“Rob Zombie to Direct ‘Broad Street Bullies’ Film”
When I read that headline, being a Rob Zombie fan and a Philadelphia Flyers fan, I texted the news to at least ten friends in a fury of total elation.
Zombies’ films are not for everyone, but “The Devil’s Rejects” and his 2007 “Halloween” remake were well made pictures that showed that Zombie has a distinctive directing style. Venturing outside the horror genre is a risky move for the provocative rocker, although he certainly has the storytelling skills and eye to do it successfully.
Zombie’s fan base is a loyal one and a lot of them will be thrilled to see him do a picture that’s outside his “safe” genre. His historic Flyers film will likely bring in average moviegoers that would normally never go see a Rob Zombie film. And good sports movies can make money; check out the box office receipts for “42” this spring.
For Zombie fans, there will be blood. Not from gun fire or a knife, but from the physically of competitive hockey in the 1970s. You don’t make a film about the Broad Street Bullies without a little blood spurting violence. The thought of watching incredibly shot checks against the boards and intense fights, makes me want to buy an advance ticket today. But can Zombie keep the story interesting during the off the ice scenes? That will be the true test for the underrated director.
After watching the HBO documentary “Broad Street Bullies” in 2010, I said to myself, “That would make one hell of a great movie.” It’s incredible that no one in Hollywood saw the potential greatness of a film about the infamous Flyers team that won two Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975 before Zombie.
Zombie said, “It’s the greatest sports story ever not told. It’s been told other ways but not in film. Had to do it. It reads like fiction, it’s so incredible.”
Zombie, being a cinematic craftsman, will get the look and atmosphere down of Philadelphia in the 1970s. It’s the decade that many of his horror films have taken place in. During “The Devil’s Rejects,” I felt like I was transported back to 1978, minus Sheri Moon Zombie’s teeth whitening enhanced smile.
Rob Zombie is one of the most original and stylistic directors working in movies today, and why Hollywood hasn’t backed up a U-Haul truck full of cash to finance his projects is beyond me. Maybe studio executives only see him as a heavy-metal shock rocker than a talented writer-director.
When I watched “House of 1000 Corpses” and or his latest, most ambitious film “The Lords of Salem,” I wondered what Zombie could do with a massive budget?
One of the dumbest criticisms I’ve read about Zombie was, “Oh, he’ll never be a great director, he got his start directing music videos.” David Fincher, one of the finest directors in the world, earned his reputation directing videos. Like Fincher, Zombie is edgy, and more often than not, edgy frightens studio executives.
What will Zombie cast his wife Sheri as in this one? Maybe a Philadelphia sports reporter with a Farrah Fawcett hairdo? A player’s wife or girlfriend? It’ll be interesting to see.
Note: I’ve been a horror movie fan all my life and a Philadelphia Flyers fan for a decade.