Michael David Sonye (/ˈsʌni/; born April 22, 1954), best known by his stage and screen 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.
Flyswatter 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, Flyswatter struck up a partnership with prolific low-budget director Fred Olen Ray. With Ray, Flyswatter 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, Flyswatter 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, he 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, Flyswatter 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, Flyswatter 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, Flyswatter had a major role playing fetish filmmaker Irving Klaw in the Bettie Page biopic Bettie Page: Dark Angel.
In 1985, Flyswatter 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 he 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”.