Not everyone’s Valentine’s Day is filled with love, flowers and chocolates. A new feature film, Bad Cupid, which releases by video on demand on Friday, Feb. 12, goes down a dark road as it follows a man still obsessing over the woman he lost in a break up a year ago. The film is written and executive produced by a team that includes Fenwick alumni Anthony Piatek.
The black comedy features Dave (Shane Nepveu) pining away for his lost love, Denise (Christine Turturro), and his cousin Morris (Briana Marin) who tries her best to get him to move on. When they come across Archie, who is, unbeknownst to them, “Bad Cupid,” things turn terribly dark. Various love interests are lost and found in unexpected ways during the film. Archie is played by John Rhys-Davies best known as Gimli in Lord of the Rings and the Indiana Jones character Sallah.
This is Piatek’s first film.
After graduating from Fenwick in 2000, he began working full time at the Chicago Board of Trade at age 19, while earning his degree at DePaul. He spent 16 years on the trading floor and still has a career and full-time job in the financial industry.
His first foray into scriptwriting was based on his day-job experience. “I came up with an idea to create a TV series about the trading floor, so I wrote a TV pilot called, The Trade,” Piatek said. He describes the show as “a dramatic expose of the Chicago Commodities Exchange.”
“After years of trying to learn how to write and even flying out to LA to pitch the idea, I realized that I needed to team up with someone to help make me a better writer and to help make the pilot script stronger,” he said. “Luckily through networking, I met Neal Howard who was an ex-Hollywood TV writer.”
Howard, a Chicagoan, worked with Piatek on the re-write of The Trade and became his “official co-writer.”
“We quickly discovered that we worked very well together and shared a great connection,” Piatek said. “He handed me an old screenplay he co-wrote with his old writing partner, Ira Fritz, … and said, ‘See what you can do with it.’ So I took that script, gutted it and rebuilt it. Neal and I then went backthrough it together. Then Ira got involved. And it turned out to become the script for what is now Bad Cupid.”
Besides having renewed hopes for The Trade to be picked up post movie release, Piatek said another pilot he cowrote, Sex & the Single Girl, a comedy about dating in the digital age, continues to circulate in Hollywood.
In addition to that, during the summer of 2020, he and Howard scripted what they expect to be their next film, ScriptFest, “a mockumentary lampooning the con artistry of Hollywood industry pitch fests,” Piatek said.
Stream “Bad Cupid” on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube Movies and through cable starting Feb. 12. View the trailer, more on the film and pre-order streaming: badcupidmovie.com.