Antonio Velasco Gutierrez, an extra in Mexico’s direct-to-video film industry, died shortly after being shot Aug. 16 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, while filming a scene for the pic “Revenge of the Scorpion” (aka “Juana the Scorpion”). He was 42 and was felled by a real bullet, apparently from a gun that should have contained blanks.
Pic’s star, Flavio Peniche, who shot the gun, was charged with negligent homicide, though Peniche claims he merely used the .38 caliber gun that was handed to him.
The film’s producer and director were also questioned, but police were still looking to interview the pic’s property master, known only by the nickname “the Brush,” who apparently fled after the incident.
In the scene being filmed, Peniche’s character was to demand money from Velasco’s character and then shoot him.
Peniche was released on $37,000 bail, and the case is still open. If convicted, Peniche could be sentenced to between eight and 20 years.
Mexico’s National Assn. of Actors (ANDA) said it would aid in the defense of the accused actor despite the fact that he hasn’t paid his union dues for two years. ANDA director Juan Imperio added that if the producer of “The Revenge of the Scorpion” had paid his dues as well, there would have been a union representative on the set to ensure actors’ safety.
The producer has not yet announced whether the film will be completed.
Velasco, a resident of Ixtapaluca, a densely populated and impoverished municipality on the eastern outskirts of Mexico City, was a regular on camera in so-called “videohome” productions — violent action videos dealing largely with organized crime and drug dealers. He previously appeared in films like “Kilo Bags 2” alongside genre stars such as Alberto Estrella.
Velasco is survived by a wife and son.