanked 50 million on his GAF Skywalker ranch and he was counting on this movie to be the one to get him back in the black which didn't happen because although well let's do it now If the budget was 38 million what'd you reckon

Reegs: I know this one So so we're today

Pete: I looked it up just by

Dan: the sound of your voice I think it's lost

Sidey: Oh it's made it's made a million over the years but I think at the time you know ran the AC side It was a huge huge bondness

Dan: one of those things that I guess you know they they do it sometimes these big agencies that Like Sonic the hedgehog movie or Mario movie and mortal Kombat or street fight It's been a a big Kind of product around them Okay Those are my he started his computer games or whatever and been big but they've taken this character Marvel they've looked at all these characters gone Howard the duck you know we could sell Howard the duck toys and we can do how the duct spin off cards I imagine he would all encountered on this and the fact that it just wasn't strong enough He had a cult following but not

Pete: yeah again again the choice is bizarre because all the things that you just mentioned like I'd heard of it And a lot of them are sort of like American or they were from Asia

Dan: the time though

Pete: probably Yeah But but you know you think I mean I'm not I'm not a big Marvel fan or or and as I said this is the first film Marvel film My dad I'd ever seen but I've heard of things like the whole can spider man and stuff And for them not to have been movies about those characters up to that point or Marvel ones that's that just I can't believe they went with this first

Dan: one It's it's a


They've started this one and it didn't crack me up I

Pete: mustard

Sidey: but even though it was a big flop there is a a good news story out of that because George Lucas was obviously in a bit of a financial hole but he was pals with Steve jobs And Chuck said I tell you what if you need some help I'll buy this new studio that Lucas film where I'm working on and bought pit And that was Pixar out of this out of this fucking great film

Not only do we have an amazing piece of art but we also got Pixar rabbit

Dan: And so what was the deal with that He said I'll give you some money and we'll make this

Sidey: Well they were starting up doing some fucking animation CGI animation things I will just stop it I'll buy that off you for X amount And then boom picks up

Dan: Jace Hey there you go George Lucas and Stevie Stevie Jobes

Reegs: Did anybody think that So before he transforms into the hideous enormous monster a dark overlord the dark overlord is trapped inside his body And he is he physically degenerate I thought he looked a little bit like doc Brown on meth

Dan: He looked

Pete: little bit

Dan: particularly when he zapped the copper

Reegs: form

Sidey: My favorite bit was his tongue When it came out in the car

Reegs: That was so weird but that's again the weirdly like sexual tone to all of this because the tongue comes out and it's kind of glistening and it's kind of goes nearly a Thompson She's sort of recoiled all that to me with that

Pete: can we talk about the bit where she jumps up on the bed Oh my Lord

Sidey: That's that's the bit that leads up to her Almost getting her boobs out She goes to put a top off and how it stops there 

Reegs: It's a weird scene It's a

Pete: So it's already wet

Dan: for the circumstances as you said why out of all that you would have thought right We've somebody covered all the other marvels We've only got this one

Reegs: They're

Dan: do it You know not like you've got them all

Sidey: but it was hard So I guess they probably they maybe

Pete: they

Sidey: can we can make a duck suit but they tried Spiderman It was pathetic They tried hog It was bollocks You know it's only when the technology catches up that you can start making these

Reegs: things

Dan: yeah and I reckon this as as I say in the eighties a dark that could have turned into a toy and all the rest of it I reckon they would have had load of marketing executives and merchandise and all ready to pounce on

Pete: But then there was a Hulk series wasn't there with like Lou Ferrigno and

Reegs: bill Bixby

Pete: Bill

Reegs: bill Bixby That's the guy who played a banner They changed his name from Bruce banner to David banner because Bruce was too gay I think you told me that one So I'm one of the pods

Pete: So yeah they'd been they'd been the Hulk and they could've made a film of that Did they make it like they did make a film of that

Sidey: but even that was turd

Reegs: I don't know if that that might have been later than this I'm not

Sidey: sure

Pete: no I

Reegs: but you're talking about the

Pete: about the like the Lou Ferrino

Reegs: where he dies Cause you've got the death of the incredible

Sidey: Hulk those movies

Pete: Yeah it was well it was definitely a TV series I used to watch that and that was Okay But I think I think the point is I I realized I was doing all the wrong things which was questioning anything about the film whatsoever As soon as I stopped questioning anything I really really really enjoyed it I don't know who I would ever show this to or watch it with

No certainly no one in my house or anyone that I know

Sidey: It wasn't a huge hit with a message I have to say but I love this And I sort of was joking in previous pilots when I said how the duck it was really good It's fucking really good It is really good You should watch it It's an oddity I would describe it as just an odd weird thing and it fucking stands up It's fucking good I love it

Reegs: Here's another weird thing So in this movie Lear Thompson nearly had sex with Howard the duck a few years later she married Howard Deutch an American film and television director Yeah exactly So how would the Dr Howard do each coincidence Yes absolutely

Sidey: How'd you pronounce the director's name Do you know Willard quake H U Y C K He didn't work in Hollywood after this No this is it

No it was game over unfortunately which to me seems harsh because this is what

Pete: did he do cause I want him to have gone on to be an accountant And somebody said like Oh well you know have you always been an accountant Oh no Actually I made a I made a film

Reegs: It's as an ornithologist

Pete: can't eat that

Dan: it lost millions up until

Pete: last year

Dan: when actually it's just gone into

Reegs: I've got to be honest I did not enjoy how had the dark as much when I saw it at 42 as I did when I last saw it which would have been in my twenties I think but part of that is probably because it had the Thing that grates more and more on me as I get older which is lots of scenes where everybody shouts each other I find

Sidey: that

Reegs: yeah

Sidey: It's been like a podcast

Dan: Yeah

Pete: I'm enjoying it less Now I'm 42 this podcast

Reegs: fun fact on the Howard the duck movie at one point during the production there was a kid in one of the duck suits crying because he wanted out of the suit It took two hours to remove the suit

Pete: brilliant

Dan: bye feather

Sidey: I think we can all agree that this is fucking Unbelievable Don't forget to tune in on Friday because we've got even more Marvel content which I really excited to hear what Pete thinks about all the stuff that we watched which was about 10 hours worth I think so chilling into that and I've got a great midweek nomination for next week Nice