Video ABC Man Trap
Poor Martin Fry suffers every time he appears on film. The ‘Poison Arrow’ video shrank him to Tom Thumb size and then had him shot at. Now that promo has been developed into an hour-long film in which Martin gets mugged, drugged and dumped in Prague.
Man Trap is directed by Julien Temple, the self-styled ‘rogue’ responsible for the Pistols’ Great Rock And Roll Swindle. It will almost certainly appear as a support feature in your local cinema sometime in July and be available in video a couple of weeks after. Meanwhile our spies have smuggled out these exclusive preview shots.
Man Trap features most of ‘Lexicon Of Love’ and plenty of concert footage of the ABC that toured Britain last year.
“It’s primarily a concert film for selling ABC,” Temple explains. “They’re not at their strongest live so we had to come up with a story to carry the viewer along.
“Martin plays the one nice guy in the film. Everyone else is hiding things from him and tricking him.”
Man Trap’s themes of manipulation and masquerade fit in well with those of the Swindle.
“ABC wear their skeleton outside their body,” says Temple. “They package themselves in a very surface way. In Man Trap the whole ABC deal is being manipulated for outside purposes: ABC is just a front.”
Meanwhile the new three-piece ABC remain remarkably quiet. A single is promised later this year but there will be no LP till 1984.
We just hope that’s the real Mr Fry working away in Sheffield. Anyone can wear a gold lamé suit but it’ll take the real Martin to write some new ABC songs.
The story so far: Martin, down on his luck, is gambling away his last pennies. The ‘Poison Lady’ appears and gives him some winning tips. Flushed with success, Fry leaves the casino only to be set upon by a gang of thieves. The rest of ABC then effect Martin’s rescue, obliging him to join them and accompany the group on a tour of Eastern Europe. Unfortunately for Martin, this ABC is a fake group set up by villainous manager James Villiers in order to swop Martin with his double in Prague.
Whether this double is a Russian agent or an escaping dissident we are never told, nor does it become clear whether it is Martin or his double who returns to the West at the film’s end. Meanwhile Martin has some nasty nightmares and hallucinations in Eastern Europe while remaining the victim of virtually everyone he meets. It’s tough at the top.