Forbidden Zone

Before Oingo Boingo there was The Mystics Nights

Before Danny Elfman was penning sound tracks for The Nightmare Before Christmas, he was part of The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo, a zany, cabaret-style performance troupe. He and his brother Richard Elfman eventually toned the act down and became just Oingo Boingo, but before it was all said and done, the pair set out to capture the troupe’s stage shows on film.

Directed by Richard Elfman, Forbidden Zone mixes the grandeur of classic MGM musicals with the off-beat humor of Monty Python. The movie tells the story of the Hercules family, which buys a house from a drug dealer/pimp. The house has something special in it – no, not heroin or whores – a door in the basement that leads to a sixth dimension. Once inside, the family comes across a cast of oddballs, including a topless princess, a midget king and Satan (played by Danny Elfman). Danny wrote the sound track for the movie, and although the music was actually pretty impressive, it couldn’t save the film from being hated upon its original release. His later success is likely the reason for the cult revival of the film. Fans of Rocky Horror will latch onto this movie faster than on a good deal on stilettos.

 
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