THE PHYNX (1970)
Article #1693 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-2-2005
Posting Date: 4-1-2006
Directed by Lee H. Katzin
Featuring Michael A. Miller, Ray Chippeway, Dennis Larden
When the army can’t rescue several great leaders (George Jessel, Johnny Weissmuller, Butterfly McQueen, etc) that have been kidnapped and are being held hostage in Albania (the army can’t get past this big tank guarding the gates), they consult a computer called MOTHA which tells them to form a rock group which will then be invited to Albania.
If the title of this one has you scratching your head, wait till you see the movie. Which is not to say that the movie is required viewing; this is not a recommendation by any means. It’s merely that the movie is jaw-droppingly weird. It starts out hit-or-miss, but then evens out to a certain consistency; unfortunately, by consistency, I mean it consistently misses. Since it’s at least partially a parody of the super-spy genre, the fantastic elements consist of occasional gadgets; the computer MOTHA is one of them, X-Ray glasses that allow our heroes to see through clothing is another one. Still, the movie’s main source of interest is the bewildering array of guest stars, most of which are playing themselves as kidnap victims. Just a smattering of ones not listed above – Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Colonel Sanders, Dick Clark, Andy Devine, Jay Silverheels (as Tonto, or course), Trini Lopez, Joe Louis, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy – there are more, but this gives you an idea of how strange it is. The music by Lieber and Stoller isn’t bad (after all, they were legitimate pioneers of rock and roll), but it was a bit dated at the time this movie was made. So there’s no doubt that the movie has a strong curiosity value. Now if only it were funny as well…