EXCLUSIVE: Rob Zombie will write, direct and produce Broad Street Bullies, a film about the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team that evolved from a cellar-dwelling expansion team into a team that racked up victories and penalty minutes in equal measure during the 1970s. Zombie, known for his head-banging music before transitioning to genre films like House Of 1000 Corpses and Halloween, is making a departure with this film, sort of, because the Flyers’ brutal style of play is genre-worthy and has the makings for a hockey film on the order of the 1977 sports film classic Slap Shot.
The physical play of the Flyers was legendary, to the point that when they played the Soviet Union’s supposedly invincible and tough Red Army team, the Flyers roughed them up so badly that the Russian team left the ice in the first period, and only returned when told they would not get paid if they didn’t. The Flyers won the game 4-1, with head coach Fred Shero proclaiming, “Yes we are world champions. If they had won, they would have been world champions. We beat the hell out of a machine.” Despite being known as Freddy’s Philistines because of the work of enforcers like Dave Schultz, the Flyers had skilled players like Bobby Clarke and won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in two-fisted fashion. Their exploits were captured in the HBO docu Broad Street Bullies.
Zombie got the rights to the team’s story and has the full support of the Flyers organization. He likened the tone of the tale to Rocky meets Boogie Nights on ice. “Each character involved is more outrageous than the next,” Zombie said. “The backdrop of the turbulent year of 1974 is perfect for this ‘stranger than fiction’ sports tale.”
Former Flyers great and team senior vice president Clarke is appropriately stoked. “The great Rob Zombie making a drama feature film about the Broad Street Bullies is exciting and thrilling for all of us! I look forward to seeing it.”
Zombie will produce with Andy Gould, Les Borsai and Jeremy Platt. They are tying down the financing and hope to drop the puck on this one shortly. Zombie is in post-production on his genre film The Lords Of Salem, which is produced by Haunted Movies, the partnership between Paranormal Activity’s Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Oren Peli along with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of Automatik.
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