I saw HOWARD THE DUCK when it originally came out in theatres and 8-year old me was a fan (esp. of the Dark Overlord -- I've always been a sucker for stop motion monsters). As an adult, revisiting it on DVD touched on my nostalgia but did little to endear me to the film itself. So, the fact that I've watched 1STBilled's fanedit of it twice now is a testament to just how much I like what's been done here. REPLUCKED is a well-paced, funny, weird little comic movie now that I can enjoy (sober or otherwise). The changes made with the edit are well thought out and well executed, highlighting the film's strengths and doing away with many of its flaws. And turning the overlong earworm theme song into the closing credits? A stroke of inspired editing that leaves the film on a perfect note. If I was to suggest any change, just for fun's sake, I'd love to see some sort of Marvel/proto-Marvel logo at the very beginning of the film, but beyond that, I can do nothing but offer my kudos and my thanks for sharing your creation with us.
Just completed watching this and I want to really give credit to the fabulous improvement on the special effects. This is perhaps the most significant renovation on this version of the film, and it greatly enhances the overall movie.
It's always been an odd movie; I never really hated it when it came out, like many do, but I also never really loved it either. I own a copy, and every few years I watch it.
It always felt like two movies. The first half deals with Howard coming to Earth and trying to fit in. The second half deals with the Dark Overlord inhabiting Dr. Jenning (Jeffrey Jones) and the threat to the world. In many ways, the film felt overlong with too much going on after the gears switch in the middle. I fault the film for this, as the Dark Overlord makes NO appearance in the first half, so his arrival in the second is like the start of something entirely new.
Fortunately, this fanedit tightens the pace and keeps the storyline clipping along at a reasonable speed. There is no narrative change (moving pieces around to introduce the second half into the first half), but the improved pace does keep the film from feeling over-long. This makes it a better film overall.
Editing is seamless and I noticed no audio faults or issues. I don't miss anything that has been cut. So, for a film that keeps the original structure of the film but improves special effects and pacing, it succeeds 100%.
CAN THE FILM BE IMPROVED FROM HERE? That is a good question. Rather than debate "cut this scene, it's pointless," or "put this back in, I like it," I think the only discussion at this point should be, "Is there a narrative change that could improve this film?" That is a reasonable question. Perhaps dividing the movie into two parts would be one approach. Instead of one movie, we have two individual episodes (for example, Episode 1: Duck out of Water, Episode 2: A Fowl Fate). This might reinforce the comic book origin of the material while providing a reason for the drastic gear shift mid-film. This is in NO WAY a criticism of this fanedit, but the original film.
So, once again, this is a fantastic Fanedit in improving the original film in both pacing and special effects. Great Job! I loved it! If the Faneditor chooses to revisit this film in the future, you might consider the above idea.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyApril 04, 2021
A very thoughtful and well-put review! Thank you, kindly.
I find it fascinating that we came to the same conclusions. When originally criticizing the structure of the script,I noted how the first half has its own three act structure, almost entirely removed from a separate three act structure in the second half. I very much considered the idea of breaking it into two episodes, with a respectful fade to black after Howard and Bev are in bed together. Then the second episode would begin with them being interrupted by the scientists, bringing us into a new story.
My goal with this edit was to improve the film as a whole, and thank you for saying I succeeded, and that you enjoyed the edit. Perhaps I will revisit it at some point to tackle the structure more in-depth. Also, I adore your episode titles.
I think perhaps a future licensed Howard the Duck project would utilize a series format, and better reflect the comics.
The fact remains that this edit is still Howard the Duck. If you weren't a fan before, this won't likely change your mind. If you *were* a fan (like me!), this is the version of the movie you've been waiting for!
Much of the over-the-top cringe has been removed, leaving the essence of the movie to shine through. That, plus the removal/repair of some truly execrable green screen work in the original makes this a treat to watch.
If you're a fan of the original, or a fan of 80s cheese in general, this is definitely the version to see :)