Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is, to quote the tagline, the story of a rebel and his bike. The rebel is Pee-wee Herman, the famous zany stage character of comedian Paul Reubens. Pee-wee is a true eclectic who lives in his own Total Environment. His lair not only holds an aquarium bathroom window, fireman pole, giant bathroom appliances, and a pancake-flipping Artificial Human Companion, but safely houses his most prized possession: his bicycle. It’s his mechanical familiar, an inseparable complement of himself.
Then one day, the bicycle is mysteriously stolen. When his friends can’t help and the police are of no use, Pee-wee knows that he must take matters into his own hands. He makes it his vital mission to recover his stolen bicycle. This quest leads him on a wild chase through several parts of the country, and Pee-wee stops at nothing to get his beloved material possession back.
Along the way, the hero befriends a ruthless bike gang known as Satan’s Helpers, makes cunning use of the latest novelty store prank items, breaks world records for rodeo riding, becomes a movie star, and cleverly uses disguises and the art of deception to pass through a police road block, interrogate pretentious rich-boy suspects, and whatever else puts him closer to getting his bicycle back. The only time he doesn’t put his interests first is when he risks his own life to rescue countless animals from a burning pet store — even the ugly ones.
We also see excellent examples of cold reading from Madame Ruby, memorably witty put-downs, plus disturbing nightmares of clowns and claymation which I’ve heard many Generation-X folks vividly remember being scared by as children. The film was Tim Burton’s full-length debut and, like virtually all of Burton’s works, has a soundtrack by Danny Elfman, whose other works I’ve seen many Satanists make use of for the ritual chamber. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is a Satanic masterpiece through and through. I encourage Satanists to check out the DVD release to see some great deleted scenes in addition to the main feature. Hail Pee-wee!
[- Bill M.]