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Creating a monster

Oklahoma actor Eric Gesecus fulfills a lifelong dream by playing one of moviedom’s most famous creatures in the locally produced film ‘Army of Frankensteins’
by Jonathan Sutton Modified: October 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm •  Published: October 23, 2013

“I found a bunch of old Famous Monsters magazines on eBay and bought about a dozen,” Gesecus said. “I told him that every time he used the toilet he would get one magazine and every time he used a diaper I would take one away. He only used two more diapers after that.”

Fast-forward a few years, and Nathan’s bedroom has turned to a shrine of classic monster films. On a bookshelf in his room, he has stacks of classic monster movies on VHS. His monster magazine collection has ballooned to more than 200, and framed movie posters line the walls surrounding his bed.

“By the time he was 4 he knew the actors in all of those movies,” Gesecus said. “I was amazed.”

On the shelf above the movies sit a number of monster models, identical to the ones Gesecus worked for when he was Nathan’s age.

“I found them all on the Internet and gave them to him for Christmas and his birthdays,” he said. “They’re a little more expensive now than the $1 they were back then.”

Gesecus works in insurance now, but in the early 2000’s his experience on the radio led him to give voice acting a shot. He was featured in several commercials and eventually a couple small budget films, portraying a mobster and a state senator.

When he stumbled upon the casting call for “Army of Frankensteins” two years ago, he didn’t jump at the opportunity as quickly as one might imagine.

His past two films had been much more work that the payout had shown, and he wasn’t sure this would be any different. But the lure of morphing into the creature he had always dreamed of was stronger than his doubts. Two years later, the film is close to finished and its creators are hoping to get a national distribution deal.

Bellgardt said the film will premiere on Nov. 10 in Los Angeles at the American Film Market. There, representatives from the film industry will watch it and potentially buy it and distribute it nationally.

Bellgardt said the project has turned out to be much bigger than originally expected.

“We just thought we would make it for fun and screen it for friends and family,” he said. “But now we’re confident it will be released on DVD and Blu-ray at least.”

For Gesecus, the opportunity to play his favorite character is a dream come true. The fact it could be seen around the country is just icing on the cake.

But regardless of what theaters end up displaying “Army of Frankensteins” posters on their walls, there is one place it will be proudly displayed — in Nathan’s room.

by Jonathan Sutton
Breaking News Reporter
Jonathan Sutton is a reporter covering breaking news and crime for The Oklahoman and He grew up in Ada and has a degree in journalism from Oklahoma State University. He was the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily O'Collegian, OSU's student...
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