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File:Images ForbiddenZoneArt home5.jpg


Forbidden Zone is a a completely bonkers musical directed and written by Richard Elfman and Matthew Bright (who would later direct Freeway) as a vehicle for the antics of their band, The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo. At the time, the band was a stage art troupe that would later become a successful New Wave and Ska band, with Richard's little brother Danny Elfman as its frontman.

The movie's story focuses on a family that moves in a ouse that has in the basement a door to the sixth dimension that they pretty much try to ignore, but when the eldest daughter returns from her studies in France, curiosity attracts her to investigate. Heavily inspired by Cab Calloway, Betty Boop cartoons and Underground Comics.

This movie is groundbreaking for being the first film that Danny Elfman ever composed a soundtrack for (no surprise considering his brother is the director and screenwriter, his brother's wife is the protagonist, and their father and grandfather both play characters in the film). Danny himself plays the devil while the rest of the original Oingo Boingo band (when it was known as The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo) are here as his minions. The film also includes a post-Fantasy Island Hervé Villechaize and pre-Cry-Baby Susan Tyrell.

The film had a huge influence on both Tim Burton and Paul Reubens, who first met while working on Pee Wee's Big Adventure. The decision was quickly made to base much of their film's visuals on Forbidden Zone, and to hire Danny Elfman to write the score. The rest is history.


Forbidden Zone includes examples of:

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  "The queen said she was going to ream us with twelve-inch cattle prods... and I'm still waiting!"

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