Howard the Duck (film)

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Howard the duck 1986.jpg

Based on a relatively obscure Marvel Comics character, Howard The Duck is a 1986 live-action movie about Howard, an anthropomorphic duck who is accidentally zapped to Earth during the test-firing of a laser.

During the course of the movie, Howard must get used to his surroundings in the human world, while trying to find his way back home. He must also avoid another alien being called the Dark Overlord, who has possessed Dr. Jennings (Jeffrey Jones, as himself), one of the scientists in charge of the original experiment.

Still with us? Great! The rest of the movie is like this.

One of the... less stellar cinematic endeavors by then-fledgling Lucasfilm, it is also the first Marvel Comics film adaptation to receive wide distribution, which may in part explain why they didn't try again until the late 1990s. Until the release of Blade, this was the highest-grossing Marvel film property. Really.

With the appearance of an almost-identical Howard in the post-credits Stinger of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, speculation is running fast and furious about a possible Remake set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Compare and contrast Theodore Rex.

Tropes used in Howard the Duck (film) include:
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The movie takes place in Cleveland. Well, at least it's a change of pace from New York and California.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Briefly seen when the narrator is talking.
  • Beam-O-War: The climactic battle at the end. A duck with a laser cannon.
  • Brain Bleach: You'll need some after "Duck Tits".
  • Camp: Just look at the concept!
  • Covers Always Lie: You won't see Howard breaking out of his egg while smoking a cigar.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Howard.
  • Diner Brawl: Two brawls. One diner.
  • Duck: Really, how could they have resisted?
  • Fan Disservice: An early scene offers a glimpse of duck boobs. Yes, in a PG movie. There is no logical reason for the movie to feature duck boobs, unless they thought someone, somewhere, would enjoy duck boobs.
    • And even if somebody would, they're ruined by the terrible duck effects and it just becomes even more disturbing.
  • Furry Confusion: Howard flips out when served fried eggs.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Duck tits!
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Howard wears red boxers with white polka dots, as revealed during a police strip search.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Averted. Howard wears pants, though he didn't in the original comics.
    • He does now, after his pantslessness led to accusations that he looked too much like Donald Duck. "My lawyers tell me I've always been wearing these pants."
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "No more Mr. Nice Duck" among with countless others.
  • Hurricane of Puns: There's so ducking many of them!
  • I Know Quack Fu
  • Ink Stain Adaptation: This movie definitely stained Howard's reputation.
  • In Name Only: The only things in common with the comics—the characters of Howard and Beverly.
  • Interspecies Romance: Howard and Beverly. He might need a stepstool.
  • Mars Needs Women: While it could just be any human, the Dark Overlord still seems unusually focused on Beverly as a host for his comrades.
  • Marvel Universe
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Again, duck tits.
  • No Smoking: The cover of the recent DVD set is a composite of the two original movie covers (beak peeking out of cracked egg + feet up and starry sky), except it has now left out the cigar in Howard's beak.
  • Panty Shot
  • Puny Earthlings: Lampshaded and averted in Howard, but played largely straight with the Dark Overlords.
  • Showdown At High Noon: Scientist possessed by interdimensional demon versus anthropomorphic duck with a laser cannon mounted to a golf cart. Good times.
  • Something Else Also Rises: In this case, head feathers.
  • Starring Special Effects: And with this in mind, the Razzies gave the performers who alternated stints in the suit the Worst New Star award for 1986.
  • Toothy Bird: Howard has teeth, possibly to hold his cigar.
  • Trapped in Another World: Howard has to destroy the laser that could send him home in order to prevent an invasion of Earth by lots more Dark Overlords.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Howard just walks around in public without disguising himself, and even gets a job, with little reaction. But then, people just think he is a midget in a duck suit.
    • Not to mention that aside from the initial awkwardness in their first conversation, Beverly has no problem with Howard.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: When Howard gets into a barfight with some bikers, they respond by holding him down and trying to cut his head off.