Richard Elfman's loopy masterpiece was roundly reviled upon its emergence -- the movie's rampant ethnic goofs pissed off PC types. "At the college theaters we got arson threats!" says Elfman, who lost the house he'd mortgaged to fund his work and fled to France after his critical and popular drubbing.
Meanwhile, bootlegged copies of Forbidden Zone were beginning to make their way to independent video stores around the country, with new fans converted by word-of-mouth and frequent illicit screenings of the flick on the USA Network's '80s late-night music video show, Night Flight. Knowing none of this, Elfman was shocked when he put up a personal Web site a couple of years back and was deluged with thousands of e-mails from rabid fans begging to know what became of his ultra-obscure movie.
Those enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that Forbidden Zone's back from extinction, with a pearly new 35mm print showing at Landmark Theatres' midnight movie screenings around the country. A deluxe-edition DVD from groovy local distributors Fantoma Films is also set for an Aug. 31 release. Rocky Horror -- watch your back.