Some odd, unexpected — and frankly, cool — news came out yesterday when it was revealed that industrial rocker and horror filmmaker Rob Zombie (yes, that Rob Zombie) is going to be making a movie about the 1970s Philadelphia Flyers.
Regardless of whether or not the project is greenlighted and ends up being made, most hockey fans around these parts can agree that there are few teams that are more compelling to make a movie about than the Broad Street Bullies.
Zombie strikes me as a strange choice for the man to get it done, but if he’s passionate about the project and doesn’t intend on having the Bullies become a gang of vicious killers (moreso than they already were in the eyes of opposing fans), I’m A-OK with it. He has the movie cred, he has the music cred, but he also apparently has the hockey cred. Born Robert Cummings in the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Zombie has admitted to growing up with the sport, and has made himself known on camera at Los Angeles Kings games.
If a movie about one of Philadelphia’s all-time favorite teams is to be made, however, it must be done right. Invincible did a nice job portraying a ’70s Philadelphia sports story, and I’d love to see this take a few cues from that. I’d also recommend taking some cues from “Miracle,” which is one of the most compelling hockey movies to ever be made.
One thing that I heard that made me really optimistic for this is that Zombie described it as a combination of Rocky and Boogie Nights. This team’s story is worth telling because they started out as an expansion team only a few years before this run and built themselves into one of the craziest pro sports teams that we’ve ever seen — one whose legend has clearly grown beyond the bounds of their actual exploits.
One necessary component for making this into a great movie is the music. The clear answer is that the soundtrack needs to be made up entirely of Foghat. In all seriousness, though, the 1970s had a ton of fantastic and appropriate music to use for this movie. Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones seem like a must.
Casting is another critical area. The Broad Street Bullies was a popular team because it was full of guys with strong personalities.
Whoever plays Bernie Parent needs to be charismatic (and be able to speak with an absurd French accent). Bobby Clarke needs to be able to slash a guy and wink to the crowd. I imagine that Ed Snider would play a big part in any movie about the 70s Flyers. It’s tough even beginning to think about who could capture that personality, but it’s an important one. And Fred Shero is as eccentric of a role as there is.
Here’s to hoping that we can have a feature film about the Orange and Black to call our own. The Flyers have thrown their support behind it, which is a promising start. My one hope for this film is that they finally reveal how the Flyers ended up on the Jury of the Damned.