I don’t know about you guys, but as a kid, I absolutely adored Howard the Duck. The movie was batshit bonkers and at times I didn’t know if I was watching a movie for kids or strictly adults; which made the movie sort of “dangerous” so to speak. Like one of those movies that made you question whether or not you should be watching it. I mean, Beverly and Howard “in bed” was pretty goddamn awkward seeing through a 5-year-old’s eyes. Better yet, I got to see my first set of tatas courtesy of LucasFilm. Feathery, but anatomically correct I came to find out a few years later.
Howard the Duck was released in 1986, as well, technically the first big-budget Marvel Movie (so to speak) to a box-office failure, and is probably considered one of the worst films of all time according to Cine-Snobs. Maybe it’s nostalgia speaking, but I have a soft spot for this wildly inconsistent movie that mildly promotes alien/human relations.
I can’t even believe I just wrote that.
As an adult, watching this movie now makes a bit more sense with the adult humor, but as a kid, I wasn’t really watching it for the depth. I was here for a shit-talking duck from outer space and by god, they delivered on that. Can anyone who was a kid in the 80s’ really say otherwise?
While the movie was a bomb commercially and panned by critics, it still had a 900-number promo attached to it. The 80s’ and 90s’ shamelessly used these 900 hotlines for a quick buck and subtly preyed on us dumb kids to call these numbers; only to receive an ass beating later when the next month’s phone bill came in. And 1-900 “DUCK CALLS” were no exception to the unsuspecting mass of children wanting to hear that wise-cracking Howard on the other end talking some smack.
Unearthed by Split Screen Entertainment, Duck Calls were designed to tie in as a promotional campaign of the film. By dialing 1-900-410-DUCK, the 2-minute calls consisted of listening to a different message every day, featuring new and exclusive interviews (by Howard’s voice actor Chip Zien) mixed with audio clips from the movie. The hotline served to add a degree of backstory to Howard’s character for those who were actually interested. And thanks to SSE, we have these long-lost messages in full, completely in lo-def for added nostalgic purposes because what other way would we want to listen to this hot mess?
If you made it through all that, you deserve a prize.
Congrats, you earned a gander at some Duck Tits.