Movie Information

In Brief: Roger Moore (taking a break from his 007 duties) plays a misogynistic, cat-loving Scot named Rufus Excalibur ffolkes: a man with a commando unit all his own who is called in to deal with terrorists (headed by Anthony Perkins, no less). The terrorists are threatening to blow up an oil rig in the North Sea unless ransom demands are met. It's every bit as ridiculous as that sounds, but it's also relatively entertaining — for the most part.
Genre: Action
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen (The Wild Geese)
Starring: Roger Moore, James Mason, Anthony Perkins, Michael Parks, David Hedison
Rated: PG

Watching Andrew V. McLaglen’s ffolkes (1979), the main thing that occurred to me is how much more entertainingly preposterous it would have been if Michael Winner had directed it for Golan-Globus. Instead, this preposterous yarn about the cat-loving, woman-hating, Scotch-guzzling self-styled commando specialist Rufus Excalibur ffolkes (Roger Moore) is saddled with the flat-footed TV style skills of Andrew V. McLaglen (son of actor Victor McLaglen) — a director who on occasion rises to the level of competent. Here we have a director who can’t manage to get an interesting performance out of Anthony Perkins — something I would have thought quite impossible. That said, Moore is amusing in the title role and the last 20 minutes of the film do manage to generate some suspense. The story of terrorists taking a couple of oil rigs hostage (they’re going to blow them up if the government doesn’t break loose with 25 million pounds) is in the OK realm without being extraordinary in any way. In the end, I didn’t mind seeing it once, but I doubt I will want to see it again.

The Hendersonville Film Society will show ffolkes Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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