Flyswatter as Mengele in Surf Nazis Must Die
Michael David Sonye|
April 22, 1954
|Occupation||Actor, screenwriter, musician|
Michael David Sonye (pronounced //, born April 22, 1954), best known by his stage name Dukey Flyswatter, is an American actor, screenwriter and musician, recognized for his work on numerous low-budget B movies and as singer for the Los Angeles horror punk band Haunted Garage.
Sonye first began acting as a teenager in community theatre, where at one point he received improvisation lessons from Del Close. His earliest screen credit came in 1975, when he worked as a script doctor on a draft of the screenplay for the horror film Frozen Scream, which was famously listed as one of the original "video nasties"; though the film was not banned outright, it still remains unreleased in the United Kingdom. Nearly a decade later, Sonye struck up a partnership with prolific low-budget director Fred Olen Ray. With Ray, Sonye penned the screenplays for his films Prison Ship and Commando Squad, both of which he acted in, and appeared in minor roles in films including The Tomb, Cyclone and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.
In 1987, Sonye wrote the screenplay for the campy horror comedy Blood Diner. A loose remake of the 1963 Herschell Gordon Lewis film Blood Feast, Blood Diner has since been dubbed a "cult classic" by horror fans and websites such as Dread Central, HorrorNews.net and GeekNation. The same year, Sonye appeared in a co-starring role as the villainous Mengele in the infamous Troma-produced Surf Nazis Must Die, itself also considered a "cult classic", albeit as one of the worst movies ever made. In 1988, he provided the voice of Uncle Impie, the primary puppet antagonist of David DeCoteau's Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama.
Since the 1990s, Sonye has mostly played cameos in smaller-budgeted independent horror films, though also appeared in a string of adult films playing comedic non-sex roles such as "The Clit Master" in the Extreme Associates film Terrors from the Clit and "P. T. Bone 'Em" in the superhero parody Super Quick 2, the latter of which earned him a nomination for "Best Non-Sex Performance – Film or Video" at the 2002 AVN Awards. In 2004, Sonye had a major role playing fetish filmmaker Irving Klaw in the Bettie Page biopic Bettie Page: Dark Angel.
In 1985, Sonye formed the horror punk/heavy metal band Haunted Garage in Los Angeles, where he filled the role of lyricist and lead singer at the behest of the band's bassist – as he recalled in a 2013 interview, "I hadn't done any singing, except [while] being drunk". It was during the formation of the band that Sonye created his Dukey Flyswatter nickname and stage persona. Wanting to be an "Isaac Hayes/Escape from N.Y./Duke of LA-type character", he adopted the name "Dukey", while "Flyswatter" was suggested by a bandmate. As he said in a 2012 interview, "Michael Sonye was gone and Dukey Flyswatter stayed...Michael Sonye was the reserved one and Dukey Flyswatter was the persona, the artist, and he was really out there".
Noted for their bloody and prop-filled live shows, irreverent B movie-inspired lyrics and Flyswatter's manic shock rock stage antics, Haunted Garage became a prominent fixture in the Los Angeles underground throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, recording music for and appearing onscreen in several low-budget horror films including Cyclone and Nightmare Sisters before eventually signing to Metal Blade Records to release their sole LP Possession Park in 1991. Following their disbandment in 1993, Sonye sang in several other groups including the cross-dressing riot grrrrl parody band Fox Twat, the Dead Kennedys tribute Hemorrhoid in Cambodia and the Dead Boys tribute Moronic Reducer, the latter of which was showcased in the 2001 tribute band documentary Tributary: A Study of an American Pop Culture Subculture. More recently, Flyswatter has fronted another Dead Kennedys tribute band, the zombie-themed Undead Kennedys, which, in 2015, was ranked 14th on LA Weekly's Top 20 tribute bands in Los Angeles.
After a series of one-off reunion shows spanning from 1995 to 2008, Haunted Garage re-formed in 2013 with an all new line-up, featuring Flyswatter as the only original member. In 2016, with producer Paul Roessler, the band released the EP Slenderman and Other Strange Tales, their first studio release in twenty five years.
In 1991, Sonye made a cameo appearance in the music video for Green Jellÿ's "The Misadventures of Shitman", which was later released on their video tape Cereal Killer, and in 2013 he appeared in The Radioactive Chicken Heads' music video for their song "Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer", itself the theme to the 2012 horror comedy of the same name. In 1992, he appeared with Haunted Garage on The Montel Williams Show alongside Sean Brennan of London After Midnight in a special about gothic rock and the vampire subculture. Sonye's eyeball is featured as the cover of Transmissions from Planet Awesome, a 1998 album by punk rock band ADZ, a side project of Adolescents singer Tony Cadena. ADZ additionally recorded a song called "Flyswatter" in tribute to Sonye which appeared on the 1999 compilation Odz 'n' Sodz.
Sonye is an avid fan and collector of vintage horror and exploitation cinema, and served as a creative consultant on Fred Olen Ray's 1985 Sleazemania!, a video compilation of exploitation trailers from the 1930s through the 1960s. He has written articles about horror and Halloween-related media and events for The Los Angeles Beat, and has also written several unproduced scripts and projects, including having co-written a musical adaptation of Blood Feast with Johnny Angel Wendell which is currently seeking financing.
|1986||Cards of Death||Shot on video feature film.|
|Prison Ship||Krago||AKA Star Slammer. Directed by Fred Olen Ray|
|The Tomb||Waiter||Directed by Fred Olen Ray|
|1987||Commando Squad||Directed by Fred Olen Ray|
|Cyclone||Haunted Garage||Directed by Fred Olen Ray|
|Surf Nazis Must Die||Mengele||Directed by Peter George|
|1988||Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama||Uncle Impie (the Imp)||Directed by David DeCoteau|
|Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers||Jake the Bartender||Directed by Fred Olen Ray|
|Nightmare Sisters||Omar||Directed by David DeCoteau|
|The Phantom Empire||Picnic Guy||Directed by Fred Olen Ray|
|1989||Disgusting Space Worms Eat Everyone!!||Ziegler||Shot on video feature film.|
|Roller Blade Warriors: Taken By Force||Karp||Directed by Donald G. Jackson|
|1990||Dark Romances, Vol. 1||Nightmare Man|
|1993||Breakfast of Aliens||Singer for Haunted Garage||Directed by David Lee Miller|
|1995||Lord of Illusions||Cultist||Directed by Clive Barker|
|1998||Terrors from the Clit||Clit Master||Adult film. Directed by Rob Black|
|1999||Cool Air||Street Bum||Short film based on H. P. Lovecraft's "Cool Air"|
|Debbie Does Damnation|
|2000||Callgirls Undercover 3||Adult film|
|2001||Terrors from the Clit 2||Clit Master||Adult film|
|Super Quick 2||P. T. Bone 'Em||Adult film. Nominated for Best Non-Sex Performance at the 2002 AVN Awards|
|Wally Wanker's Candy Fuctory||Adult film|
|2004||Bettie Page: Dark Angel||Irving Klaw||Directed by Nico B.|
|2006||Dorm of the Dead||Alf|
|2009||The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited||Himself||Mockumentary featured on several Friday the 13th DVDs.|
|2012||Reel Evil||Homeless Man|
|2013||Lights Out||Harry the Homeowner||Short film|
|That $#!% Will Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture||Himself||Documentary on Shock Theater directed by Robert Tinnell|
|1975||Frozen Scream||with Doug Ferrin & Celeste Hammond|
|1986||Prison Ship||Story by Sonye, Fred Olen Ray & Miriam L. Preissel|
|Cold Steel||Story by Lisa M. Hansen, Dorothy Ann Puzo & Moe Quigley|
|1989||Out on Bail||with Tom Badal & Jason Booth|
All with Haunted Garage.
|1990||Dark Romances, Vol. 2|
|2000||The Dead Hate the Living!|
|2009||Night of the Demons|
- Baughman, Rhoda (November 29, 2012). ""Hey You, In the Front Row – You Want a Wish?" (An Interview with Michael "Dukey Flyswatter" Sonye)". dorkswithoutfaces.com.
- "Video Nasties – A review of all 74 films that made the DPP hitlist.". realmofhorror.co.uk.
- "Exclusive Interview and Photos: Tim Sullivan, Adam Rifkin and Anton Troy". Dread Central. September 12, 2011.
- Martin, Todd (February 24, 2013). "Film Review: Blood Diner (1987)". HorrorNews.net.
- "Killer POV: Ep. 5". GeekNation.
- "Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)". Allmovie.
- "AVN – Super Quick 2". AVN.com.
- "Weird Interview: Haunted Garage". The Weirdest Band in the World. November 3, 2013.
- Hermann, Andy (October 25, 2013). "These '80s Horror Punks Are Back From the Dead". LA Weekly.
- Tudor, Silke (October 7, 1998). "House of Tudor". SF Weekly.
- "Related Bands". Archived from the original on December 27, 2001.
- Tudor, Silke (March 17, 1999). "The House of Tudor". SF Weekly.
- "The 20 Best Tribute Bands in Los Angeles". LA Weekly. March 10, 2015.
- "London After Midnight F.A.Q.". London After Midnight.
- "Dukey Flyswatter – The LA Beat". The Los Angeles Beat.
- Lande, Stacy (2001). The Red Box: The Phantasma-Allegorical Portraits of Stacy Lande. p. 13: Last Gasp of San Francisco.
- Dukey Flyswatter at the Internet Movie Database
- Haunted Garage on Facebook
- Undead Kennedys on Facebook