Saturday, September 27, 2014

THE JERSEY DEVIL PREMIERE'S AT LOEWS LANDMARK

****
This Is The Funniest Independent Film Of The Year!
--James Edstrom
****

Tom Murro With David Chokachi And Keith Collins



The Jersey Devil, a new comedy film directed by Joseph Pepitone, had its World Premiere at the Landmark Loews Theater in Jersey City Wednesday night and there were moments when I thought the legendary old theater wouldn’t be able to withstand the thunderous applause and riotous laughter. I literally thought the house was going to be brought down! This is the funniest independent film of the year!



Written by Pepitone, along with his brother Billy, the script is brilliantly paced, building all the way to an uproarious ending that had the crowd, with included Jersey City political powerhouses, praising the film afterwards.



Lucifer, played excellently by Jack Mulcahy (who seems to be having a devilish good time in the role) is forced to leave the throne of evil due to his term ending. Enter James Burnett, (Keith Collins) who not only takes over the reigns of Hell, but wants to relocate the out of date, third-place netherworld (“Even Puragatory has bigger numbers”). With Richard Cooper (Edvin Ortega), his Devil’s Advocate by his side, they settle on Jersey City, New Jersey after a hilarious location search. An incensed Lucifer follows James to the “swamps of Jersey” to get his throne back and return Hell to its rightful home.




The performances in the film are remarkable, as the Pepitone brothers have grouped their cast perfectly. Mulcahy teams with Rosie Gunther as Eve who married Lucifer after that ”incident in the Garden” and Stephen Fontana as Lucifer’s Advocate, the traitorous Judas. Fontana steals scenes with a terrific manic, physical performance. Keep your eyes on him when he is on screen.



Collins carries the load as the new, suave Devil, hell bent on changing the image of his new empire and has all the tools to be a leading man his performance is flawless. Ortega is perfectly cast and delivers the rapid-fire dialogue with impeccable comic timing. His love interest, Penelope Lagos, is the fun-loving, beautiful, strip-club waitress (“I’m not a stripper”) Tori LaSalle. Lagos has great chemistry with Ortega and proves to be the whole package as she handles the comedy with ease and also provides the film with its romantic drama.



The film’s biggest name, Chris Mulkey (Boardwalk Empire) wraps up the film nicely as God and shows the acting chops that have earned him a career that has spanned five decades! He holds court as he tries to bring order to the chaos that has come to New Jersey only to add to the dysfunction.



David Chokachi (Baywatch) plays a wild crazed sheriff trying to serve up a eviction notice adding a great element of comedy to the film.



Filled with countless great, quotable lines and a plethora of pop culture references, The Jersey Devil is reminiscence of Kevin Smith’s early Jersey films. From the writing to the acting to the beautiful cinematography, (shot by Cory Green, Jersey never looked so good) it sets the bar high and is everything that is right with independent films. We give this film two way big thumbs UP and advise everyone to go see The Jersey Devil!!


Photos Courtesy Of: Steve Mack


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