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Broad Street Bullies to be subject of Zombie movie

Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 6:42 PM
Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Growing up outside Boston in the 1970s, Rob Zombie was a devoted Boston Bruins fan who watched his team play the Broad Street Bullies-era Philadelphia Flyers in the 1974 Stanley Cup Final.

"I was a massive hockey fan," Zombie said. "I always played hockey, I always wanted to play hockey, always loved hockey."

He was asked if he remembered who won that 1974 Final series Tuesday during a press conference at Wells Fargo Center by one of the stars of that Flyers team, Hall of Famer Bernie Parent.

"Go see the movie," Zombie said with a laugh.

Parent and the rest of the hockey world will be able to see just how things happened for those memorable Flyers teams in the 1970s thanks to Zombie, who will be directing a feature film on the Broad Street Bullies.

Zombie said he hopes to start shooting in the fall, with the potential for the filming to take place in and around Philadelphia.

"I don't know if we'll film it all here," he said. "We have to find a rink that looks like the Spectrum used to look. I don't know what we're going to do yet. We will film some of it here for sure, if not the whole thing."

Zombie is familiar to music and movie fans. He was the lead singer for the metal group White Zombie before embarking on a solo career. More recently he's moved into filmmaking, directing horror films "House of 1,000 Corpses," "The Devil's Rejects," and the 2007 remake of "Halloween."

The Flyers film will be his first foray into sports, but he doesn't see the shift as an issue.

"The genre doesn't matter," he said. "Storytelling is storytelling, movies are movies. It all works the same. I keep not bringing that up because I don't want people thinking I'm not taking it seriously. The worlds don't really relate to me. Whenever you bring up the Broad Street Bullies, people bring up 'Slap Shot' and they think it's going to be a comedy, but it's not. It's so much more than that. There's funny stuff, but funny because it's real."

Zombie said the script is almost done, and he arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday to meet with a few members of the 1970s Flyers, including Parent, Bob Kelly and Gary Dornhoefer.

"He's neat," Parent said of Zombie. "I had a chance to spend about a half-hour with him and he's a neat individual. He sees the potential. The Flyers … we have a lot of teams in the National Hockey League, a lot of teams that have done well, the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton [Oilers], but there's something special about the Flyers."

Zombie sees the same thing, saying memorable players -- Parent, Bobby Clarke and Dave Schultz -- are what drew him to the project.

"What I love about it is it's almost like 'Rocky,' but it's real," Zombie said. "You watch 'Rocky,' you go, 'I wish that were real.' But it's sort of like 'Boogie Nights' meets 'Rocky.' Because I know from the five-minute conversations I've had that there's a lot of good stuff beside hockey going on. It's the characters.

"What I liked about it is it's a character-driven movie because they're such great characters. To just make a movie about hockey, hockey fans will love it but no one else will. The characters are so great, that I know that … even if you hate boxing, you love 'Rocky' because the characters are so great. There's incredible characters, except they're real."

Now he'll bring those real characters to the big screen.

"It's the greatest sports story ever not told, I guess," Zombie said. "It's been told in other ways, but not in film. I had to do it. It reads like fiction, it's so incredible."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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