Above: A Company 1 Production film crew setting up at a house in Saugerties on Monday, Oct. 19. Photo by Paula Ann Mitchell.
A film starring 1980s-era icon Molly Ringwald is shooting at locations around the Hudson Valley this month.
While the film’s publicist isn’t releasing more details, the movie is almost certainly “King Cobra,” a lurid tale of the gruesome murder of a gay porn kingpin that is being produced by James Franco and stars Ringwald and Christian Slater.
Rumors about the film have been swirling around Saugerties, where a film crew is on location this week.
Slater reportedly arrived at the Kingston Ulster airport last week to film scenes for the movie, according to a photo posted on the Instagram account of film producer Jordan Yale Levine, who is working on the project:
Above: Christian Slater at the Kingston Ulster airport in a photo by Jordan Yale Levine on Instagram.
Ellen DeFalco, the secretary to Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, confirmed that an independent film was being shot on Oct. 14 on Fair and North Front streets near Uptown restaurants Le Canard Enchaine, Ecce Terra and the Yum Yum Noodle Bar in Kingston. An executive order by the mayor restricted parking that day to accommodate the filmmakers.
“They had been recently scouting for a location,” DeFalco said. “The crew was going out to different communities, looking for a home and different locations.”
DeFalco said the team had initially connected with the Hudson Valley Film Commission.
According to the details supplied to the mayor’s office by the publicist, the film is “the story of a rising actor and the murder of the producer who brought him fame and glory.”
That description sounds very much like the plot of “King Cobra.”
Gruesome 2007 murder
“King Cobra” tells the story of the murder of director Bryan Kocis, who was the founder of Cobra Video, a gay porn empire. Kocis was murdered in 2007 at his Pennsylvania home by male escort Harlow Cuadra and his lover, Joseph Kerekes, and a fire was then set to cover the crime.
Kocis’ throat was slashed so severely that he was nearly decapitated and his torso was stabbed dozens of times, according to a 2009 story by the Times Leader, a daily paper based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Kerekes pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, while Cuadra was found guilty after a trial. Both men are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.
In 2012, Andrew Stoner and Peter Conway published a book about the case called “Cobra Killer: Gay Porn Murder,” which is the basis for the film.
Websites like Towleroad and Out say that Christian Slater will portray Kocis, Ringwald will play Kocis’ sister, and Garrett Clayton of the Disney Channel will star as Brent Corrigan, who started working with Kocis when he was still underage.
The film is expected to be released next year, according to perezhilton.com.
On Monday, Oct. 19, a film crew from Company 1 Productions in Olivebridge was onhand at a Saugerties home in the Bishop’s Gate neighborhood off Joseph's Drive, setting up lighting equipment and camera dollies for an afternoon shoot.
The shoot on Monday required a large crew, with people going in and out of the ranch-style home. Several vehicles, including trucks, were parked up and down Canterbury Drive.
Above: A member of a film crew setting up at a house in Saugerties on Oct. 19. Photo by Paula Ann Mitchell.
As homeowners on the street drove by, they slowed down and stared at the activity outside the house in their quiet neighborhood.
A scouting manager sat in his car and watched the setup. When asked about the movie, he directed all inquiries to the Manhattan marketing firm, Murphy PR.
Russell Posternak, an employee at the firm, refused to answer questions about the movie, particularly regarding who is starring in it and how the Saugerties house was chosen as the set.
Posternak said that Ringwald does have a role in the movie, but he would not comment further.
“We should be able to announce additional details and provide more information within the next few weeks,” Posternak said in response to a reporter’s inquiry.
Last week, Ringwald posted a photo of herself on Twitter posing with Slater while shooting King Cobra:
— Molly Ringwald (@MollyRingwald) October 13, 2015
Today, James Franco posted an Instagram photo posing shirtless on the King Cobra set with co-star Keegan Allen:
Whether either photo was taken in the Hudson Valley is anyone’s guess.