This 60-minute cult masterpiece spins the tale of Lazarus, who is ultimately faced with an ancient challenge in a win-or-die confrontation. Starring Dale Crawford, this award-winning feature was videotaped entirely on location in Erie, PA 1991-1992 and shows scenery along Erie’s bayfront that has been since obliterated.
This original movie was created by the late Matthew J. Frazzini, who portrays the other main character, Nick Safara. Nick is forced to fight Lazarus in an intricately choreographed showdown as the story reaches its peak. In its first and purest form, “Lazarus” was 73 minutes in length. Matthew trimmed it to 60-minutes to enter it in the hometown festival, and said that he liked the shortened version better, so the original has not been seen since the early 1990s when it aired repeatedly on the City of Erie Public Access Channel.
“Lazarus The Legend” won first place in the category “Best Screenplay” in the 1993 Hometown Video Festival, rising above 2,200 entries from five different countries.When filling out the application to enter “Lazarus” in the video festival, Matthew described it as “a spoof of every martial arts movie ever made.”
This piece also stars Carolyn McIntyre, John Whipple, Mike Kowalski, Nick Sanfilippo, Christine Lorraine and other faces from Erie. One local Lazarus fan reminisces, “I remember seeing this on CAT TV one late night.I laughed so much at the martial arts spoof and facial mugging. I’ve loved it ever since.”
c. 2013 Christine Mankowski on behalf of Matthew J. Frazzini
At age 47, Matthew J. Frazzini was killed by a 19-year-old male who was driving while under the influence of drugs on June 30, 2009. He was happily driving home from work at around 3:30 p.m. on Route 5 to eat a tuna sandwich that his mom and dad, visiting from Arizona, had made for him. The DUI driver’s supply of drugs was confiscated by police at the scene of the accident that killed Matthew. His killer spent less than 11 days in jail, and has since been arrested for other driving violations.