“Sure, M. Night has talent, but everything lately has flopped,” says local filmmaker Sal Mazzotta over chicken wings at Tony Luke’s Sports Bar. “You give me $20 million, I’ll deliver 20 films.” And he probably would. After a string of extra roles, including as a prisoner in both 12 Monkeys and Up Close & Personal, the Calabria-born, 12th-and-Mifflin-raised Mazzotta decided to make his own movies, casting himself as star. This DIY approach started in 1998 with The Evil Within, a deliciously bad low-budget horror flick, followed in 2004 with Mafioso: The Father, the Son, a good, if incredibly stereotypical, Philly mob story. Mazzotta’s latest project, The Unknown Trilogy, is a series of three creepy 30-minute films — à la Twilight Zone: The Movie — starring Goodfellas and Sopranos alums, ex-supermodel Angie Everhart, pride-of-Doylestown Justin Guarini, and, of course, Sal Mazzotta. As for where he’s headed next, Mazzotta doesn’t expect to hit Cannes anytime soon: “I like to climb up the ladder slowly. If you screw up in this business, you’re done.”
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