Canzo Empyrean (partially found underground film; 2007)
Canzo Empyrean logo, taken from the film's now-defunct website.
Status: Partially found
Underground filmmaker Justin Fornal (based in The Bronx, New York) is perhaps best known for his work as alter ego Baron Ambrosia, an eccentric food critic and "culinary ambassador to the world" (in his own words), who starred in a self-produced web series in 2007 titled Underbelly NYC, as well as 2 TV series; the 2008-2013 public access show Bronx Flavor and the short-lived 2011-2012 Cooking Channel series The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia, though he is also known by many for his notoriously elusive 2007 underground film Canzo Empyrean (which is said to have been shot over the course of a decade).
The film, which borrows characters from the G.I. Joe universe, is set in a futuristic dystopia, where AIDS runs rampant and, as a result, sex has been outlawed. With an run time of 2 hours and 20 minutes, the underground feature is particularly notorious for it's concluding scene, a choreographed fight shot (illegally) atop the Brooklyn Bridge's Manhattan tower, which ultimately landed Fornal in jail on top of being issued a $160 fine.
Canzo Empyrean premiered in June of 2007 in Monrovia, Liberia to mass praise (allegedly even going as far as inspiring a 'Canzo' street gang) and was screened in the US for the time time the following year, in a once-abandoned underground ballroom/cinema, as previously restored by Fornal and subsequently dubbed the "Mastabah to Megiddo" (requiring roughly 40 minutes of travelling through underground passageways to reach, some of which must be traversed by wading through waist-deep water).
- An anonymous invitation to the film's 2008 US premiere; 03 Jun 2008. Last retrieved 05 Mar 2015.
- Sony Vegas article on Justin Fornal. Last retrieved 05 Mar 2015.
The film has never been mass-released publicly, although a few bootleg copies are said to have been sold online for upwards of $500.The movie was said to have been 10 years in the making, although these claims are unverified. The bizarre official website for the film contains several hidden clips, and additionally, a 3 minute trailer was leaked online in 2007.
- The official website for Canzo Empyrean. Retrieved 08 Dec '12.
- A hidden clip found on the official website. Retrieved 08 Dec '12.
- Another hidden clip found on the official website. Retrieved 08 Dec '12.
- Yet another clip, assumingly also found on the official website. Retrieved 08 Dec '12.