It was supposed to be the next big movie to come from Upstate New York, but now it looks like the real terror behind the tale of a cannibalistic pig farmer that kills people and turns them into jerky is actually the horror of not getting paid. Now producers are scrambling to save the film before time runs out.

The Hermit cast Malina Weissman, who had a leading role in Netflix’s adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the original Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno. The film’s production was so hyped around Syracuse, that Ferrigno was named an honorary Syracuse police office in a ceremony downtown.

Off To A Jerky Start

Filming (and trouble) started in early August after pre-production at a South Onondaga farm. Crew say producer Gerry Pass initially reneged on a promise of weekly pay, citing a payment processing issue. Even after crew paydays were moved to twice a month, still no money was doled out.

Then The Hermit had problems with delays on set. There were multiple days where rain was too heavy for filming. Weissman got super glue in her eye and couldn’t shoot for four days. The movie’s director of photography had their gallbladder removed.  On the third week of the shoot, it was revealed to the crew that an investor only delivered $20,000 after promising $200,000.

The Paychecks Are(n't) Coming From Inside The House

A paycheck stating "Pay to the Order of"

By August 30, the crew had enough and went on strike. Ferrigno and other actors went home. It’s estimated that the crew of 60 is owed tens of thousands for their work. Pass called the actions a “mutiny” in a Syracuse Post-Standard interview, and that he paid 150,000 of his own money so the film could go on, but the crew say Pass’ actions feel criminal.

Some members expressed frustration at the lost wages because suing the production would cost more than what they’re owed. Pass is currently raising funds to continue shooting the movie between October and the end of the year, but if winter weather arrives early, it could mean even more trouble to come.

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