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Compiled by Mrs. E. Johnson, Institute Archivist
What is the Banzai Institute?
The Banzai Institute For Biomedical Engineering and Strategic Information is an independent, non-profit, research organization founded in 1972 by Dr. B. Banzai..
Who are the Blue Blaze Irregulars and what are the membership requirements?
At the moment there are no less than 6,000 active Blue Blaze Irregulars world wide - men, women, and children who attend selected symposia at the Banzai Institute, who submit their bodies periodically to rugged physical training at such places as the desert survival school in Nevada, the mountaineering school in Alaska, and a half-dozen others around the globe; who are required yearly to make certain educational advancements; who are "on call" twenty-four hours a day to help B. Banzai in a pinch, or their neighbors in a natural disaster. Blue Blazes are, when all is said, ordinary and yet extraordinary people.
Where can I find the docudrama on DVD?
You mean you haven't heard that MGM Home Video has released The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension on DVD?! It's available at video retailers, as well as on-line at retailers such as Amazon.com and Blockbuster.
What is that watermelon doing there, anyway?
The following explanation was written by the director of the 1984 docudrama, W.D. Richter, for the April 1986 edition of the World Watch 1 Newsletter: "I can only imagine Buckaroo trying to grapple with this question. When cornered (as I feel now), he often quotes H.L. Mencken's nasty remark about how every complex question always has a simple answer...that is usually wrong. But it is high time poor New Jersey's honest inquiry be answered. Let me rephrase the question first one way, then another. "Why is a watermelon trapped between those monstrous pressure plates deep within the Institute's Critical Stress Laboratory?" Team Banzai botanical agronomists have been for years hard at work on the problem of hunger in Third World countries under constant revolutionary turmoil. A nonpolitical, humanitarian effort, their goal has been to find ways to feed starving peoples in remote areas where traditional food delivery systems prove woefully inadequate. Often, the only way to get the nourishment into the bellies of the needy is to hit and run, avoiding all petty ideological side-taking. What you see in the Critical Stress Lab is a revolutionary watermelon capable of withstanding impact pressures of 300,000 pounds per square inch! Sweet, juicy and vitamin-packed, this remarkable fruit can be dropped from the bomb bays of low-flying aircraft into the backyards of disenfranchised villagers in the remotest backwaters of this angry planet. Just another Team Banzai effort to cut through all the unnecessary crap around us and help people help themselves. Look for high-impact, low cholesterol eggs next... and sooner than you think, shatter-proof whole-wheat taco shells. (Note from Mrs. Johnson: More behind-the scenes information about the anomalous watermelon can be found in an "Easter egg" that is hidden on the Buckaroo Banzai DVD.)
Where can I find the Buckaroo Banzai novel?
After years of being out of print, we're delighted that Pocket Books has reissued Earl Mac Rauch's classic novel, now with a full-color photo section. The new edition is now available in bookstores, as well as online at retailers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
When is the next Buckaroo Banzai novel coming out?
Reno tells us that he's had a number of meetings with his collaborator, Earl Mac Rauch, on exactly this subject. The two have been spending quite a bit of time going through Reno's journals, as well as through Institute archives, gleaning material for the next volume of Dr. B. Banzai's adventures. But as to when it will see print, both Reno and Rauch have proven maddeningly evasive whenever this topic is raised.
Where can I get the soundtrack for the docudrama?
Unfortunately, the soundtrack album for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai was never released, despite years of clamoring by fans of the good Doctor. GNP Crescendo Records has, however, released the film's opening and closing theme music on their Science Fiction's Greatest Hits, Volume 4 disk.
Where does the blue sky go when the sun goes down?
As the Earth's rotation spins our globe away from the sun, the light refracting off our atmosphere is blocked by the planet's mass. We are then able to see our universe through the crystal clear atmosphere without it being obscured by the light that creates the blue sky.
What is the status of the proposed BB TV show?
Earl Mac Rauch and W.D. Richter, in collaboration with Reno Nevada, have written a pilot script for Buckaroo Banzai: Ancient Secrets and New Mysteries, a proposed TV series for Fox TV. A short promotional trailer (with a computer-generated Jet Car) was even made for the project by the visual effects wizards at Foundation Imaging. Unfortunately, the pilot was shelved by a network management change, although another outlet has reportedly expressed some preliminary interest. In the meantime, you can see the amazing Jet Car trailer on the DVD edition of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.
What about the Banzai Institute talk show?
Actually, W.D. Richter and Earl Mac Rauch have developed a number of different approaches for a possible Banzai television series. One such concept is a Banzai Institute talk show that would feature a wide variety of guests from all walks of life, from musicians to scientists to magicians. It would be as varied as the denizens of the Institute itself. One cable outlet has indicated interest in this concept, although it is far too early to tell if this will be the format that will finally return Banzai to the screen.
Do memories begin as electricity? And if so, why are no two brains alike? Or are they?
An excellent question. Or three. This is but one of the many burning issues being actively studied at the Banzai Institute. For more such questions, feel free to check out our list of Topics on the Table. Afterwards, you can share your thoughts at the Bunkhouse, the Institute's message board.
What happened to the secure archives?
They're now available to all in the Institute Archives on this website. The only exception is the two video clips, which were retired, now that higher quality versions are available on the DVD.
Who was involved in the making of the docudrama? Can you tell me who was the Director of Photography? Who played the part of John Bigboote? What does a gaffer do?
We get a lot of questions about the docudrama and about 95% of these fall into the above category. As Institute archivist I am, unfortunately, unable to keep track of a lot of the details about the docudrama as they have little to do with the daily running of the Institute itself. The Boss would be none too pleased if I spent all of my time answering these questions rather than taking care of the latest emergency in the east wing. The good news is that there is a fan-run Buckaroo Banzai Frequently Asked Question list maintained by Blue Blaze Irregular Figment. The site is located at http://www.figmentfly.com/bb/bbindex.shtml and this web page contains answers to many of the questions we receive about the docudrama. More information about the docudrama itself can be found on the MGM Home Video website.
When is Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League going to be made?
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