July 16, 2020
As his supernatural thriller about murder and corruption in the Bible belt hits screens after three decades in limbo, the director talks about smash hits and on-set anarchy
‘If you make films that don’t fit into a particular slot, distributors and publicity people just don’t know what to do with them,” muses Mike Hodges from his Dorset farm. It’s the story of his career. Hodges, who turns 88 this month, made two of the best-known British movies ever: definitive gangster thriller Get Carter and sci-fi romp Flash Gordon. But many of his other films, through no fault of his own, barely saw the light of day. His 1974 sci-fi thriller The Terminal Man never got a UK release; he was fired from Damien: Omen II; Mickey Rourke IRA thriller A Prayer for the Dying was re-edited behind his back.
And then there’s supernatural thriller Black Rainbow, that Hodges wrote and directed in 1989. It is one of his best films, but its distributors fell into financial difficulties, so it never got a full cinema release. “By the time I made Black Rainbow I’d got kind of used to it,” Hodges laughs. “I was pretty angry of course, but there we go. One of those things.”