This week’s crowdfunder pick is Richard Elfman’s Forbidden Zone 2. Fantastic, revolutionary, and irreverent in every way, Elfman epitomizes underground independent filmmaking.

In 1980, director Richard Elfman made one of the most hilarious and inventive independent films of all time with the absurdist comedy/fantasy Forbidden Zone. 34 years later, Elfman is raising funds to make a long-awaited sequel, Forbidden Zone 2.  In an interview with MovieMaker, Elfman promised that Forbidden Zone 2 will be “bigger, badder,” and “bolder” than its predecessor. (Is that even possible?)

The official plot:

Ma and Pa Kettle leave the depressed Dust Bowl with their kids, Stinky and Petunia, and drive their old jalopy down to Crenshaw in South-Central Los Angeles. Stinky is a hyper-active 12-year-old, played by a hyper-active 50-year-old; Petunia is a lumbering 13-year-old slut, played by an actress over 18 (hopefully); Ma is a corn-cob pipe-smoking inbred, and Pa is a craven, drunken carnival geek…with a bad disposition…even before his carnival job folded after the last dust storm. Together, they hope to find a better life in California. Unfortunately, the little shack they rent has a basement connected to the Sixth Dimension–a bizarre underworld, ruled by a megalomaniac midget King, his jealous Queen, and an array of fantastical creatures, the most outrageous being The Princess Polly, a man-hungry gal with a to-die-for sexy, voluptuous body and an over-sized, grotesque, cartoon-like head. Her wild get ups and show-stopping musical numbers will give Gaga a run for the money!

Appearing in the film are several members of the Elfman family clan. Richard Elfman’s daughter-in-law, Jenna Elfman, will do a surrealistic aerial dance routine (“We’ll have the Cirque du Soleil fly Jenna Elfman in a comedic aerial ballet—and I hope I’ve learned enough now not break her neck, as she is my daughter-in-law!”) and his brother, famous composer Danny, will reprise the role of The Devil from the original Forbidden Zone.

Elfman told us that his version of the city of Crenshaw, in Los Angeles, will be shot on location in Ghana and “will look like a cartoon version of 1910 Harlem, but everyone will be incredible dancers and acrobats.” The film also promises unforgettable musical numbers. “There’s a void for live-action musical comedies,” he said, “particularly with great, memorable music. My formula is to find forgotten gems so catchy you never get them out of your head, along originals by my brother Danny Elfman.”

Forbidden Zone 1 Still Image

Herve Villechaize and Susan Tyrrell in the original Forbidden Zone.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the original Forbidden Zone and the proposed sequel is a higher production value. Said Elfman: “just as crazy, but a lot more technique. Forbidden Zone 2 will have all the outrageous zaniness of the original but also wilder fantasy design. Use of new digital tools will make our army of giant pinhead clowns absolutely realistic-looking. I’m working outside of Hollywood’s radar range anyway; they’ll only pick up on it if the coins jingle loud enough in the register.”

We asked Elfman why he took such a long time to begin work on the sequel: “I needed the rest,” he joked. “Actually, a new generation Forbidden Zone fans seems to have hatched… Now seemed like the time.”

CampaignersRichard Elfman, producer, director, writer, actor; 

Target Amount: $100,000

Amount Currently Raised: $46, 768

Campaign Opening Date: March 18, 2014

Campaign Closing Date: April 27, 2014

Funding Goes Toward: Elaborate and Fantastical Production Design, Computer-Generated Effects, Extensive music and dance routines.

Donor Reward Highlights:

$250+: “Party with the cast and crew: Richard personally grills for his cast and crew—on the set–at the end of most weeks. We sit down with beer, wine and cigars to relax and enjoy ourselves. Please come join us with a guest—and the two of you become an official, MYSTIC KNIGHT OF THE FORBIDDEN ZONE, with video of Richard knighting you, official t-shirt. (AND the satisfaction, even if drunk—that YOU HELPED!) Shooting dates to be announced.”

$500+: “Costume Party as Casa Elfman: Richard will personally cook for you at wild costume dinner party on his famous Hollywood Hills rooftop deck (former residence of Robert Downey Jr, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Lennon). Richard will perform wild ribald poetry as his alter-ego Sugar Ray Rosenbloom accompanying himself on bongos. Become Mystic Knighed with t-shirt, get video of event. Bring an additional guest for $100 (1 per person). Dates to be announced. And please arrange a safe ride home!”

$5,000+: “Associate Producer: You become an Associate Producer, have your name in the screen credits and visit the set on selective days. Your personal producer’s chair with your name on it will be waiting! Plus fun dinner party at Richard’s place or yours (if your place please see conditions above).”

 Forbidden Zone Original Poster

To learn more about Forbidden Zone 2, visit the film’s IndiegogoFacebook and Twitter pages.

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