Gruesome Threesome unearthed

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A meeting with James Balsamo has resulted in a new film for Terry R. Wickham and  an opportunity to resurrect some of his older films

 

A recent visit Director Terry R. Wickham had with his filmmakng friend James Balsamo has resulted in a new film to be called Gruesome Threesome.  Wickham elaborates, “I showed James a bunch of my films; “The Downfall of Johnny Garrett“, “Stalk“, Washington Road, Help Me, “Hair of The Dog” and an early preview of the not quite finished “The Devil’s Five” segment.

"Johnny Garrett" (Steve Rodriguez) senses he's not alone in the segment "The Downfall of Johnny Garrett" in the feature film Evil Streets Terry Directed for Writer/Producer Michael Knight.

“Johnny Garrett” (Steve Rodriguez) senses he’s not alone in the segment “The Downfall of Johnny Garrett” Terry Directed for Writer/Producer Michael Knight.

James totally enjoyed each of  my films and innocently asked what I was doing now with the older films.  He was passionate about seeing them get out there in the world because he was certain there is an audience for them.  He even told me the best avenue to make them available for people to stream or download the film.

"Misty" (SaRenna Lee) rules the stage @ Goldfingers during "Stalk"

“Misty” (SaRenna Lee) rules the stage @ Goldfingers during “Stalk”

His suggestions kicked me in the butt to do something about it.  So I called Hair of the Dog Writer/Producer Tim Clark to propose the idea of putting “The Downfall of Johnny Garrett”, “Stalk” and “Hair of the Dog” together as one feature film.

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You don’t want to cross paths with “Bloody Mary” in Hair of the Dog

 

Tim was totally down for teaming up and writing the script for a new wraparound to house those segments and make it work as one Feature Film we are calling Gruesome Threesome.

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Writer/Producer Tim Clark was not afraid on hamming it up in “Hair of the Dog” playing the dead body of Agent Rannacher

 

What I loved is Tim jumped on it right away writing the 7-page wraparound script in less than 24-hours and I am thrilled what he came up with.  It’s simple, funny and totally has Tim’s unique witty spin on such a tale.

I likewise will not waste any time,  as auditions will be held for the three characters needed within two weeks and I want to shoot it after the holidays in early January.  Then we will get in on the platform where anyone can rent or download the movie.

Thank you James.”

Don’t Breathe Blu-Ray

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Don’t Breathe

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment – 2016

Directed by Fede Alvarez
Written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues

Starring

Jane Levy
Dylan Minnette
Daniel Zovatto
Stephen Lang

Usually films are over-hyped to the max by the movie studio publicity machine and normally don’t measure up to everything said about them.  But that is not the case with Don’t Breathe.  It is just as good as advertised.  I first saw Don’t Breathe when it was released in the theater back in August and absolutely loved it.

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Three young criminals choose to rob the house of disabled veteran, who is permanently blind and who was awarded three-hundred thousand dollars when his daughter was killed in a car accident.

What seems to be a perfect setup for the lawbreakers turns out to be a nightmare instead.

Director Fede Alvarez really takes advantage of maximizing suspense out of every dramatic turn.  He does this with his brilliantly conceived direction, which is carried out with precision.  What’s so smart about the cinematic approach is that it contains set piece after set piece, all designed to put you on the edge of your seat.  I’ve read that Alvarez’s tactic on this film was in reaction to the criticism he received for the considerable graphic onscreen violence in his Evil Dead remake.

The movie is aided by the stark and incredibly lit cinematography from Pedro Luque.  The innovative music score from Rogue Baños is another huge factor in helping creating tense mood and palpable atmosphere.  There’s little doubt that Alvarez and Baños should continue to work together as a cinematic team because their onscreen chemistry as director-composer is two for two.

There’s no black and white characters, but instead on screen people who come in various shades of grey.  Alvarez and Co-Writer Rodo Sayagues aren’t afraid of pulling the rug out from your feet and having characters shift from someone you feel sad for to twisting into someone you despise and vice versa.

I call this daring filmmaking and so much fresher than the stale stereotypes you usually encounter in most films.

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Don’t Breathe is an original take on the home invasion thriller, but if I was to bring up any other films that would best describe it, would be a cross between Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs and a little pinch of Silence of The Lambs.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment delivers some mighty fine supplements.  These include Deleted Scenes with Commentary.  A lively and wonderfully informative Commentary track with Director Fede Alvarez, Co-Writer Rodo Sayagues and Actor Stephen Lang.  There’s also five cool featurettes that go beyond the scenes of the movie’s most important aspects; No Escape – chronicles the setup of the movie and how it was designed for maximum payoff.  Creating the Creepy House – shows and talks about how the filmmakers choose to flip the normal scary house to using the best looking house in the neighborhood as their horror house.  Meet the Cast – focuses in on all the main characters and gives a chance to show us how they worked behind the scenes.  Man in the Dark – gives special attention to Stephen Lang’s dynamic and layered performance as “The Blind Man.”  The Sounds of Horror captures the intricate work from Music Composer Rogue Baños who tapped a homemade music instrument creator to capture most of the sounds heard in the score.

Don’t Breathe is the best movie I saw in 2016.  The Blu-ray should be owned by all those who love suspenseful movies packed with cinematic excellence.  It would make a great Christmas gift and you could get  jump on early, as it will be released on Tuesday November 29th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

www.sonypictures.com

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“Choke” Shooting begins Part 2

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Jared Christopherson (center) stood tall for the first day of production on “Choke.” He graciously allowed full use of his penthouse apartment in NYC and even played the important role of the “Producer’s Assistant.” He was critical in making the first day of shooting possible and one of the main reasons it went so well. Robert Sheps (back), Sarah Cruz (blue) and Lisa Zebrowski far right stand around Jared waiting their turn to do their thing in “Choke.” Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Before I get to the rest of the cast, I have to thank the unbelievably kind hospitality and amazing location Jared Christopherson provided for “Choke.”

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Being the host of movie like “Choke” does have it’s benefits. Left to right Lisa Zebrowski (front), Megan Penn (Back), Rrita Toka, Sarah R Cruz, Jared Christopherson and Stephanie Almeida.

 

His penthouse apartment overlooking NYU area, with an extensive massive “L” shaped rooftop terrace was perfect for the Red Carpet Event scene.

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The view from the Christopherson’s Penthouse apartment was magnificent to say the least and the weather cooperated as well on November 5th, 2016. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

The balcony perspective was absolutely sensational, but even better was how open Jared was to allow us to free reign to shoot the scene the way Edwin M. Figueroa wanted it.  I’m sure I speak for the rest of the cast & crew that we will be forever grateful to him for this day and I can honestly say we  could not have had a better place to begin the movie.

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Jared Christopherson as “Producer’s Assistant” delivers an important message to the Producer (George Brianka) in “Choke.” Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

On top of that, Jared played role in the scene as the “Producer’s Assistant” and he had the crucial function of trying to protect the Producer from seeing something that was going to really upset him.

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Designer / Wardrobe Stylist Janine Giorgenti stands in the middle of the men she provided the wardrobe on the set of “Choke.” Left to right, Stylist Assistant Alexandro Jomar Ramirez, James Balsamo, Janine Giorgenti, Terry Wickham and George Brianka. There is a saying that you feel as good as the clothes you wear and on this day we felt like a million bucks.

Next I have to talk about the contribution Designer/Wardrobe Stylist Janine Giorgenti gave making George Brianka, James Balsamo and I look our absolute best.  Janine not only provided the thousand dollar suits we each wore, but she personally came to the shoot to make sure the clothes fit us best and pinned us by hand, when she needed to.

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Designer / Wardrobe Stylist Janine Giorgenti stands in the middle of the men she helped look so good on the set of “Choke.” Her Assistant Alexandro Jomar Ramirez (left), James Balsamo (are to Janine’s right side), while Terry Wickham and George Brianka (are to her left). 11/5/16 NYC. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

It meant a  lot to me that someone as talented and successful as Janine was willing to help our little production.  It says so much about her kind and generous heart.  The world needs more people like Janine and I’m honored she was willing to help us look so good.

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Alexandro Jomar Ramirez Assisted Janine with Styling the filmmakers and then appearing as one of them in the film. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

Janine was assistant by Fashion Stylist Alexandro Jomar Ramirez, and we can’t thank them enough for the expertise and the incredible clothing they dressed us in.

If you live or do business on Long Island or New York City and are in need of any kind of men’s fine clothing, there is no one better than Janine Giorgenti.

Long Island
1325 Franklin Ave. Suite 255
Garden City, NY 11530
Manhattan
1 Rockefeller Plaza
10th Floor
New York, New York 11020
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These two “Cloaked Figure” appear in “Choke” as a hint of things to come in “Stash.” Terry Wickham (back), Stephanie Almeida and Jared Christopherson (Center), far right Alida Lang can be seen behind them. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Richard Kern was back to make a cameo as one of the “Cloaked Figures” from “Stash.”  Edwin thought this was a good idea since “Stash” will follow “Choke” in the order of movies shown in DEVIL’S FIVE.

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Rick also came through with helping provide some of the dinner as he spearhead obtaining a tray of Baked Ziti from Dan Romano @ Frankies East Side Gourmet Italian Restaurant (located 313 Main Street Farmingdale NY 516-756-2753) which was gobbled up faster than you can blink an eye.

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Jesse Ray Sheps looks happy to perform for Stephanie Almeida. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

The other “Cloaked Figure” from “Stash was young Jesse Ray Sheps.  It’s always great to work with the little guy who projects maturity way beyond his years.  Having worked with Jesse four times now (“Stash“, XXistence Teaser Trailer, “The Devil’s Five” and “Choke“), seeing him and his amazing parents Robert & Marci almost feels like family to me.

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Dazzle In, Stephanie Almeida and Megan Penn all enjoyed the multi-performance ability of Jesse Ray Sheps.

 

Choke” also afforded Jesse the opportunity to show off his musical skills on guitar and the ladies enjoyed his performing no doubt.

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Christian Peragine (left) is a chip off the shoulder of his dad Kato Peragine (right).

Last but certainly not least were our two Paparazzi photographers Kato Peragine and his son Christian Peragine.  I go all the way back to 1994, when I directed a Music Video for Guitarist Michael Knight called “The Phoenix“, which Kato was the drummer in that band.  Christian by the way has picked up the sticks and is really developed into drummer himself.

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Kato Peragine is a man of many talents. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

Kato and I struck up a friendship then and have worked together on all sorts of things since.  For example, back in the late 90s, when I couldn’t attended a Joe Satriani concert in NYC as a journalist/photographer I called Kato and he went to the show instead and covered the show with some amazing photographs.
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Kato couldn’t help but enjoy the view the incredible location offered. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

Kato auditioned for the role of “Johnny Garrett” in Evil Streets back in 1996 and served as the Gaffer on the fundraising Trailer I made for Anomaly.
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Kato found a inventive way to shot a self portrait on 11/5/16. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

Besides being an occasional actor and Drummer, Kato is also a very experienced Electrician and actually provided all the electrical work in my house right after we bought it.  Kato and his son (s) rewired/reinstalled every single outlet plug and light switch in the entire house.
Kato is also an accomplished and decorated Martial Arts Instructor and in mid-2015 I directed an Infomercial for the Super Punch and Kick Target product Kato and his business partner created.
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Christian Peragine looks pleased to be part of “Choke.” Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

Having Kato and Christian in “Choke” was fantastic for me because with their talent behind the lens and our long history, it just made the whole experience that much more meaningful.  Their outstanding pictures in this and the previous blog can certainly attest to that.