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Exclusive photos: New psychodrama is anything but “NORMAL”

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Rhode Island-based genre specialist Richard Griffin and his Scorpio Film Releasing have turned away from their usual over-the-top horror/exploitation films (BEYOND THE DUNWICH HORROR, NUN OF THAT) for more psychological disturbance with the just-wrapped NORMAL. Read on for details and a few exclusive pics.

Scripted by playwright Lenny Schwartz, NORMAL stars Michael Reed as Jim, an apartment superintendent with a seriously troubled past. “Through a series of flashbacks, and interactions with the mysterious tenants he is surrounded by,” according to the synopsis, “we not only learn of his dark secrets, but also what it means to be normal. The answers he finds in his journey will shatter not only his perceptions of the past, but also his fragile grip on reality.” The cast also includes Sarah Nicklin, Nathaniel Sylva, Elyssa Baldassarri, Shannon Hartman, Samantha Acampora, Rich Tretheway, David Wilson, Monica Saviolakis, Patrick Keefe, Ben Royer, Christopher Ferreira and Michael Thurber.

“When I received the screenplay by Lenny Schwartz,” Griffin says, “I was completely floored not only at the emotional content of the material, but its originality. I can honestly say without the threat of sounding pretentious that audiences have never seen anything like NORMAL. It’s almost unclassifiable. It’s not a horror film, but it has horrific elements—its content being more emotionally violent than physical. It’s not just a straightforward drama or psychological thriller either. It’s a profoundly moving and, in parts, disturbing character study that I believe will haunt people for days after viewing it. I am honored to have been a part of such a unique vision.”

The project is a departure for Reed as well, following his previous turns for Griffin including the title role in THE DISCO EXORCIST. The hurdles of making an independent movie, however, remained the same. “Shooting a feature film in 10 days has its challenges,” the actor says. “Typically, when one hears that you’ll be shooting a feature in a short amount of time, it’s a slightly scary feeling—especially when you’re in almost every scene. A lot of work and preparation goes into shooting a feature, and we were lucky to be working the majority of scenes on a soundstage where we built our own apartment-building set.”

Look for NORMAL to be released later this year, and for a feature by Debbie Rochon on Griffin’s EXHUMED in Fango #324, on sale now.

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor, the position he holds to this day while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews.
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