Movie franchises have been around for just about as long as movies themselves. And since movies have existed for over a century, that means there have been a lot of franchises over the years. Many of them have long been forgotten, some deservedly so, but there’s one franchise out there that you probably forgot about that deserves a second look: F/X.
F/X is a decidedly weird franchise, but that’s part of what makes it so great. The series centers on movie special effects expert Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown), the best in the business. In the original film, 1986’s F/X, Rollie is hired by the police to stage the murder of a mafioso-turned-informant to prevent him from being killed for real ahead of his trial by angry mobsters who don’t want him testifying. But Rollie ends up being set up by the cops, who are working with the mobster for a payoff. They try to kill Rollie to tie up their loose ends, but he manages to escape and instead of thanking his lucky stars he got away, he sets off on a mission of revenge.
Enter honest cop Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy), who was suspended for asking too many questions about the case. Rollie ends up teaming up with the officer, with Leo using his no-nonsense police skills and Rollie utilizing every special effect at his disposal. They make for a highly-unorthodox and wickedly-fun duo, offering up a nice change of pace from your typical buddy cop franchise thanks to the added element of the special effects.
The original film was followed by a sequel in 1991 that brought back stars Brown and Dennehy for another adventure, and there was even a spinoff TV series that ran for two seasons from 1996 to 1998, with Cameron Daddo and Kevin Dobson taking over the roles of Rollie and Leo, respectively.
There’s been some talk of a possible revival over the past decade, but thus far nothing has come to fruition. It’s entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that the F/X franchise will never continue. And while that would certainly be a shame, you can still enjoy the original films. Lucky for you, both F/X and F/X 2 are playing multiple times during the month of October on CHARGE! starting on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 11 pm EST/10 pm C. Be sure to check our schedule for more airings throughout the month in your area.