“When our group, Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo began to move away from its theatrical, cabaret style towards a rock band format, I decided to capture the essence of our live stage shows on film. The result was my 1982 movie Forbidden Zone. Originally filmed in black and white with a cast mostly made up of band members and friends, the movie’s music and visuals embodied the spirit of our original stage productions. My brother Danny, as Satan, sings a Mystic Knights version of Cab Calloway’s ‘Minnie the Moocher.’ I sing the 1920s novelty song ‘The Yiddishe Charleston.’ Marie-Pascale Elfman performs several French numbers; all from our stage show. Along with the older classics and Danny’s original show tunes, Danny managed to weave all the elements together with his first movie soundtrack score.
The film was deemed politically incorrect when first released and disappeared after a summer of midnight shows. Lo and behold, a generation later, Forbidden Zone seems to be growing exponentially in popularity. I had the recent pleasure of digitally colorizing the film with the masters at Legend Films. I had always planned to colorize it, but by having the frames hand tinted in China using an “arty” 1920′s process (which proved a tad impractical). So please enter the realm of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, take a seat, and enjoy the show!” – Richard Elfman
FORBIDDEN ZONE: 1982, 76 min. In an absurd, cartoony world, a dufus family’s basement leads to the Sixth Dimension. Beautiful young “Frenchy” (Marie-Pascale Elfman) doesn’t heed her father’s admonishment and slides through cosmic intestines into a subterranean underworld ruled by horny midget King Fausto (Herve Villechaize) and his jealous Queen Doris (Susan Tyrrell). ”Chicken-boy” (Matthew Bright) comes to the rescue, only to have his head cut off by the soul-singing Devil himself (played by Danny Elfman, accompanied by the original Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo). Frog butlers, topless princesses, and rioting school kids sing and dance in a variety of musical numbers by Danny Elfman, Cab Calloway, Josephine Baker and others. Film threat has called Forbidden Zone “The Citizen Kane of underground movies.”