Lou Ferrigno is set to play a murderous, cannibalistic pig farmer known as “The Hermit” in U.S.-based Italian director Salvatore Sclafani’s chiller of the same title that will mark Ferrigno’s first role playing a creature since CBS TV series “The Incredible Hulk.”
Shooting is set to start in August in Syracuse, N.Y., on the horror film with an undercurrent of fun and quirky irony that will see Ferrigno making and selling jerky made of human flesh.
“Most people are surprised that I’ve never really entered the horror space before now,” Ferrigno said in a statement for Variety. “When I was a kid I was fascinated with the monsters of the time like Dracula and Frankenstein.
“So I am really excited and honored to be working with such a great team on something that will for sure excite fans. The character I am playing is unique and will give an updated twist to those monsters I grew up with,” he added.
“The Hermit” is being produced by Los Angeles and New York-based Gerry Pass via his Chrome Entertainment shingle in tandem with Sclafani’s First Child Prods.
Pass is in Cannes meeting with prospective distributors.
It will be the first English-language feature directed and produced by Sclafani, a Palermo, Italy, native who has been living Los Angeles where he produced the 2019 pandemic thriller “Tyger Tyger” by Kerry Mondragon starring Dylan Sprouse.
The main side characters in “The Hermit” are Eric and Lisa, who are both 19. On a fishing trip they go to a resort, venture off trail, stumble across a farm, go in, see animal heads hanging from the wall, “and the in comes the Hermit, the giant that runs the place,” said Pass.
“The Hermit’s story is that he’s been a loner,” the producer added. “His mother protected him; kept him in the forest. He doesn’t speak well, because they are kind of feral people.”
Once, after being attacked, the Hermit kills his attacker. “Since the family business is making jerky,” the mother “ends up cooking this person into the jerky with the pigs.” Then, after the mother dies, trapping people, killing them and making them into jerky becomes a recurrent act on the Hermit’s part.
Pass noted that Ferrigno has a hearing impairment “so he knows exactly what it feels like to be treated differently by other people. He understands the angst and the anger.”
“And then he likes the cooking people part too,” added the producer.
Ferrigno, who as bodybuilder won several top titles and famously competed with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the 1975 Mr. Olympia crown, and failed – as depicted in the film “Pumping Iron” – is represented by Eric Kind at Brave Artists Management.