Okay I am back again with another edition of Weird Wednesdays! I am a big fan of time travel movies and this is probably one of the worst I have ever seen.
The movie is based on a series of books by a WWI RFC pilot named William Earl Johns. The character was featured in nearly 100 books which all took place within 50 years. It was the story of flying ace James Bigglesworth and his cadre of pilots during WWI. They had high flying adventures tangled with such foes as The Red Baron and Dracula.
For the film they took the concept of the books and gave it an 80’s twist. They spliced in an 80’s catering salesman, Jim Ferguson (Alex Hyde-White), who accidentally gets displaced in time and is sent back to WWI. There he meets Biggles (Neil Dickson) and together they try to stop a new German sound weapon. Jim’s girlfriend Debbie also gets pulled along for the ride.
Not to mention everytime the flying scene occurred the main theme would scream “Do You Wanna to Be a Hero, hero, hero.” Imagine those lyrics in 80’s synth-style with a Donna Summer rip-off singing them. It’s just so strange you have to see it to get it. (Probably why it’s part of Weird Wednesdays)
Neil Dickson portrays Biggles a right and proper British gentleman who takes command of every scene he is in. It is kind of funny but when pushes his chest out and looks regal or heroic he reminds me alot of John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek: TNG).
I am not all that familiar with Alex Hyde-White. The only other role I know he played was Mr Fantastic in Roger Corman’s version of the Fantastic Four. But I have to say that he is the best part of this movie. He is capable, heroic, comedic and is able to react to the weirdest of circumstances. I really liked him in the role and he was an interesting counter balance to the prim and proper Biggles.
One interesting trivia fact is that three years before Cushing made Star Wars he worked with an actor named David Prowse on 1974’s Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. In that film, Cushing was Frankenstein and Prowse was his monster. Prowse would go on to play Darth Vader in Star Wars.
2 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer