#1 Intro: “Hi, my name is Alex. I made a movie.”


This is how I look when I'm happy.
This is how I look when I’m happy.

Each year, there are 10,000 movies produced in the United States.  OK, I made that number up for dramatic effect.  A lot of movies are made every year.  Either more, or less than 10,000.  But the important question isn’t how many movies are made each year, it’s how did they get made?

I hope you think that’s an important, or at least, kinda interesting question.  The reason being, I’m going to tell you how one of those 10,000 or so movies was actually made.

Yup, hang onto your hats, folks, because here comes the behind the scenes story of how GRUDGE MATCH, starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro, was made!

Sorry, that’s not true.  I have no idea how that movie was made.  I’d assume that someone thought it would be funny to have Rocky fight Raging Bull when they were senior citizens.  Then a screenplay was written.  Eventually, that screenplay found it’s way into the hands of the men who played Rocky and Raging Bull.  They liked it and agreed to make the movie.  Some other things happened and voila!

GRUDGE MATCH!  In theaters on Christmas Day!

My story doesn’t involve Robert DeNiro.  And Sylvester Stallone is only involved because I love ROCKY and he inspired me.  And by “he” I mean both Sylvester Stallone and Rocky.  Truth is, neither Sylvester Stallone, nor Rocky Balboa knows I exist.

Hanging in our living room.
Hanging in our living room.

But enough about me and my sad life, let’s talk about THE SHOWER.

The Shower is an ultra-low budget horror-comedy about a group of friends who get trapped at a baby shower without food, water or power, when a mysterious outbreak starts turning people into homicidal maniacs.


Photo by Harry Frith  Poster Design by Kevin McShane Scary Clown by Tony Rago
Photo by Harry Frith       Poster Design by Kevin McShane       Scary Clown by Tony Rago

The Shower is also one of the 10,000 or so movies produced each year in the United States.  Yeah, that’s right.  Made in the USA.  I know this because I was there.  Right from the beginning.  All the way to the bitter end…

I think I went a little tabloid-y with that last part.  I honestly don’t know if the end will be bitter.  We’re not quite there yet.  But I’m hoping it won’t be.  I’m not just hoping.  I’m working, which can sometimes be even more effective than hope.  Don’t think I’m anti-hope.  I’m pro-hope.  I love hope.  But there’s a lot of work that needs to get done so the story of The Shower has a happy ending.

Let’s start at the beginning.


“Once upon a time, a guy walked into a restaurant… And never left.”

That guy, would be me.  It was May 1995.  I was 18 years old and I was looking for a job.  Somewhere that paid cash and I could possibly meet a girl, since I’d had nothing but rotten luck with women ever since I was ripped from my mother’s womb.  (I was a C-section.  My head was too big.  Still is.)  The restaurant was Johnny Rockets in Hoboken, NJ.  For those who aren’t familiar with Johnny Rockets, it’s a 1950s style burger joint.  Well, I got the job, and my life changed forever.

I was finishing my freshman year in college and I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do when I grew up.  My greatest hope at that point was to teach high school English and find a nice, Catholic supermodel that would pay the bills and give me at least 5 male heirs. Yeah, I was clueless, and essentially, hopeless.  But there were forces at work that I was not yet aware of.

I was a soda jerk. 3rd from the left. This picture was taken in 1998. Those are my friends Janine and John to my right. I can’t remember the name of the girl to my left.

You see, the restaurant world is teeming with aspiring actors, writers and directors.  Even in New Jersey.  Many of my co-workers were actors living in Hoboken and Jersey City because the rent was much cheaper on our side of the Hudson.  They wanted to act in plays.  They wanted to act on TV. They wanted to act in movies.  They even wanted to make movies.  They had gone to colleges and universities to learn how to do those things.  I had never met such insane and interesting people in my life. They gladly accepted me into their tribe.

Apparently, hanging around with people who have dreams can be infectious.  Pretty soon, I was dreaming right there with them.


Author: Alex

A married waiter/filmmaker with two kids.

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