Miami Herald, The (FL) - January 31, 1983
Author: LIZ BALMASEDA Herald Staff Writer

When the flying cars, burning rubber and crashing metal stopped Sunday morning, a wreckage of fast cars littered Collins Avenue like a mess of linguini.

"Anybody get killed? Where are the bodies?" a hysterical motorist asked a police officer.

"Nah -- they walked away without a scratch," the policeman answered coolly.

Well, they walked away without a scratch after the director said "Cut."

It was only a movie -- a wild, wild movie: an Italian comedy about two wacky secret agents who -- in their chase for the bad guys -- come to Miami Beach in their "Supercar," check into the Fontainebleau Hilton and get into all sorts of zany trouble in the wildest of places -- for example, the Seaquarium.

Go For It. it is called.

"Is it Burt Reynolds or Jackie Gleason?" asked a passerby, seemingly familiar with local film production.

When she was told the cast, she gave a blank look.


The film, which will be edited in Italy and dubbed in various languages, stars Italy's Dynamic Duo, Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill , familiar faces of the slapstick genre. Produced by the El Pico company, it is directed by Roman filmmaker E.B. Clutcher (his American name).

The secret agents zoom about Collins Avenue in their custom-made Supercar, a speed machine that resembles a low-rider vehicle.

Still learning the function of all the hidden gadgets in the car, the spys hit the oil-slick button by mistake, releasing a jetstream of oil (actually grape-colored water) onto Collins Avenue, which triggers a series of spinouts and wrecks. Even a Miami police car involved in the chase gets into the demolition session.

"The Italians are here. Incredible," chuckled one spectator.

But during Sunday's smash-up scenes, the big stars took a breather. The action scenes were done by local stunt actors like Mike Warren -- the guy who walked out of the smashed Olds without a scratch -- and Artie Malesci, who also maneuvered a jump car at a deceiving 40 miles per hour.

"I've done that stunt about 200 times," shrugged Warren, taking a swig of Coors during lunchtime.

Passersby didn't know that.

Before they continued a picture-taking escapade, a group of Japanese tourists stopped to take their pictures in front of the set.

Hubert Yount and Fran Eiseman, two Indiana Realtors in Miami Beach for a convention, parked themselves in lawn chairs that Yount extracted from his trailer.

"That crash scene was as real as can be," said Yount, who took pictures of the whole thing.

"Both of those guys got out without a scratch, bruise or bump. They came out of the wreck laughing."


Miami Herald, The (FL) - March 7, 1985
Author: MORRIS PANNER Herald Staff Writer

Hollywood has come to the Hialeah Police Department, and Chief C.B. Seay has won a gold star.

Columbia Pictures is producing a police comedy film and the production company is using the Hialeah department for the film.

"I don't really like it much," said Seay, who was relaxing in his office after a scene in which he had been fired by the evil and corrupt police commissioner. "And, if you'll excuse me, I have to go catch up on a script."

The film, which has a working title of Policemen of Eighth Street, takes place in a small, but unnamed city in South Florida.

Two local companies, El Pico and Trans-Cinema, are filming in Hialeah week. For the first half of the week, the company filmed in the police offices at City Hall. Today and Friday, the crew will move to the North Station on Le Jeune Road.

Seay, who had to take several days off to shoot the film, said that six films had been done in Hialeah before, and he acted in one film about 12 years ago.

"Even though I'm off, I still have to keep up with things at the department, so this has been a busy time," Seay said.

Film company official Josi Konski said the chief was a natural at his job.

"He has a very important role," Konski said. "The part is just him. We couldn't find an actor that is as good at being chief, as the chief is at being chief.

"He has a good, strong face and he doesn't over act." Although Seay is the only police officer with a speaking part, dozens of other officers are acting as extras for $50 a day. Seay would not say what he is being paid. Lt. Lowell Coffin, who has been in charge of recruiting the extras and is an extra
himself, said he has had no trouble getting volunteers.

"We put out a memo," Coffin said. "And people seem pretty interested."

The film makers said there is no guarantee the extras will end up in the movie because much more film is shot than actually used.

Seay, however, has a "critical part," and will definitely be a part of the film, Konski said.

The movie, which will cost about $7 or 8 million to produce, will be released either in the summer or Christmas season of 1986.

Max Wolkoff, executive producer, said the movie will be released primarily in Europe and Japan, and that the stars of the film, Terence Hill and BudSpencer , are big names in Europe.

"Kind of like Clint Eastwood over here," Wolkoff said.

Wolkoff said the movie is being produced in English, but that it will be dubbed in French, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese.

"There will be a lot of action and fighting in this film," Wolkoff said. "But no one bleeds and no one dies. This is a comedy."


Miami Herald, The (FL) - December 28, 1985
Author: MARK POTOK Herald Staff Writer

A few waiters, several retirees, a college football player, a smattering of children, a dry cleaner and two college professors gathered in Hollywood Friday.

Their extraordinary mission: Be typical.

So the odd group, dressed in everything from sweaters to bikinis, got up and cheered at the Six Flags Atlantis water theme park. They sat down, and then they stood up and cheered again. A man yelled, and so the group of 130 cheered some more.

The movies came to Hollywood Friday -- only this was Hollywood, Fla. To hear some of the extras working the gig, the business isn't all glamour and spice.

"We eat hot dogs and run around in jeans just like everybody else," said Hollywood resident Lori Duffy, 20, who was one of the extras. "All the stars live in trailers and I don't think that's very glamorous."

But the crew, filming the latest South Florida scene in The Genie, an update of the story of Aladdin and his magic lamp,
drew stares nonetheless from regular tourists and park-goers as they shot crowd scenes of a waterskiing meet.

To many of the extras, however, it was old hat.

Most had been in movies before, or at least commercials or television serials, and many had worked for the Rome-based movie firm of Compagnia Generale R.T. before. So the day, the first of three at Six Flags Atlantis, was for many a time of backslapping and renewed friendships.

The work was routine.

"You think it's going to be fun, all this acting and stuff," said Laura Iovino, 15, another Hollywood resident. "But it really isn't. It's boring."

"This is about the ninth or tenth movie," said Jane Candelori, a local retiree. "I like it. We get paid, we get good food and we get to meet Burt Reynolds."

That was last time, in the movie Stick.

Most of the stars of The Genie are Italian, even the leading man whose stage name is Bud Spencer in the English- language film. Still, about 4,000 South Floridians will make $40 a day as extras in the almost $3 million movie.

Many of those working came in answer to radio ads. But the vast majority, said casting director Beverly McDermott of Hollywood, were drawn from talent agencies, old friendships and a personal computer file of some 15,000 names.

Candelori was at the filming with another veteran extra and retiree, Frank Duffy. Another old friend, a woman in star-shaped glasses, walked up. They chatted about old times, about the summer 1986 release of the film in American theaters, and then Duffy turned to make the point once more.

"The kids think it's all glamour," he said. "But it's a lot of hard work."


Miami Herald, The (FL) - July 19, 1985
Author: Herald Staff

Three classic horror movies will be shown tonight and Saturday at six area Wometco Theaters.

Beginning at midnight each night, the films Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween and Zombies will be shown at the Palm Springs, Miracle, Dadeland, Kendale Lakes, Plaza Hollywood and 163rd Street Theaters .


Miami Herald, The (FL) - June 5, 1982
Author: LOURDES BREZO Herald Staff Writer

A fantasy trip into the future turned into a quick trip to jail for one Hialeah man at a trouble-ridden opening of the movie Star Trek -- The Wrath of Kahn.

Michael Chiochetti, 50, of 1364 W. 62nd St., was one of the 400 to 500 persons attending the 10 p.m. showing of Star Trek at the Apollo Theatre, 4054 W. 12th Ave. in Hialeah.

He was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and resisting arrest with violence, Hialeah police said.

About 30 minutes into the movie, viewers complained that the sound was inadequate, police said. About half of the patrons began demanding refund of their $4 admission, Sgt. Joseph Elizardi said.

"The management made an announcement that there was no cash to refund," Elizardi said, "because the day’s receipts had been taken to the bank.

The people were offered passes for the future."

"If I would have had the money here I would have given them refunds," theater manager Jorge Lemes said.

Lemes estimated the crowd asking for refunds at 40 to 50 persons. Sgt. Elizardi estimated 150.

The sergeant called it a potentially dangerous situation, "because of a handful of people."

"They started verbally abusing a police officer," Elizardi said. "Then he

Chiochetti took a swing at a police officer." Chiochetti missed, the sergeant said.

"He tried to take another swing when he was arrested," Elizardi said.


Miami Herald, The (FL) - June 10, 1982

A Times Square peep show theater , which advertises "7 Live Bedroom Acts" on its marquee, received a $65,000 loan from the federal Small Business Administration.

The loan was granted in 1977 and passed on to the owner of the Show World Center on West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, considered one of the largest combination peep-show theater and sex-magazine shops in the city.

Officials said SBA auditors discovered the nature of the theater about two years ago. The loan has been repaid, they said.

The theater , which advertises pornographic films and live sexual acts, received the loan under an SBA program that encourages investment firms to support local businesses.

Two investment firms applied for the $65,000 loan listing the recipient as a "movie theater ."



Image pilfered from

Miami Herald, The (FL) - June 24, 1982
Author: BOB THOMAS Associated Press

Most producers of war movies start by opening negotiations with Yugoslavia or the Philippines. Al Ruddy wanted to try something novel: filming in the United States.

It wasn’t easy. Ruddy had to go to the Pentagon four times before winning approval.

Ruddy is no faint-hearted producer. He made The Godfather despite pressure from Italian-American groups, which objected to the concept of a Mafia, and from Paramount Pictures, which wanted to fire Francis Coppola early in filming. He also put together Cannonball Run for the Hong Kong-based Golden Harvest Productions, paying Burt Reynolds $5 million for showing up.

The $20-million Megaforce, which opens Friday in South Florida theaters , marked a reunion of Golden Harvest, Ruddy and director Hal Needham (Smokey and the Bandit). It concerns a fictional U.S. battle force with futuristic weapons and vehicles which can be transported swiftly to any trouble spot in the world.

"I always wanted to make the picture in the United States," says Ruddy. "But I needed to have the use of troops and material, and all approvals must come from the Department of Defense. A producer submits the script and receives one of three responses:

"1. The picture shows U.S. equipment and personnel in a flattering light and is eligible for full cooperation.

"2. The picture is not in the best interests of the military and can receive no help.

"3. The picture does not put U.S. equipment and personnel in a flattering or unflattering light and cooperation is possible at a user’s rate -- meaning the producer pays for use of equipment, gasoline, troops, etc."

Ruddy said his first three trips to the Pentagon were fruitless "because the Defense Department didn’t like the idea of portraying a phantom army with exotic equipment, ready to fight anywhere in the world." He had hoped to film in Nevada, combining studio-made war gadgets with equipment of the National Guard.

"While I was in Washington, I went country-shopping," said the Montreal-born producer. "I found interest from South Africa and Israel, and I was about to leave for Africa when word got to Nevada authorities that the state was going to lose the $10 million we planned to spend there."

Pressure was applied, and the film was allowed to rent National Guard gear with one constraint: Location of Megaforce headquarters would not be identified.

Now the National Guard is lending C-130s to fly Megaforce props around the country to help promote the opening. Included are megadestroyers -- armored cars with cannons, rockets, sidewinders, Gatling gun and lasers -- and a six-wheel battlewagon with a computer to monitor all the equipment during warfare. The guard will use the tour to help recruitment.

Ruddy isn’t around to oversee the tour. He’s leaving for locations of another Golden Harvest war epic, High Road to China. That one’s shooting in Yugoslavia.


Miami Herald, The (FL) - July 9, 1982
Author: GEOFFREY TOMB Herald Columnist

Remember Frankie, Annette, the Fab Fifties and those films about where the boys are? Well, they are back.

A new film, Spring Break, is being filmed along "The Strip" in Fort Lauderdale. Except there is a problem. This is July. Spring break has sprung. No one seems to know where the boys, or the girls, are.

"We need hundreds of extras," says Steve Zeller, publicist for the movie.

Imagine that. They do a $5-million movie and come to Florida in the off-season.

If you would like to take part in the film, it’s hot and boring but you do get a free lunch (no cash, however), show up at 11 a.m. today at the Marlin Beach Hotel, 17 South Atlantic Blvd.

Zeller suggests you wear T-shirts and bathing suits. Naturally. The film has few recognizable stars. The director is Sean S. Cunningham, who did the original Friday the 13th. Lead actors are David Knell, Perry Lang, who appeared in 1941, Paul Land and Steve Bassett.


Miami Herald, The (FL) - October 1, 1982

A human skeleton estimated to be 100 years old, rented as a Halloween costume-ball prop and a star in a horror movie and lodge initiation rites, was back where it belonged Wednesday at the county morgue.

Police officer Frank Augustine recognized the skeleton as the real thing and not a plastic replica when he spotted it lying in a glass-topped coffin in a Costume World store.

The skeleton, rented for $100 during Halloween for many years, appeared in the 1978 movie Dawn of the Dead, filmed in Pittsburgh.

The bones were removed from the costume store Tuesday and identified by Allegheny County Coroner Joshua Perper as those of a middle-aged woman.

Police have not ruled out foul play in the woman’s death, but they are leaning toward the theory that the skeleton was originally used by a medical school and discarded as it began to deteriorate.

Marilyn Wick, owner of the Costume World shop, said she bought it last spring from Larry Wintersteller when his costume shop folded.

Wintersteller, now living in San Diego, Calif., said he knew the skeleton was authentic when he bought it about 10 years ago.

He said he purchased it from a man who said the bones were used in initiations by members of a now-defunct Odd Fellows lodge.

"Why didn’t they see it while it was sitting in my store
window -- while I needed the publicity?" Wintersteller asked.