Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

US movie (1991). Columbia TriStar/Orion/Nelson Entertainment/Interscope Communications. Pr Scott Kroopf. Exec pr Robert W Cort, Ted Field, Rick Finkelstein, Barry Spikings. Sv pr Neil Machlis. Dir Pete Hewitt. Vfx Gregory L McMurry, Richard Yuricich. Creature/mufx Kevin Yagher. Screenplay Chris Matheson, Ed Solomon. Novelization Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey * (1991) by Robert Tine. Starring Joss Ackland (De Momolos), George Carlin (Rufus), Keanu Reeves (Ted), William Sadler (Death/Grim Reaper), Alex Winter (Bill). Voice actors Neil Ross, Frank Welker. 93 mins. Colour.

The more interesting follow-up to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) (see SFE), in which we learnt that a future society depends for its existence on the success today of the rock group Wild Stallyns, fronted by Californian layabouts Bill and Ted. Now, in that future, martinet De Momolos wants to change its past in order to create a more disciplined society; he sends back android lookalikes of Bill and Ted to kill the originals. They succeed. The dead dudes venture into the Afterlife, flee the hooded figure of Death (a direct descendant of that in Bergman's The Seventh Seal [1956], with accent to match), try as Ghosts and through Possession to warn the living, confront the Devil, are cast into a Hell comprising their own worst memories of childhood, defeat Death at various games (e.g., Cluedo, Battleships & Cruisers, Twister), travel with him to Heaven where God grants them a return to life, enlist the help of Station, the greatest scientist in the Universe – who happens to be an alien – and, through a series of Time paradoxes, destroy the evil androids, thwart De Momolos and, with Death on double bass and Station on congas, drive Wild Stallyns to interplanetary stardom. As one might expect from its scriptwriters, B&TBJ shows, amid the mirth, a firm and knowledgeable grasp of the fantasy genre; the depictions of Heaven and Hell, especially the latter, are stunning, with sophisticated use of Technofantasy tropes. [JG]


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.