By Joe Leydon
Houston Post, July 30, 1982
In Forbidden Zone, an avant-garde oddity produced and directed by Richard Elfman, several people humiliate themselves on bizarre painted sets in living black and white.
Marie-Pascale Elfman, wife of the director, heads the cast as Frenchie, a shapely loony who somehow enters the sixth dimension. Once there, she arouses the lust of King Fausto, played with lip-smacking relish and barely decipherable diction by Herve Villechaze. Their frenzied coupling angers Queen Doris, played by Susan Tyrrell in a skintight dress that makes her resemble an overstuffed sausage. The Queen has Frenchie chained, beaten and otherwise manhandled. the King protests, but not very strenously.
Meanwhile, Frenchie's brother( an elderly fellow in a Boy Scout suit), grandfather ( a violent mental defective with black-circled eyes) and best friend (a young man who acts like a chicken) try to retrieve the heroine. During their search for her, they encounter, among other things, a bare-breasted, bubble-brained countess; a man-sized frog in formal attire; Satan, played by the director and accompanied by a chorus line; and the imprisoned ex-queen, now a would-be scriptwriter, played by the ineffable Viva, a veteran of Andy Worhal productions.
What results from the interaction of these diverse characters is a hodge podge fantasies, kinky sex, scatological sight gags, infantile social comment and freakish production numbers. Linking it all togather is a musical score by Oingo Boingo, a new wave ensemble formerly known as The mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.
The film is obviously meant to be funny. It is not. Realizing this, the Samuel Goldwyn Company is releasing it to theaters as a midnight attraction. That way the company hopes it will become a cule item, much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Eraserhead.
Unfortunatly, some films can never be shown late enough.
Forbidden Zone will be shown Friday and Saturday at the Greenway III.