Bunker Hill on the Big Screen
Johnny Hickey, writer and star of Oxy-Morons, talked with Patch about why Charlestown residents should see his film, and the persistent drug issues in Boston.
This week, “Oxy-Morons” finds its way home for a preview at Showcase Cinemas in Revere. There are showings several times a day now through Thursday. Check this listing for show times.
Johnny Hickey says his film “Oxy-Morons” will hit home for everyone, and nowhere does that ring truer than here in Charlestown.
Hickey, a Charlestown native and reformed Oxycontin dealer and user, went from pharmacy robberies, to jail, to recovery, and lived to tell the story. Choosing film as his memoir, Hickey wrote “Oxy-Morons” based on his actual life events.
The independent film was shot in just over a year on a next-to-nothing budget and stars a number of local faces including Charlestown natives Brendan Brennan and David Burns, who join Hickey on-screen in starring roles.
Over the weekend Hickey took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to Charlestown Patch about the community’s involvement and support of “Oxy-Morons”.
Patch: Tell me about how the Charlestown community helped with the project. Did you have a lot of supporters?
Hickey: Charlestown Against Drugs (C.H.A.D.) was a huge supporter. Also, the community of Charlestown as a whole really pulled together to support our idea to tell this cautionary tale and to help make it a reality. People lent us their homes, their places of business, and so forth. And, of course, we had the inspiration from all those we lost to the drugs and crime and from all the families that have had to suffer -- both in Charlestown and nationwide. It's an epidemic.
Patch: Why should Charlestown residents go see this movie?
Hickey: It's true to Charlestown -- the accents, the faces, the places. You'll hear little Townie things like "A Boss of Tonic" to seeing child-hood memories of swimming in the polluted Boston Harbor. But most of all I show the collateral damage of what Oxycontin and heroin has done to a great community. The face of Charlestown definitely changed when this drug took over the streets.
Patch: What has the community's response been to the movie so far?
Hickey: I thought we'd get a lot of backlash, but the support has been overwhelming. People from all generations of Charlestown have come out to see it and have congratulated me on a job well done and thanked me for bringing it to light. More than 100 people have told me it's better than The Town, but I'm not getting ahead of myself.
Patch: How did you get a lot of local faces and celebrities involved with the project?
Hickey: Being a Townie myself, locals wanted to be involved. Michele McPhee, Lyndon Byers, Patty Ross, Tim Sylvia -- they all did it because they believed in the message of the movie and wanted to lend their part to raise awareness.
Patch: How can the community help get the word out about Oxy-Morons?
Hickey: Go to Revere and see the film! Tell everyone you know about it. Start a movement! Our numbers are amazing and there's great opportunity arising from this through National Amusements who support Oxy-Morons 100 percent. We're all beyond excited to see what comes next.
Patch: What do you think can be done to help the continuing drug epidemic in Boston -- are there any programs out there that are doing great things?
Hickey: There are a lot of great programs out there but there honestly needs to be more. We need more creative outlets for the young adults who still have a shot of "banging a 360" and finding some-thing positive to fill the void of hang on the streets and doing drugs. There's always a chance to turn things around. They have to remember how harsh the expiration date is if they don't expire it themselves.
To find out more, visit the Oxy-Morons fan page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OxyMoronsMovie.
You can watch the film's trailer on Youtube: