Beware…The Pike!

1982 was a very busy year for bouncer turned stock music composer turned author Cliff Twemlow. His autobiography The Tuxedo Warrior had been adapted into a feature film (which Twemlow also had a small onscreen role in) and his entry into the killer animal genre that was so popular in the UK, The Pike had just been published. Given their (admittedly exaggerated) reputation for attacking anything in the water (including things much larger than them), the Northern Pike is an excellent source of horror in the water. And that’s even factoring in how your average pike is usually around four feet long. When you expand one to giant size, you have a definite monster on your hands. Apparently inspired by the recent adaptation of The Tuxedo Warrior, he set out to bring The Pike to the screen with none other than Joan Collins as the lead protagonist. But obtaining such star power and a massive animatronic pike costs good money and his funds soon ran out. Twemlow and the cast members made appearances on TV programs like Look North and Tomorrow’s World to showcase both test footage and the pike prop in an attempt to raise enough funds to finish the movie. The latter appearance can be seen below:

As you might have guessed from the lack of a listing for the film at the IMDB, the funding was not obtained and the rest of the filming sadly fell through (as did Twemlow’s second attempt to get a film adaptation of The Pike made). Interested parties can find more information in the comments section for video, which features several comments from people who were involved in the project. But what about the mechanical prop? It also turns out it is now on display at a Japanese robotics exhibit! Those interested in seeing more images of it should be very interested in this slideshow that a British friend of mine directed me to. The next year, Cliff Twemlow reworked a rejected horror script he had submitted to Hammer Films into his novel The Beast of Kane and wrote/scored/starred in two horror movies (in addition to several other films). But despite that, the adaptation of The Pike remained stuck in the realm of movies that were never made.

It’s a shame Cliff Twemlow passed away before crowdfunding became as accessible as it is today. After all, there have been plenty of Kickstarter campaigns for films that were successfully funded despite having less work completed than this project. Perhaps his estate could make another go at it? Joan Collins is still alive as of this writing and it wouldn’t be too hard to rework the script so that the 80’s test footage can be used as flashbacks. Failing that, there’s always Psycho Pike

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