The bootleg is a work print of the film with extra footage, several special effects shots missing, very little soundtrack and very few sound effects. The image is letterboxed with time codes below the image and is 114m 1s long WITHOUT credits. If you add on the time that the credits took at the end of the release version of Buckaroo Banzai, the total time for the work print would be 115m 36s.
The bootleg is now merely a curiosity with the release of the Buckaroo Banzai Special Edition DVD since it includes all of the extra footage found in this bootleg as well as two additional scenes not found in the bootleg. You can find a transcription of the additional bootleg video footage here : Where can I find a Buckaroo Banzai transcript?.
Check out Buckaroo Banzai : The Resurrection of an American Hero article By Sean R. Murphy to read about the differences between the released version of Buckaroo Banzai and the bootleg workprint.
What is the source of the bootleg?
From "Anonymous" (1/19/98) : The "bootleg of the workprint" is just that. Your information is essentially accurate. The interesting thing is the origin of what I believe to be infinite generations of the very same copy. At a BayCon sci-fi convention in San Jose, Calif. in 1986, representatives of the Official Fan Club showed video of both the rough cut and a short behind-the-scenes clip. Because of a screw-up in the hotel AV system, what should have only been displayed in the meeting room went, instead, throughout the system, including into the regular hotel rooms where some attendees were (illicitly) recording the convention film program. They got the Banzai stuff instead. It wasn't long after this that the bookleg copy appeared. Since every copy I've seen has the same glitches, drop-outs, and pauses, my assumption is that this is the one (and only) source. TimeCon was nothing in those days and the Uptown Girl footage was included in the behind-the-scenes stuff. There never was an official "making of" video [although there was an EPK (Electronic Press Kit - see Is there a Buckaroo Banzai Electronic Press Kit? for more information) and this info jibes with what I've heard as the source of the bootleg video - Sean]
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