Howard The Duck


Howard The Duck is a Marvel Property and has appeared in various comics since 1973. In 1986, LucasFilm and Universal made a movie based on him.. and I’m here to watch it.. and maybe shit on it a little. This will be the first time I’ve done that to a movie I actually *loved* as a child.

Also FWIW Howard is in the MCU, he’s been in both Guardians movies, End Game and What If on Disney Plus

This is Howard in the Cut Scene of Guardians 1 while Cosmo is helping the Collector on KnoWhere.

Anyway as a character he’s all over the place.

Confirmed That’s it canon that he fights Thanos in Endgame.

Anyhow.. Lets Dig in Shall We?

We Open on a city, but it’s clear it’s no city on earth, it’s got 2 moons.

We see some city shots and the inside of a normal looking apartment. A feathery person walks in and sets down his keys and then you see photos of some Duck People

I guess this really was the best way to further establish this isn’t our Earth, and you did start watching a movie called Howard the Duck. I don’t remember ever getting to know who these people are. Maybe it’s Howards Mom?

We see one of many duck versions of things.

Howard’s apartment is full of these things

Anyhow Howard is just hanging out and living his best 80’s life. His mom leaves a message that he should call more, there is a booty call request on his answering machine and he started a new job. He’s watching TV but nothing is on but ads. So he decides to look at some boobs.

They show them too and this isn’t the last time either they must have worked hard to figure out how duck boobs should work on creatures that aren’t mammals.

He’s interrupted by his chair and apartment suddenly shaking. He assumes it’s an earthquake but notices he can’t get out of his chair.

Suddenly his chair lifts up and floats out of the room ripping through the walls.. and through other peoples apartments and past our now last set of duck boobs, which is a lady just trying to get ripped while she’s taking a bath.

Sorry Guys. Think of the kittens.

She continues to sing and get drunk and doesn’t let it spoil her time. You go girl.

Howard and chair continue to fly into the sky and now we see he’s headed towards some kind of portal.

We see he loses the chair.. and keeps getting sucked up into the sky..

And that his planet is in fact.. Egg Shaped. He eventually gets ejected into space seemingly and floats all the way to I presume our solar system.

As Howard keeps floating a hidden Narrator tells us all things are possible in our universe..

This is a practical effect you can see the connector there 😀

“In the beginning there was HOWARD THE DUCK!” and Title Screen

Howard keeps floating until he approaches another planet, presumably ours and enters into a tube like the one he left his planet in.

He exits the tube over a city and rockets toward the ground.

And he hits a sign establishing that this is Cleveland.

Then after ricocheting off things he lands in a chair. It is not similar to the one he left in, and it’s in pretty bad shape.

Actually very snazzy.

His peace is instantly interrupted by some “punks” It always amazes me how Hollywood depicted gang people in movies like this but in reality no one really dressed this way without paying out the nose for it. “I’m a dead duck” said Howard.

So What happens next? They grab him and take him to a club where there is live music and seemingly just toss him at someone. And seemingly use it as an excuse to enter the club.

Who’s playing at the club? Why it’s Marty McFly’s mother. Mrs. McFly.

While she’s playing a bouncer in the club thinks that Howard is a child in a costume and no kids are allowed so the safest thing to do is literally throw him out a door.

After running more into homeless people, people making out and trying to kill him, and traffic.. he ends up in the path of a all woman motorcycle gang called “Satan’s Sluts”. He ends up on one of their handlebars. “Are you ready for an incredible story?” They were not. and threw him in an oil drum.

So he closes the lid.. and decides to nap it off. “talk about a rotten day”

It’s later that night and presumably, Mrs McFly is done with her set and is walking home in the dark city streets of New York Cleveland.

As she walks she is accosted by the punks from before because punk actors aren’t cheap you know?

They push her up against Howard’s Oil Drum and the top pops off.

As she’s fighting and yelling for help, Howard decides “No More Mr Nice Duck”

And does a full jump right out of the drum.

And initiates full duck stance and demands they let her go.

They are weirded out by the talking duck and each believe it’s because they were doing too much Toot, which is a duck reference they use in the dark city of New York Cleveland. They tell him to Shoo.

He tells them he’s a master of Quack Fu. And proceeds to beat on one of them.

They don’t stand a chance.

Howard has a darkness this city cannot compete with.

He threatens to crush the guys hands if he doesn’t leave.

Before we continue can we all agree we didn’t bet that Howard was going to fuck those guys up?

Predictably they run away.

Howard and Mrs McFly have a convo after him saving her. Howard doesn’t know where he is. She tells him he’s in Cleve Land and he guesses it’s the name of the planet. She tells him the planet is Earth and he doesn’t offer any exposition about where it is he’s from or if it’s called like Duck Land and he’s from Duck Earth. They say their good byes and as she’s walking away..

She sees Howard looking kind of sad about his situation. It’s also raining and some shitty music is playing. She offers to have him come with her and stay at her place.

He gives her some shit about the state of the place.

Which is in what today would be a 4 million dollar loft walkup in what is almost certainly going to be a gentrified downtown neighborhood, was back then an eclectic warehouse apartment that is cheap. She tells him her band is called Cherry Bomb and they are waiting for their big break and have been playing at grungy mungholes to make ends meet. It’s tough being a band in the dark city of New York Cleveland. Her name is Beverly and that’s the only time I’m going to mention Mrs McFly’s real name.

She gives him a beer and tells him she’s never had a pet before and as he’s being insulted his chair starts to shake.. and he jumps to the floor and freaks out thinking it was pulling him again, but this time.. it was just a truck.

He tells her he is a med school drop out and that he is now an advertising copy writer after failing to be a rock star. Then.. he passes out.

She covers him up and his tiny wallet falls on to the floor.

And we see he’s Howard T Duck and lives in Marshington DC and was born in 1958. So this would make him 28 in 1986.

After flipping through his credit cards we see a George Marshington on money from the United States of Anatidae. One google search later and I know that’s what the scientific name is for the Duck family and I’m certain this was a joke most people didn’t get in 1986.

Ah yes this part. She finds a duck condom. Except 1. Duck penises are like a corkscrew. and 2. It’s not in any packaging so at best it’s used.. gross Howard. It’s obviously a finger cot, but It would have been great to have like a Duck Trojan wrapper.


Yeah I know you didn’t ask for it, but neither did the lady ducks.

She is amused that Howard is practicing safe sex. “Howard!”

It’s the next day and Howard is in a trashbag in a cab. She is taking him to see “Phil” who is a scientist.

He can’t be walking trash so she uh.. carries and drags him.

And she takes him to Phil who is Tim Robbins.

Yeah fuck you Tim!

He doesn’t care about my anger with my existence he’s too busy being happy about seeing a talking duck.. he leaves to tell people but realizes they will think he’s crazy so he keeps it to himself.

He tries to talk Duck to Howard but Howard is not impressed.

Then he assumes Howard has super powers but Howard doesn’t. They get annoyed with these questions and leave Phil.

Phil stops them in the museum he works in and tells them he has a theory about what’s going on. That monkeys evolved into humans, but on Howards world…

The progenitor was Ducks.

This seems pretty obvious but they were clearly trying to explain it to someone.

While he is explaining this another real scientist interrupts him and it’s exposed that Phil is just a lab assistant. So they leave again.. and don’t hide about it.

Howard is getting frustrated about the situation. And tells her to leave him alone.

So she bounces off in a huff because she was just trying to help.

So now that he’s on his own he mentions to no one that he’s got to find food shelter.. and a job.

So he heads to the unemployment office.

And he’s clearly robbed some children’s clothing store.

The lady at the unemployment office thinks he’s just looking for a handout, but she’s going to be able to find him a job whether he likes it or not. And that’s just what she does..

He’s the new towel guy at “Hot Tub Fever” it’s clearly a whorehouse. lol his boss is smarmy… so he quits his job. This whole part isn’t funny or important to the story.

we fast forward to some time later. It’s colder outside and he’s getting off the bus. I guess he found a new job. He is now seeing commercials about duck hunting and duck season and eating ducks and he’s getting worried that he is in danger.

And he runs into the same club from before and look it’s Cherry Bomb playing.

Mrs McFly is letting out a Teen Sad Song and she stops because it’s too depressing. And starts playing a pop song instead.

The person who owns the club hands a giant wad of cash to her manager, and they talk about how the manager never gives her the money and he’s waiting for Mrs McFly to have sex with him. In fact he said that tonight.. he’s going to try to make it happen. Howard doesn’t like this.

Howard sits next to him and insists that the guy give him her money. “Is this going to be easy or is this going to be trouble”

Unfortunately Howard rolls a 1. And another guy slides him down the bar like a beer. They think it’s over.

Howard gets up and goes to beat on em.

He pins one guys ear to the bar and tells him since he doesn’t have another hole in his other ear he can make him one. So they guy gives him her money and lets them out of their contract.

Howard has no more fucks to give.

He also tells the guy if he ever comes back he will bite his face and give him space rabies.

Mrs McFly has noticed that no one is looking at them play because they are all watching the fight and subsequent contract renegotiation she doesn’t know is happening. So they pack up and head to the dressing room.

And Howard knocks on the door. And they know all about him. I guess Mrs McFly had nice things to say before he turned into an asshole.

He apologizes kind of and flirts a lot. She’s pretty happy with it.

And then Phil walks in he’s pretty happy to see him too. Turns out he’s dating one of the other girls in the band. Phil has crazy theories about his arrival but they are all dumb. He said Tonight he will get real evidence about what happened.

Howard gives the girls the money and tells them the manager isn’t a problem any more. Phil steals one of Howards feathers and tells him he needs it to meet up with a colleague to find the answer. Then he runs away. Howard goes home with Mrs McFly.

There is self dancing like only an 80’s movie can provide. Howard plays a tune and Mrs McFly walks in wearing not too much. She suggests that he be their new manager. He’s not down for it..

“Althoooouuugh” he tells her he’s developed an appreciation for the female anatomy. Sounds like he wants to lay down the corkscrew. “Howard you really are the worst” she wants to watch letterman.

She needs to get her career back on track. And she tells him.. what she needs.. is “The Right Man” because as we all know this is uh.. yeah sorry this is the 80’s and the Director wants the Duck to fuck a girl I dunno.. also misogyny

So he tells her “maybe it’s not the Right Man.. but the Right Duck”
And she asks him if he thinks she can find happiness in the Animal Kingdom and she tells him to “go for it” and he freaks out a little. He tells her he has a headache. She tells him.. she’s got the Aspirin. He tells her to be Gentle..

But that she’s kidding. But they do kiss.

Then these guys see it. Yeah that’s Mr Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off more on him at the end. I guess she doesn’t lock her door. So Phil found his colleague. They don’t approve of this canoodling but Phil makes introductions. Dr Mr Rooney tells him he can explain everything.

They tell them that on that night they were testing a “Laser Spectroscope” to examine the gases around Alpha Centauri. Half way through the experiment an “unknown force” redirected the laser at Howard’s planet instead.

Then there is some more movie tech bullshit about how a laser caused him to be pulled from his planet. A feather fell in the lab and that’s what they matched to his feather. Howard is mad but wants to use the laster to head back. So they talk more movie bullshit and one of them blurts out “It just might work!”

Mrs McFly tells Howard she will miss him and she cries about it. But they pack up and head on to the lab. The scientists tell him that they have to do it tonight while everything is “aligned”

When they get there they notice there is no guard. But they head in anyway.

And we see the “laser” on the building.

Inside there are alarms going off.

A random scientist tells them “It exploded” and “We had no right to Tamper with the UNIVERSE!” then he just walks off. But they head in anyway.

The laser seems to be blowing up. People are running everywhere.

You’ll notice Dr Mr Rooney isn’t with them, I guess he went ahead well he got the full force of the blast “this time” One of the scientists mentions “we brought Howard down last time but what if.. we brought something else down this time?” In no way foreshadowing what’s about to happen.

About to was misleading we have a whole hour left in this movie. The cops show up, because in a Lucas movie the cops always show up when aliens are around. They think he’s in a Duck suit. So they just end up taking his clothes off.

They decide to arrest him for being an illegal alien, but while hauling him away..

Mrs McFly gets the drop on a cop and gets him free again. But the cops arrest everyone else.

While hiding from the cops they run in to Dr Mr Rooney. Who does not look well. He tells Howard that he must have blacked out. As he talks he’s feeling something painful happen inside his body..

So they escape in the Docs car. Because that was easy. The cops do notice them crash through a fence.

Rooney keeps looking worse as they drive… He tells Howard he’s changing on the inside and Howard tells him “Great like a sex change or something” that joke did not age well, fuckin 80’s. While they are driving erratically Rooney fades away and the thing takes him over.. and eventually they almost crash into a Diner. And Rooney tells Howard “I’m Dead”

And the Thing tells them both the transformation is complete! I am now someone else. So they get out and go into the Diner for coffee.

The Diner is really Joe Roma’s Cajun Sushi. Oh boy.

Clearly they’ve re-branded. And are weirded out by both the Duck and the Filthy Doctor.

They order food even though the Thing tells them he no longer needs food. He also tells everyone it’s the end of times.

Howard and Mrs McFly don’t seem to grasp the situation yet. Howard just wants to go home. But The Thing monologues about his plan. Which is to aim the laser someplace and bring down more baddies.

They don’t believe him for a while. But they kind of get it.

The special contains eggs so he’s pretty horrified. While they get the waitress to take them away..

The thing decides it’s time to stop being nice and he blows up some condiments. He also produces a card that will activate the laser. Which Howard takes.

But as they get up to leave some rednecks come to hit on Mrs McFly but stay to check out the ventriloquist duck. They snatch the card from Howard. After a pie fight.. basically all the restaurant patrons pile in on Howard. They lift him high up in the air and McFly tries to stop them.

They are not listening to her so she tells them “HE’s My BOYFRIEND!”

Everyone stares at her and the Redneck with the key tells her “That’s disgusting”

It also doesn’t sway them.. and they decide the best idea is to tie down Howard.. and cook him. Howard pleads for help from the Thing but he only reacts when Mrs McFly reminds him that they have the code key.

This provokes a reaction And after he electrocutes the head redneck and makes a knife float around he frees Howard and blows up the restaurant. Howard grabs the code key and they try to flee but Thing gets the code key.

Thing then takes Mrs McFly and a Semi Truck and leaves Howard behind almost running him down. He tells her his people he is bringing down need humans to incubate.

look at those special fx

He also tells her he needs more energy so he pulls out a weird horny tentacle and sucks some out of the cigarette lighter.

Back at the Diner the cops have showed up. Howard is hiding but he can see that in the back of one of the cop cars is Phil. He frees Phil and they both discover a small plane in a garage next door because that is less conspicuous than them leaving on foot.

They do leave on this plane somehow and the cops don’t catch them

Meanwhile The Thing visits a nuclear reactor because he needs MOAR POWER (he tied up Mrs McFly in the car)

He’s glowing red when he leaves with her and I’m sure that’s going to work out real well for her later in life.

Howard and Phil continue to evade the cops by being very close to land and following the roads. Eventually they make it back to the lab.

It turns out after blowing some more stuff up, so did Thing and Mrs McFly, and he has her tied up on a table under the laser as Howard and Phil walk in.

Phil tells Howard there might be a weapon they can use if we can just find it..

And they do find it.. “The Neutron Disintegrator” it’s behind a lock however..

So while they figure out the lock.. Thing starts the laser with the key and targets the nexus of sominus.

They do bust through the lock and get the McGuffin Ray.

They mount it on a car, and try to move it into position..

And have a little standoff with Thing.

So Howard Activates the Disintegrator

And thing gets ready to throw down.

and we get one of these, and this might be the first one of these I’m not sure.

Things start blowing up around them. At first neither of them is to be seen but eventually they find Howard and can free Mrs McFly.

And then Suddenly Dr Mr Rooney is … OK? He tells them it’s not in him anymore but it’s loose.

Just then..

A giant monster rips through some of the floor.

And I’m immediately happy it was in Rooney’s body earlier because it looks.. real bad.

Oh right that first face was a fake face..

So Stop motion shenanigans happen And he wrecks up the place. Howard goes for the McGuffin gun and the Thing activates the Laser with a countdown because that’s convenient. He also electrocutes Phil and McFly which isn’t killing them but they can’t help.

Howard shoots him again with the disintegrator and it’s seemingly effective.

And he blows up.. which releases our heroes.

But more baddies are on the way..

So Howard must destroy the laser to keep them from landing. Which he does.

Afterwards they pull Howard out of the rubble and Mrs McFly thinks he is dead.

But he gets better.

Presumably at a later time.. They are playing a much larger venue with him as their manager. And it’s a Howard the Duck Song and it is.. *cringeworthy*

And he ends up on stage..

And that’s it!

Next Week is Ice Pirates!


Dr Mr Rooney – Jeffrey Jones

This actor who are familiar with from Beetlejuice and Ferris Bueller got into real trouble in 2003 and it landed him on the sex offenders list. It didn’t end his career but he hasn’t done a whole lot since.

Robin Williams

If you’ve ever seen this movie you already know it’s not Robin Williams who does the voice, but it was supposed to be. Robin quit after 3 days because he felt that his comedic style didn’t mesh well with the way the duck mask could emote. Many Articles have been written about it The guy who did the voice was Chip Zien at the very last minute.


This move got 4 Razzies. I realize it’s a cult favorite and I’m willing to admit that in 86 Howards face was a tech marvel but won Worst Picture in 1987 and was nominated for Worst picture of the DECADE in 1990.


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