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Film, featuring local director and cast, to premier at Pendragon

Lucky Cerruti filming Jordan Hornstein as Uncle Sleazo. (Provided photo — Pendragon Theatre)

SARANAC LAKE — This Saturday evening, “Uncle Sleazo’s Toxic and Terrifying TV Hour,” the latest film by Lucky Cerruti, will be premiering at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake.

The film, starring a score of local actors, is an anthology including three short horror films sandwiched between spoof commercials and movie trailers. It is hosted by a charmingly disturbing TV personality, Uncle Sleazo, played by longtime local actor Jordan Hornstein.

Cerruti, a filmmaker, writer and director, based out of New York City and Lake Placid, joined with longtime collaborator and puppet and effects artist Matt Sorensen, formerly of Saranac Lake, to create this film that presents like a nostalgic cable access TV hour complete with gore-filled creature features and supernatural encounters.

Underground horror fans may be familiar with Cerruti’s films “Freak,” which was shown at last fall’s Lake Placid Film Festival, and “Kindness of Strangers.” His company, Dead Vision Productions, is a multimedia production and distribution company dedicated to the exploration and celebration of the horror genre.

“I am so excited about ‘Uncle Sleazo’s Toxic and Terrifying TV Hour,'” Cerruti said. “This wacky, nostalgic, subgenre-spanning anthology has comedy, gore, atmosphere and puppets! I really feel that there is something for everyone in this film.”

This is Cerruti’s second film with Matt Sorensen of Puppet Bucket Productions. Along with co-directing and writing, Sorensen designed and built many of the effects and set pieces, along with the puppets. A signature of Cerruti and Sorensen collaborations is the use of puppets.The movie “Freak” stars a life-size puppet built and operated by Sorensen.

Cerruti, Sorensen and most of the actors in the film all met and worked together at Saranac Lake’s Pendragon Theatre. Leslie Dame, a local actress and a producer/writer of “Sleazo,” said that working on film has been a great option for stage actors during the coronavirus pandemic, when live theatre was prohibited or very limited.

“I have been fortunate to work on most of Lucky’s projects. When he asked me to collab on Uncle Sleazo, I was like, ‘yes, please!'” said Dame.

According to Cerruti, this is Dead Vision Production’s third project filmed in New York’s Adirondack Park.

The cast of “Uncle Sleazo” includes: Steven Barry, Jameson Batt, Jason Brill, Annabelle Carrier, Lucky Cerruti, Sarah Dalton, Leslie Dame, Max Gole, River Gray, Alex Hall, Jordan Hornstein, Peggy Orman, Michael Ostrum, Oliver Patnode, Lula Pfendler, McCayla Quinn, Stu Ruttan, Gorachand Saha, Parker Scanio, Victor Skamera, Lenora Shoemaker, Bill Sorensen, Matthew Sorensen, Hope Stamper, Bryce Stanton, Kent Streed, Adam Riot Thorn, Terpsie E. Toon, Dylan Van Cott, Sasha Van Cott, Lorenzo Vincenzo, Liv Watkins, Carrie Lynn Webster and Charles L. Williams.

This film is not suitable for younger viewers due to adult content, foul language, over-the-top gore, some tasteful nudity and plenty of simulated violence, according to a news release. Tickets for the June 4 screening of “Uncle Sleazo’s Toxic and Terrifying TV Hour” are available at deadvisionproductions.com. Doors open at 6 p.m., Uncle Sleazo makes an appearance at 6:30 p.m. and the screening begins at 7 p.m. followed by a question and answer session with the cast and creators.

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