In the nineties, Michael Musto helped bring national attention to the 1996 murder of Andre “Angel” Melendez by penning several stories for The Village Voice. The case resulted in the trial and conviction of Robert “Freez” Riggs and self-proclaimed “King of the Club Kids,” Michael Alig.
Thirty years later, Musto and Alig are starring together on the big screen, in Eric Rivas’ Vamp Bikers Trilogy series.
“There’s a chemistry between the two that is akin to Professor X and Magneto from the movie XMen,” says Rivas.
In Vamp Bikers Trilogy, Michael Musto plays an evil doctor and Alig plays the role of God, the King of the Club Kid Zombies. Rivas places Musto and Alig among seasoned actors like Lillo Brancato, best known from A Bronx Tale and The Sopranos.
“Except for Michael Musto, who is an institution in New York City, I wasn’t acquainted with the nineties nightlife personalities before making the film,” Rivas admits. “I quickly caught on to their history.”
Vamp Bikers Trilogy is loosely based on the 1979 film, The Warriors, a gritty cult classic about street fighters. However, in Rivas’ film, the gangs are made up of club kids, slashers, and hip-hoppers who all converge in a battle royal on Coney Island.
“I get a kick out of the club kids talking like New York street guys and fighting,” laughs Rivas.
Porn actor Ron Jeremy and Pamela Anderson make-up artist Daniel DiCriscio make cameos in the series, as do Dorsey Wright, Apache Ramos, Brian Tyler, and David Harris, who all starred in The Warriors.
Vamp Bikers Trilogy is slated for release later this year through Sony Orchard. Having a major distributor behind the small independent series gives it access to major streaming services. But, at least for now, Rivas will continue to showcase the series at film festivals. “We were a big hit at the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival.”
At the root of the Vamp Bikers Trilogy is a concrete storyline with a heart and pulse that keeps moving at a frenetic speed. Eventually, Rivas sees the series reaching audiences beyond the horror genre. “Vamp Bikers Trilogy is more than horror,” he contends. “It’s also comedy and drama. It falls under the human connective meaning so I think anyone can get into the series.”