Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pop Culture Basement: The Phynx

When many people think about clueless films that sought to appeal to the 1960's counter culture, Myra Breckinridge and Skidoo typically come to mind. One film that is often overlooked is The Phynx. Quite possibly the strangest of all these types of films, it's likely that those who watched it thought they were on a hallucinagion.


The film featured a Monkees type band who were also super spies. They get called into action when an evil cabal of communists kidnaps a who's who of hasbeens in order to hold them for ransom. The shocking part of this plan was that any of they believed that any of these people would be missed. Most of them were celebrities who hadn't worked in years and were most likely presumed dead. Only a clueless film executive would believe that these were the sort of celebrities who would attract the young people of the day. 


Take a peek at this celebrity list; this cast was better suited for a retirement home than a film:

Patty Andrews
Rona Barrett
Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy
Busby Berkeley
Xavier Cugat
Cass Daley
Andy Devine
Fritz Feld
Leo Gorcey
Huntz Hall
John Hart
Louis Hayward
George Jessel
Ruby Keeler
Patsy Kelly
Dorothy Lamour
Guy Lombardo
Trini Lopez
Joe Louis
Marilyn Maxwell
Butterfly McQueen
Pat O'Brien
Maureen O'Sullivan
Colonel Sanders
Jay Silverheels
Ed Sullivan
Rudy Vallee
Clint Walker
Johnny Weissmuller

This cast hadn't been revelant in years; it was almost like the studio drove a bus to the show business retirement home and took the first batch of actors who wanted an easy payday.


Any still picture from the film is more bizarre than the last. What was Colonel Sanders doing in this film? Why were the kidnapped celebs so compliant? Who thought this film was a good idea? And why did Richard Pryor agree to be in this film?


Was this all a fever dream? Thanks to the Warner Archive, we can revisit this film again and again.