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» » Crimson: The Motion Picture (2011)

Short summary

Walter Levitte is a comic book artist who is down on his luck. A fateful accident leads him to awaken in a hospital with extreme nerve damage and memory loss. His only memory is that of his comic book character, CRIMSON. Believing he is CRIMSON, Walter escapes the hospital and embarks on a vigilante mission to rid his home town of the Irish Mafia.

The movie took three years to complete. This was in part due to the fact that each and every person on the cast and crew worked a day job, and filming could only be done on Wednesdays.

When questioned about Crimson's voice being reminiscent of Christian Bale's in "Batman", director Ken Cosentino replied, "Well, Crimson has severe brain damage. What's Christian Bale's excuse?"

The makers of the film have commented that Crimson is meant, in some ways, to be a "poor man's Batman. He is Bruce Wayne without the money or charm."

The entire production phase was completed with little over $4,000, and it wasn't until post production that more money was acquired.

All of the action in the film is real. Actors suffered lacerations, dislocations, concussions and many other injuries... many of which can be seen on camera in the final product.

Director Ken Cosentino was 19 years old at the start of the project.

There is a deleted scene following the fight sequence in the factory, in which Crimson seeks refuge in a boxing gym. Upon entering the gym, he is thrown into the ring and forced to battle three boxers and their trainer. The scene was cut for time.

Bad guy Tommy Emerson is played by pro-boxer James Ventry. Ventry is known for fighting Omar Chavez at Madison Square Garden. In a tragic bout just one fight before Ventry, Chavez fought and killed Marco Nazareth in the ring.

There are two "one-takes" or "long-shots" in this movie where the camera does not cut away. The first is in Amanda's house as the cops are playing cards, and the second is the intro to the big finale.

Star Mike Leszczynski, who plays Walter Levitte/Crimson, dislocated his shoulder after being thrown through the air by Michael Shimmel during training for stunt choreography.

This is Lizzy Bruno's first role.

The original finale included a brilliant score, but was replaced in the final moments before distribution with Fur Elise.

Gus Posey, who plays mob boss Boyd Emerson, was born with mild-dwarfism. Cosentino felt this would be a great play as most grand villains tower over the hero.

Character Bill Rawtowski (played by Ron Harkins) is a tip of the hat to J. Jonah Jameson, Peter Parker/Spiderman's boss at the Daily Bugle. Rawtowski is both director Ken Cosentino and producer James Ventry's favorite character in the movie.

A representative from PopCinema, Crimson's distributor, contacted the makers upon seeing the movie and commented that Crimson had "the best fight choreography we've ever seen in a microbudget film."

Director Ken Cosentino plays two parts in the film. The first is Harry, the clerk who is robbed at Vincenzo's Pizzeria. The second is the super-hero version of Crimson in the dream sequence. It is ironic that Harry tells Walter he is not a super-hero, and Crimson tells him just the opposite. Cosentino is not credited for his role as Harry.

Due to the time span from pre-production to post production (three years), many members of cast and crew lost loved ones along the way. Two such were actor and producer James Ventry's father, David Rocco Ventry, and director Ken Cosentino's beloved grandfather Anthony Cosentino. The film is dedicated in their honor after the end credits.

In the scene where Boyd Emerson throws Crimson through the glass cabinet before pulling it on top of him, the man in the red hoodie is none other than director Ken Cosentino. Cosentino stood in for star Mike Leszczynski, worried that he would be harmed doing the stunt and reasoning that the movie would not be completed if Leszczynski was hurt.

On set during the first day of production, director Ken Cosentino received a phone call informing him that he was fired from his job as an airbrush artist, his only means of income after having put his entire bank account into the budget.

The silent one-eyed assassin, Santiago De Jesus Diazinho, is played by Marco "The Tick" Mendez. Mendez is an accomplished breakdancer which landed him this role.

The movie opens with a quote by Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." In addition to being the theme of the movie, this is also in reference to the murder of Kitty Genovese, who was murdered in New York City while bystanders watched and did nothing.

One camera was used to film the entire motion picture. A Panasonic AVCCAM HMC-150. The entire budget for production (not including post production) was used to purchase the camera and microphone, a RODE NTG-1.

The final scene to be filmed was the dream sequence in which Walter (Mike Leszczynski) is burned by molten crayon. The script calls for Walter to fall into a vat, entirely submerging his body, but due to budget constraints the end result is only Walter's hands receiving effects.

Upon completion, the makers of Crimson: The Motion Picture held a two night local premiere in Niagara Falls, NY. Hundreds of people showed up and received free popcorn with their ticket. Many also received free t-shirts, DVDs, and light up Crimson shot glasses.

The ending in the original script included one hundred homeless men ransacking a casino. Director Ken Cosentino cut this ending due to budgetary constraints.

In the factory fight sequence between Walter/Crimson and Santiago, Walter is thrown and tumbles into the concrete. This was not staged. Actor Mike Leszczynski slipped on gravel and the resulting fall was used in the final cut.

The sex scene was added when director Ken Cosentino's grandfather told him, "Is there sex? You gotta have sex. Sex sells."

Writer Michael Shimmel was inspired to write the script for "Crimson: The Motion Picture" by the viral phenomena "Grayson".


Credited cast:
Ayman Abdellatif Ayman Abdellatif - Thug
Wadi Abdellatif Wadi Abdellatif - Cortez
Bryan Ball Bryan Ball - Irish Hooligan 3
Jason John Beebe Jason John Beebe - Irish Hooligan 1
Joseph Biondo Joseph Biondo - Joe The Bodyguard
Bob Bozek Bob Bozek - Henry (as Robert Bozek)
Richard Brown Richard Brown - Drunkard
Lizzy Bruno Lizzy Bruno - Amanda Levitte
Dan Carl Dan Carl - Tiny
Rob Cicero Rob Cicero - Boxer
Doug Cohen Doug Cohen - Prison Guard 1
Patrick Conley Patrick Conley - Barber
Ken Cosentino Ken Cosentino - Crimson
Brook D'Angelo Brook D'Angelo - Bar Hag
Dacia Dunnigan Dacia Dunnigan - Rosemary
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