HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
   
 
Newest Articles
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
   
 
  Phynx, The Band On The Run
Year: 1970
Director: Lee H. Katzin
Stars: A. Michael Miller, Ray Chippeway, Dennis Larden, Lonny Stevens, Lou Antonio, Mike Kellin, Michael Ansara, George Tobias, Joan Blondell, Martha Raye, Larry Hankin, Ted Eccles, Ultra Violet, Pat McCormick, Rich Little, James Brown, Johnny Weissmuller
Genre: Musical, Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: American reperesentative of the Super Secret Agency, Corrigan (Lou Antonio), is trying to break into Albania from Yugoslavia, but as it's a well guarded nation he is finding this difficult to do. His first plan is under cover of the night, where he scales the tall border walls and over the other side, but alas he lands in the sidecar of one of the guard's motorbikes so is quickly escorted from the scene. Other ideas include being fired as a human cannonball over the walls, but he is simply bounced back the other way: the Agency are going to have to come up with a far better way of infiltrating the Communist state, and they call a huge meeting to work one out...

Yes, this film actually exists, a near legendary mess that would be fully legendary if any more people had seen or even heard of it. Where the Monkees movie Head fast turned into a cult classic and on the surface adopted a similar take on pop groups, that was genuinely subversive whereas underneath all the flash and colour The Phynx was deeply staid and conservative. The premise sees the C.I.A.. stand-in Agency come up with the idea to set up a band to break through the Iron Curtain, as if the Monkees had not actually been the brainchild of television executives but a plot by the security services to get the youth of the day under the collective thumb of the authorities.

That band are The Phynx (the finks?), who were made up of a collection of four unknowns who went on to obscurity, as for most of them this was the only film they ever appeared in, but perhaps they were hired for their musical ability. If they were, then it all came to naught as Warner Bros, who had produced the film, opted not to release it and the only way that it was possible to catch it was if you were lucky (or perhaps unlucky) enough to watch it on its rare television showings. In the video age, bootlegs appeared of dubious quality, but it is efforts like this which are forbidden fruit for bad movie fans: they don't care how awful its reputation is, they have to take a bite to see how it tastes.

Taste is notably lacking here, however, as the filmmakers went all out to appeal to the youth audience, yet bizarrely hinged the story around saving a bunch of celebrities who were stars before most of the target audience of 1970 were born, or at least aware of who the likes of Martha Raye or Xavier Cugat were. The Albanians have been kidnapping what the film describes as world leaders, and what most of the rest of us would describe as hasbeens, interpersed with more up to date celebs such as Richard Pryor, Ultra Violet or James Brown. The band's mission is therefore to become global superstars, and be invited to Albania thereby offering them the opportunity to free the kidnap victims. This is a musical as well, so every so often the group plays a song by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, not the most obvious choice for vaguely psychedelic, way out rock, but this is more like a bubblegum pop version of that, and in truth not so bad.

If there's one thing apparent it's that all the money this cost was up on the screen, not only in its huge cast (including the extras), but in its set design, special effects, and overall gloss. Throw in a computer shaped like a woman called MOTHA (Mechanical Oracle To Help Americans), the leader of the free world as Rich Little's Richard Nixon impression with a cardboard box for a head, and the odd concert full of screaming girls, and you have a production where everything was thrown at the screen in the hope some of it would stick. Most likely it will stick in the craw, as its real message was to obey the powers that be or else, not the type of thing the more rebellious, anti-Vietnam War, pro-civil rights younger audience would have wanted to hear, not wrapped up in this package of exploitative cynicism at any rate. For all its wackiness, for all its attempts to be down with the kids, The Phynx was all about The Man, by The Man, and who knows, possibly for The Man as well. Maybe Warners knew that we'd see right through it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4200 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: