Seasoned stunt professional, action director John Salvitti (Pound Of Flesh, Special ID, Tiger Cage 2) has come a long way with his new movie, Ambush, now putting out a new trailer following updates late last year.
The psycholgical thriller will be his feature debut, originally titled Red Thread for its production twenty years ago before being shelved due to a number of factors he elucidated over the weekend to Mike Leeder at MAAC.
“It was a very ambitious idea but it hadn’t turned out the way I wanted.” says Salvitti, who later went into the six-year process of hitting the reset button and reviving the self-funded project with a load of reshoots, new shoots and re-editing and mixing.
“Once I completed putting the movie together, then the real post production began and that also proved to be a battle but I embraced the challenge. So much changed and it felt like a completely different type of story.”
Voiced by Maxx Black, actor Peter Salvitti takes the lead in Ambush for the role of Cal, a severe PTSD case visiting Los Angeles whose only close companion and latent love interest, Terri, a transgender female, remains his only calming influence.
Terri eventually introduces him to her doctor who runs a group therapy program, one which turns out to be more of a cult than originally believed. As for Cal, the voices in his head have only gotten worse, putting him on the verge of a lone wolf attack. The plot thickens when some of Terri’s patients kidnap her, and Maxx is left with no choice but to do his worst.
The film’s detailed plot definitely carries itself into a more grayer area with a logline revealed last December that bookends with “Who lives, who dies and who was merely a fragment of one’s imagination?”.
Salvitti also made that clear in his interview, among other things, clarifying the film’s more cerebral aesthetic with a mix of action, violence, romance and themes dealing with the dark corners of psychological illness.
“Despite the title, its really about love, friendship and acceptance between two very different people,” says Salvitti who also spoke fervently about his first-hand inspiration and research, looking at principled news sources to help illustrate the very biases and toxic, faux news aspects that fuel violent attacks.
Salvitti also shared thoughts pertaining to his query in PTSD, taking courses and consulting with law enforcement and military professionals familiar with the issue.
“PTSD can be silent and then just erupt at any moment, that’s what happens with Cal!,” says Savitti.
More updates are coming with Ambush while Salvitti looks to complete this chapter ahead of greener pastures for his creative endeavors with a team he’s now aligning with in Hollywood as we speak.
“I’m definitely ready now for the next full blown epic martial art in cinema challenge.” says Salvitti. “The goal is raising the bar, anything less is unacceptable really. That’s where we are at.”