Think and Die
25th Anniversary Edition


World Premiere

September 12, 1989

Reymans’s East 65th Street Film Palace



An Interview with the Producer

I met with the producer of Think and Die, Tom Scarpino, in the West Coast offices of Hi-Caliber Films. He seemed eager to talk about the movie. Actually, he seemed eager to talk about anything.  The office seemed pretty quiet. There was an actual rotary phone on his desk that looked like it hadn’t rung in a long time.


Where did the idea for Think and Die originate?


It was Delbono who first wanted to make a movie. As you’ll recall, at that time Chafe was a huge professional wrestling star. He saw Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal having success crossing over to films and he wanted to get in on the action, so to speak. He approached Marty Kozlowski [Director, Co-writer] and me to see if we were interested in collaborating with him.


Did he know what kind of movie he wanted to make?


Yeah, he told us exactly what he wanted – guns, car chases, fights with nerds, explosions, and a pretty girl. For writers like Marty and me, hearing a clear vision like that was really a gift. The script pretty much wrote itself.


Delbono comes across as very natural in the film. He seems completely free of technique, lacking any kind of method. Had he ever acted before?


I suppose you could say that. He was, after all, a professional wrestler.


How did you cast the other roles in the film?


The blonde was the girlfriend of someone on the set. I remember it took a bit of cajoling to get her to kiss Delbono. Mostly because he’s such a perfectionist, you know. He called for about twenty takes of that scene. Marty would say, “We got it, Chafe.” And Delbono would give us that cold stare of his and rasp, “Let’s do it again.” What a pro.


And the Professor?


He was just some guy wandering down the street who had the look we were going for. He was pretty excited at first when we asked him if he wanted to be in a movie. Maybe he thought we were making a porno or something. He started having second thoughts though, on the set, when we explained we needed him to get punched in the face and have a gun shoved down his throat. But we locked the doors—wouldn’t let him use the bathroom either—until we got those shots in the can.


The film has a real edgy mood; it’s very dark and grainy.


Yeah, there was a bit of luck in that. It was exactly what we were going for. It was also, actually, all we could afford. You can see every dime we spent in that Super 8 footage.


With such a small budget how were you able to shoot those dynamic action sequences?


We shot all that footage one evening standing on a corner of Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. You gotta remember New York City was a very dangerous place in 1989. We just set up our camera and shot what was happening on the street that night.


But there’s one shot of a small jet exploding and another of a guy with a flame thrower?


Yeah, I know. What a town.


There was some controversy when the film first came out about the scene with Mother Theresa. How did you handle that?


We just ignored it. We’d already sent a rough cut of the film to Mother T for her blessing. She was very supportive. She even suggested we change the line the bleeding hearts didn’t have the guts to
the bleeding hearts didn’t have the cojones. But Delbono nixed it. He felt his audience didn’t understand Japanese.


So, I guess the thing I’d most like to know is why you never finished the film? Were there creative differences? Were you not able to get the funding?


What do you mean?


Well, Think and Die is just a trailer for a movie, right?


No, no. It’s the movie.


But it’s only 90 seconds long. That’s not a movie.


Sure it is. What else do you think it needs? A bunch of stiffs standing around explaining the plot?
If that’s the kind of movie you want, call George Lucas. Delbono really doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his vision. He understood what the ADHD Generation—the YouTube kids—wanted before they were even born.


So was there ever talk of a sequel?


Marty and I did write a preliminary draft for a follow up called Think Again and Die 2. But once
Run Run Shaw saw the film he sent Delbono a plane ticket to Hong Kong and that was the end of it. We never saw him again.


Do you know what Delbono’s doing now? I haven’t seen much about him lately?


I think he’s coaching a high school wrestling team in upstate New York. I heard he actually married his co-star.


The Professor?


No, the blonde.


Oh…well…thanks for your time.


Sure thing. Got lots of that.

Cast and Crew

Chafe Delbono

James Reyman


Delbono’s Woman

Karen Majestic


The Professor

Paul Kozlowski




Director of Photography

Jason Kessler


Assistant DP

Sheila Szczepaniak



B-Video Studios


Paintbox Artist

Susan McCarty


Graphics Studio

WNET – Channel 13



Kevin Moriarty


Music Score

Martin Kozlowski

James Reyman

Tom Scarpino


Music Performed by

The Wild Banana Boys


Recording Studio

Reyman’s House of Hits


Film-to-Tape Transfer



Edit house

Film/Video Arts


Written, Produced, Directed and Edited by

Martin Kozlowski

Tom Scarpino





Original Storyboards
25th Anniversary Press Release




After being left to rot for twenty-five years on VHS tape, the never-whispered-about, seldom remarked upon, subterranean, almost-sorta-kinda-maybe minor classic short, Think and Die, has resurfaced on the Internet to almost universal indifference.


Of the three people who agreed to watch the video (mostly in the hopes of getting their father/producer to shut the hell up), one was heard to mutter, “Why?” In response to this outcry, the producer has issued the following statement…


“We just want people to understand that video mash ups, a complete disregard for intellectual property rights, and bad lighting were not invented by the YouTube generation. We’ve been doing it for years.”


Rumors of a soon to be released version of the short with director’s commentary have…oh sweet Jesus...who are we kidding?



In fond memory of The Professor