Your new movie Bronx
Bigfoot - in a few words, what is it about?
your basic revenge film. A mob boss kills one of his underlings for
stepping out with his girl. They dump him on an island and think they kill
him, but with the help of a radiation-filled drum, he transforms into the
title creature, bent on revenge. With all my films, I love to inject
comedy into the script, but having said that, this film is a real throw-back to the monster-on-the-loose films.
title "Bronx Bigfoot"
is close to ingenious already - so how did you come up with it, and what
was there first, the title or the story?
was talking to a group of filmmakers at a festival last year, and I was
asked what my next project would be. I told them I wanted to make a film
about how the Bronx would react to a Bigfoot. I was intrigued by the
concept, so I decided to add the mob-vs-monster concept to the script and
sat down and banged it out. It was more hardcore horror when I wrote it,
but in the midst of filming, the comedy aspect grew. Donnie, who plays the
creature, watched the original Bigfoot 8mm film and copied the way that
walked, he even did the head turn the creature does at the end of
the clip. So the title came first.
Bigfoot being both a monster and a mobster movie, are those genres
especially dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?
love monsters, always have. Iím
a big fan of 70ís horror, Blacula,
The Exorcist, The
Abominable Dr. Phibes, Octaman,
Track of the Moon Beast, and
Grave of the Vampire, anything
first two Godfather films, Once Upon a Time in America
and Goodfellas were
the best of that Genre, and my favorites. With the exception of Bill
Huckstabelle Serial Rapist, all my films have monsters, even though that
film was based on a real monster. As far as mobster films, I grew up in the Bronx, we have a lot of made guys and many more wannabes. When I wrote
my mobsters, I decided to spoof them. One of my favorite scenes is between
two wise guys who are hunting down the creature. One says he had a D…Jņ
VU last night, the other guy says ďDťjŗ Who? What are you speaking
Amore (my line producer) asked me how I wanted him to play The Don. I told
him I wanted an angry, irrational yelling Don, a loose cannon, and boy did
he play it right. I also made a political statement on gun control in one
of the killings, by showing how you may be in love with your gun, but
itís not always going to help you out of a deadly situation.
was your inspiration when writing Bronx
loved The LEgend of Boggy Creek. John Mc Dermott (Buddy Schumacher) and I
had to go and check up on his parentsí house up near Cooperstown many
years ago. We got drunk and wound up finding the film on a cable channel.
Being in the middle of nowhere, drunk and totally afraid of the woods, we
started to collect weapons just in case someone or something tried to get
into the house. I always felt more comfortable in the Bronx than I ever
had in the woods. The concept of not knowing if Bigfoot
exists is pretty
scary in itself. I wanted to do my own version, and I think I did a good
job of twisting the legend around.
What can you tell us about your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
actually took a lot of input from my crew on this film on how to shape the
roles they were playing. I had the main actors help write the people they
were playing. I let them add some dialogue of their own.
I also had Sal write the bar scene, which worked great because his
version was really good. I donít have a big ego, I allow outside input
into my films, only if it jives with what Iím trying to flesh out. It
really worked on this film. Iím also an easy guy to work with. I trust
my actors, and let them do their thing.
created the monster outfit, right? So do talk about that one for a bit!
I had a
real vision of what the Bigfoot should look like, so I had to create it
from scratch. The mask was created using foam rubber latex. I learned
how to do this by watching guys who worked on my previous films. I then
took the face and sewed it on a werewolf costume. I painted the outfit
to match the fall colors. We shot the film in a very warm December, poor
Donnie sweat his ass off. When I first showed the crew the headpiece,
they were surprised at how scary it looked. The big concern was how to
shoot the Bigfoot. Early tests helped us cover some of the flaws in the
suit. I must say, I was impressed with myself. On a low budget, the director
wears many hats.
talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
main guys (Sal, Marty, Scott and John) have been involved with all of my
films. This one was very in-house when it came to casting. I didnít have
a big budget on this one, so we cast all of my crew plus a few new faces
that really did a great job integrating with my crew. Many low budget
directors face the problem of people not showing up. I use people who are
good at their craft, and come to the set on time, ready to play.
shot quite a bit of Bronx
Bigfoot out in the streets of the Bronx - so did you have shooting
permissions at all, and what was it like filming there?
No. Bloodmarsh Krackoon was a bigger budget film. We had permits and location
permission, all legal. On Bronx
Bigfoot, we stole shots all over the
Bronx, usually late at night. The night we shot the park scenes, we were
approached by a group of men who thought we were really killing wise guys.
One of them, upon seeing my face, started to laugh. Donít worry guyís,
itís just Jerry Landi and his movie crew. Thank god they knew me. The
Bronx became another character in the film. When we screened it at the
Reel Bronx International Film Festival, people loved seeing their
neighborhood on the screen, we are very Bronx-centric.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
love making movies. After all these years, my crew and I are so in tune,
itís always fun. Shooting literally in your own backyard is half the
battle. Stealing shots is easy when you know the people your stealing them
from. My director of photography, Jeff Adorno, hardly ever gets credit.
But bringing him into the fold was the last piece I needed to round out my
crew. Sal Amore is also a great line producer. He does all the jobs I
canít, which is key in getting your vision correct. Marty is my key
soundman, another important piece, and John is my assistant director.
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
If you contact me at
where you can buy Bronx
Bigfoot on DVD along with my other films. We are also on video on
- where you can rent it and see the behind the scene stuff. Bloodmarsh
Krackoon has major distribution, so you can buy that online or rent it on
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Bronx
have three festival screenings lined up, with two screenings last month.
Everyone loves the film. Itís a lot of fun. The best thing people have
said is that it moves so fast, it makes you want more. I love that. Being
a film geek, I hate when a film drags and makes you lose interest. I work
hard at making a film that entertains you. Bronx
Bigfoot is our best
effort so far. I hope my next film is better, thatís the point.
Any future projects you'd like to
of getting better, our next film is an old fashioned ghost story. A
Hollywood producer, who happens to live here in the Bronx, gave me a
challenge. Jerry, he said, write a story with no profanity, no nudity, and
no gore, just scary and interesting. So I wrote it, and boy is it good.
Itís probably the most personal piece I have ever written. Iím
Bigfoot this summer and doing the festival route this
winter, so I plan to start shooting in September. They want to mainstream
this one, let's see how that goes.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results?
The links below
will take you
me on Facebook - Jerry Landi. You can also go to my Bloodmarsh
Krackoon Facebook page. Iím also on Twitter as Redeye One / Jerry
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
island where the movie starts is real (Davidís Island, Fort Slocum).
For years, we would go to the island and take pictures of the decay.
While writing the film, I came upon old army films, which were shot on
the island in the 30ís. It was great seeing what was there before time
and harsh weather destroyed the place. We actually used some of the
footage in the film. It also had Ajax Missile silos stationed there,
which gave me the radiation twist. We went back to the island to shoot
the opening credits, it was surreal.
you for helping me promote the film. And you can contact me at
for more information on our films. And if we come to your town, come see
the film and say hello, we love our fans.
Thanks for the interview!