Area residents took in the sights and sounds of locally created horror last fall, when Michael Centi's first film, "The Murderous Rampage of Malachi Stitch," premiered. Now, those who saw the film at The Spire of Jamestown or who wish to see it for the first time can purchase it online.
"We had a pretty good showing at The Spire," Centi said. "We had pretty good reviews for it. A lot of people had a lot of questions. Due to our limited resources, they were just kind of impressed with it."
Audiences laughed during the appropriate times and looked startled during other parts of the film, Centi said. That's exactly what the film's writer and director had in mind.
Jamestown native Michael Centi poses for a photo at The Spire of Jamestown with the poster for his first feature film, “The Murderous Rampage of Malachi Stitch.” The film premiered at The Spire on Halloween weekend last year, and Centi is now working on its sequel.
"Nowadays, it's kind of hard to shock anybody, so I took that as a compliment," he said.
"The Murderous Rampage of Malachi Stitch" begins as protagonist Gregory Miner, played by Centi, becomes a murder suspect in the small town of Red House. Authorities accuse Miner, a young psychologist, of taking the life of his father, the local mortician. As Miner searches for evidence in hopes of clearing his name, he is once again accused of murder.
Miner comes face-to-face with the dark secrets and realities of his past, which link to the unsolved murders. With the help of his long-time partner and a detective, Miner looks to end the killings and bury the past.
Along with Centi, Ben Eckstrom, Ian Bishop, Joshua Stahlman, and Matt and Whitney Basinger filled out the film's cast.
"The Murderous Rampage of Malachi Stitch" can be purchased at filmbaby.com. A DVD copy is $20 and a download is $5.
Centi, a counselor at The Resource Center, will now shift his focus to the film's sequel, which he hopes to complete next year. Once again, he will use the Jamestown area to film scenes and plans to start shooting in May. Centi has compiled a cast of 10 area residents. Some of them have acting experience; others do not. For specific scenes, Centi will call on local residents to serve as extras.
The film is called "The Murderous Revenge of Lizzie Stillborn," and five of the six actors from "The Murderous Rampage of Malachi Stitch" will return.
"I'm trying to, in some ways, outdo the first film with the special effects and the makeup and just have everything flow a lot better," Centi said. "The idea is to have everything be bigger and better this time."
He plans to make improvements with camera work, set designs and makeup, adding more attention to detail in all areas. Centi recently began designing props and costumes, and has secured a few locations for filming, including The Spire. Although several of the first film's characters will return, many of them will serve in different capacities. Some of the more minor characters will play leading roles and vice versa.
"With sequels, I believe in doing something a little bit different but that pays respect to the original film," Centi said. "It goes in a little bit of a different direction than the first one. If you were to watch it separately, it can stand alone by itself. I just think that doing a sequel, you know everyone is just going to recycle the same material again and have everything be expected. You almost have to do something different with it, but make it still go with the original one."
Centi hopes his films will gain mainstream success down the road. He'd like to introduce his works to Netflix or film festivals. In the meantime, he's happy with where he's at in the early stages of his filmmaking career.
"I think as long as I'm loving what I'm doing, that's the most important thing," he said. "If it becomes big, it does, but if it doesn't, that's OK too."