Originally released in 1980, the Forbidden Zone is finally out on DVD. Written by Richard Elfman with music by brother Danny Elfman and the Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo, this brain-damaged black-and-white musical is a feast for the senses. The star-studded cast includes Elfman’s brother and then-wife, Marie-Pascal, as well as B-movie queen Susan Tyrell and most importantly, Herve Villechaize, better known as “Tattoo” from Fantasy Island. If you are a fan of Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Cab Calloway and of course, Oingo Boingo, then you will love the soundtrack. The plot revolves around an inter-dimensional hole that leads to the Forbidden Zone, a universe run by Herve, a tiny and sadistic Don Juan who’s in charge of a little hell inhabited by nubile, bare-chested women bound and tortured to the syncopated rhythms of big band music. It comes off as a perverted live action Merry Melody cartoon complete with wrestlers, midgets, frog-headed assistants, chicken-boys, headless twins and tons of scantily clad beauties running around. The movie is silly fun, but there is a dark, nightmarish undercurrent running through it. Have you ever watched an obscure old black and white movie in the wee hours of the morning, drifted in and out of sleep, dreaming, and had the movie blend seamlessly into the dream so you can’t tell where one stops and the other starts? Forbidden Zone has that quality. The sets are cheaply made by the cast and crew, giving the movie a backwoods high school play vibe. There’s some excellent animation in it as well. But its main achievement was to give Herve Villechaize a dream come true—smoking cigars, shoveling down sausage and getting to fondle and grope hot girls and get paid for it. Is it filthy? Some say so. I prefer to think of it as dirty, but with personality. And personality goes a long way.