|| MOVIE || Running Scared
|| ROLE || Supporting Role
|| AS || Edele, a pedophile
|| YEAR || 2006 (Release date: February 24, 2006)
|| BUDGET || $17,000,000
|| BOX OFFICE || Total: $9,380,029
Opening Weekend $3,381,974 (USA) (26 February 2006) (1,611 Screens)
|| LOCATIONS || Letnany & Prague (Czech Republic) Newark & North Arlington ( New Jersey, USA )
| Clips |
[tab name=”What Liz said”]
- “That was so hard for me. I had to make her an addict and not think about what she was addicted to, because otherwise I think I was just too sickened by the whole thing. But by doing that it was fascinating what came out. It was really freaky! (laughs) I don’t hate — that’s not a word I use very often — but I hate that character, I do. ” (ShockYa)
- “That was before Lost and I think that was one of the reasons they wanted to cast me in Lost. I think they thought, “Ok here’s this woman and she looks so kind of benign and harmless, yet she’s playing this horrible person”. But I hated it. I have to be honest I thought they did a great job with all of that, but playing someone that dark and that evil stuck with me for a year and a half, it still makes me sick. People say, “that’s ridiculous— it’s a part” but you have to think about that stuff. I ended up playing her like an addict. I made her addicted to “something”, but I didn’t in my mind clarify what that was, because I would’ve just been sick the whole time. I really have a massive appreciation, fascination and incredible will to protect children so it was rather horrifying in my book.” (LIVE OC)
- “Played a serial killer child molester [in Running Scared]. That was the worst. Hated it, made me sick. I had to just think of her as an addict and not let my mind wander from there.” (Movie Maker)
|| CAST ||
Paul Walker as Joey Gazelle
Cameron Bright as Oleg Yugorsky
Vera Farmiga as Teresa Gazelle
Chazz Palminteri as Detective Rydell
Karel Roden as Anzor Yugorsky
Johnny Messner as Tommy ‘Tombs’ Perello
Ivana Milicevic as Mila Yugorsky
Alex Neuberger as Nicky Gazelle
Michael Cudlitz as Sal ‘Gummy Bear’ Franzone
Bruce Altman as Dez
Elizabeth Mitchell as Edele
|| CREW ||
Directed by Wayne Kramer
Produced by Andrew Pfeffer
Written by Wayne Kramer
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Jim Whitaker
Editing by Arthur Coburn
Produced by Media 8 Entertainment
Distributed by New Line Cinema
The movie begins with Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) driving with a boy, Oleg Yugorsky (Cameron Bright). Oleg has a blood stain on his shirt, implying that he had been shot.
Eighteen hours earlier. Joey, a low-level mafioso, is attending a drug deal with his boss Tommy “Tombs” Perello(Johnny Messner) and associate Sal “Gummy Bear” Franzone (Michael Cudlitz), one of Tommy’s henchmen. when a trio of masked men burst in and try to steal the drugs and money. When Tommy shoots one of the hoods, a shootout commences in which all the drug dealers and two of the hoods are killed, forcing their leader to flee. Tommy then discovers that the men were dirty cops. As the mobsters flee in a panic, Tommy gives the murder weapons to Joey, telling him to get rid of the weapons.
Rather than dispose of the guns, Joey goes home to his wife Teresa (Vera Farmiga) and son Nicky (Alex Neuberger), and hides the guns in the basement while Nicky and his friend from next door, Oleg, secretly watch. Oleg returns home to his abusive stepfather Anzor Yugorsky (Karel Roden), the outcast nephew of the Russian mob boss Ivan Yugorsky (John Noble), and battered mother Mila. When Anzor becomes belligerent towards Oleg, Oleg shoots him with a nickel-plated .38 that he had stolen from Joey’s basement. Next door, the Gazelle family is disrupted by the gunshots and Joey rushes next door. He finds Anzor wounded, and Oleg gone. When Anzor describes the weapon to Joey, he realizes that Oleg had stolen one of the murder weapons, and rushes out in a frantic search to find Oleg and the gun before the police does.
Oleg runs to a nearby park, where he is caught by a homeless man, who takes his gun and drags him to a drug dealer’s den. Joey and Nicky follow, trying to find him. The criminals then fire on each other, alerting Joey and giving Oleg time to escape with the gun. Oleg runs until he finds a pimp named Lester smacking around one of his prostitutes, Divina (Idalis DeLeon). When Lester pulls a knife, Oleg pulls his gun on him and fires, only to find the gun empty. However, the prostitute, taking the moment with the pimp not noticing, knocks Lester unconscious and, as she prepares to run, notices Oleg coughing. Indebted to him, she takes him to a pharmacy to get him an inhaler. When the pharmacist refuses, she draws the gun and gets the inhaler at gunpoint.
Meanwhile, the surviving dirty cop Rydell (Chazz Palminteri) informs Tommy that Joey has lost the gun, and that it is out on the street in the hands of Oleg. Joey goes to meet the boss of the Italian mob, his father, Frankie Perello (Arthur J. Nascarella) at a diner to say that the gun used to shoot Anzor was not from the shootout with the cops. Frankie says that he wants Oleg found, because Frankie and Yugorsky are working together on a ‘gasoline deal’, and he wants them to remain in good standing with them to ensure the business.
Outside, Nicky notices Oleg and Divina entering the same diner, and goes after them. Nicky and Oleg stash the gun in the tank of a toilet inside the diner. Oleg leaves and tries to convince Divina to drive him out of town. He is caught by the police and, when he lies to Rydell about where he got the gun, is released into his stepfather’s custody again.
Back at home, Teresa tries to convince Mila to go to a shelter. Mila tells her that she used to be a prostitute in Moscow who was brought over by Yugorsky. She became pregnant and refused to have an abortion, so Yugorsky sent Anzor to kill her. Instead, he married her in order to give her protection and faked her death to secure her from Yugorsky.
Anzor takes Oleg to an ice cream parlor and attempts to get him to reveal the gun’s location. Oleg runs away, climbing into a parked van. Oleg is found there by a married couple, Dez (Bruce Altman) and Edele (Elizabeth Mitchell), who take him along with two other children back to their apartment. Oleg is taken to a large playroom filled with various toys and a camera, and notices Dez and Edele exhibiting odd behavior. He complains of an upset stomach and is directed to a bathroom. Oleg tries to escape the apartment, but instead finds Edele’s purse by the door. He takes her cellphone and is redirected to the bathroom, where he calls Teresa Gazelle as surreal shadows of long-fingered monsters dance on the wall behind him. Upon hearing the situation, Teresa prompts him to find a prescription bottle with the apartment’s address, and promises to come get him as Dez and Edele begin to try and force their way into the bathroom. They catch Oleg just as he hides the cellphone away from them.
Teresa drives out to the apartment and knocks on the door. Edele instructs Dez to take the kids back to the bedroom before emerging in nothing more than a robe. Teresa tells her that Oleg called her from that address. When Edele deflects, Teresa threatens to call the police, so Edele lets her inside. Searching through the entirety of the apartment, including the bedroom where Edele’s “two children” lie in bed asleep, Teresa finds no trace of Oleg; however as she leaves, she comes to a realization and forces herself back in, pointing out that there was not a single photograph of their children in the whole house. Edele panics and says that they were just moving in and that everything was still in storage as Teresa rushes back into the playroom. Dez threatens to call the police on her, but then Teresa pulls a gun, demanding to know where Oleg is.
Terrified, Dez silently indicates a closet in the playroom, and Teresa finds Oleg tied up with a plastic bag on his head. Teresa keeps the two adults at bay with her gun as she tries to revive Oleg with CPR. Oleg comes to and Teresa frees him from his bonds. Keeping the gun on the adults, Teresa instructs Oleg to get the two other children from the bedroom. Dez offers Teresa a hundred thousand dollars in diamonds from their safe as long as she just takes Oleg and leaves. Ignoring him, Teresa pushes through the closet, finding child costumes and plastic body bags and, behind everything, shelves of DVD cases with children’s names on them, revealing that they are actually child molesters who make snuff films with the children. At the bottom of the closet are surgical instruments, and Teresa notices that the playroom floor is completely covered in plastic. Horrified, Teresa demands Dez’s phone and calls the police, reporting that she heard gunshots at the apartment’s address. She hangs up and shoots Dez and Edele.
Meanwhile, Joey continues to search for the gun, tracking it to the mechanic, only to find out that he’d sold it to Lester the pimp. Joey picks up Oleg to go and retrieve it, but as Joey is about to make his move, Tommy and Sal confront them. They strong-arm Joey into meeting them at an abandoned train yard, leaving Oleg in the car. Tommy, seemingly intent on killing Joey for his screw-up, ends up shooting Sal dead. Tommy explains that Sal had been arrested before, and had walked as an informant. He then makes a call to Rydell, activating a bomb in the cop’s bag, killing him. Tommy then drives Oleg to a hockey rink with Joey in tow, where they meet the Italian and Russian mob bosses, along with Anzor. Joey is held down onto the ice, where Russian hockey players shoot pucks at his face. Yugorsky demands that Oleg tell them where he got the gun. When he lies, the boss of the Russian mob orders Anzor to kill Oleg. Joey pleads for them not to do it, and Anzor hesitates. Finally he drops the gun and his uncle shoots him for being weak. Joey then tells Yugorsky that Frankie had wanted to kill Anzor for cooking meth in the neighborhood, and that the gun was Tommy’s. Tommy pulls out a gun to kill Joey but is shot and killed by one of the Russian mobsters, which leads to start a bloody shootout, killing all of the mobsters except Frankie. Frankie comes to kill Joey, who reveals that he is actually an undercover FBI agent. Oleg grabs one of the mobster’s and points the gun onto Frankie, distracting him so Joey could grab Frankie’s gun and shoot him. Joey and Oleg leave the hockey rink in time to see the FBI storm the building.
Joey takes Oleg out for some breakfast, but as they leave, Lester walks in. Lester threatens Oleg with a knife and produces the gun. Joey steps in and kills Lester by stabbing him in the neck. In a flash, Joey and Oleg are seen fleeing the diner. The movie’s opening scene repeats as Joey and Oleg drive away, both bloodstained. But Oleg realizes that it is Joey’s blood on both of them, as he had been shot in the struggle.
Back in the neighborhood, Mila has locked herself up in the shed behind their house, grieving and staring down at a picture of Oleg. Thinking him to be dead, she holds up a lighter to an open propane tank, blowing up the meth lab in her backyard and killing herself. Teresa and Nicky both come out of the house to investigate, and see Joey weaving down the street, losing consciousness from blood loss. Joey crashes the car and Teresa holds him as he goes limp. Oleg stands in front of his house, watching it burn.
Days later, a funeral is held for Joey with Teresa, Nicky, and Oleg in attendance. They drive out of the city to a small farm house, where Joey’s car is parked in the driveway. Teresa, sitting on the car’s bumper, seemingly talks to herself when she says, “Don’t ever ask me to bury you again, Joey.” Joey himself emerges from under the car, alive and well, and hugs Nicky and Oleg, who they appear to have adopted, living free and clear now that Joey is not now actually an undercover agent.
[…] Pic’s most gripping sequence seems to come out of nowhere, a shockingly creepy episode that sees Oleg held captive by a devious married couple (Bruce Altman and Elizabeth Mitchell). Nothing that follows is nearly as intriguing. […] – Variety