It was almost three years ago when we first announced that Teen Mom OG star Farrah Abraham was making the leap from the small screen to the big screen with her feature-length acting debut (Backdoor Teen Mom excluded) in the slasher sequel Axeman II: Overkill. Production on the film, which also features Big Brother and Amazing Race star Rachel Reilly, wrapped production in spring of 2015. So what happened? Where’s the movie?!
Early last year we shared an update from writer/director Joston Theney in which he said the delay was due to issues with distribution. “My production company #SinningWorks was only responsible for getting the film to the point of a director’s cut then turning it over to be sweetened and color-corrected,” Joston said at the time. “I do know that Chris Otiko of Blood Red Films has been working diligently with the sales agents to get the film through AFM and a few other film markets.”
Well, it seems that Chris Otiko’s “diligent” work allegedly involved fraud and copyright infringement — according to a new lawsuit filed by Joston Theney earlier this month!
Here is a summary of what happened behind the scenes of Axeman II: Overkill, according to Joston’s lawsuit:
Chris Otiko, who is a podiatrist and CEO of ViaDerma, Inc. (which recently announced it would soon be selling a spray-on premature ejaculation drug), was a financial backer for the original Axeman At Cutter Creek film, and in exchange for his investment he was given Executive Producer and Writer credits.
A similar deal was worked out for Axeman II, with Otiko (aka Blood Red Films) investing $51,641.25 in exchange for the same credits as well as a split of the profits from the film.
Although Otiko was given writing credit on the film, Joston submits documents with the lawsuit filing showing that the credit was merely superficial and that he and his production company #SinningWorks retained all copyrights to the film.
Joston and Otiko eventually found a potential distributor with a company called ImageWorks, and a contract was drawn up in which there was a blank space left for the owner of the rights to the film.
Joston reviewed the contract then sent ImageWorks a hard drive containing his only high-definition copy of the film.
Unbeknownst to Joston, Otiko finalized the contract with ImageWorks by filling in the blank with his own name, thereby claiming he had complete ownership of the rights to the film.
Otiko and Joston then affirmed via a “Co-Production Agreement” (attached in the lawsuit) that Joston retained all ownership rights to Axeman II.
Seven days after affirming the “Co-Production Agreement,” Otiko applied for and obtained a copyright on Axeman II!
More from the lawsuit:
On May 11, 2017, Mr. Theney wrote Defendant Otiko and advised him that his registration of Axeman II: Overkill was contrary to their express, written agreement and therefore Mr. Theney was terminating Defendant Otiko’s right to represent him and his Works (to the extent that any such rights remained).
Defendant Otiko responded that same day, stating “Please stop your ridiculous lies. If you need to communicate with me, do so through my attorney.”
Also, beginning on May 10, 2017 and finishing on May 11, 2017, Mr. Theney applied for a copyright registration for his motion picture Axeman II: Overkill. The pending registration for his motion picture is Case No. 1-5102099981.
Mr. Theney submitted a low resolution version of his Work to the Copyright Office, which is currently the best form available to him.
Here is what Joston Theney is seeking from the courts:
A. Ordering that Plaintiff is the sole author of the script and Motion Picture Axeman II: Overkill and clearing title to Plaintiff’s Work;
B. Holding that Defendants infringed Plaintiff’s copyright;
C. Holding that the Defendants’ infringement was willful;
D. Ordering an accounting of Defendants’ profits;
E. Awarding Plaintiff damages, the greater of statutory damages, or the Plaintiff’s losses and the Defendants’ profits;
F. Ordering Defendant ImageWorks to return the hard drive and the high resolution copy of the Motion Picture Axeman II: Overkill to Plaintiff forthwith;
G. Awarding punitive damages against Defendants Otiko and Coast to Coast Podiatry, Inc.
H. Entering an injunction barring Defendants from claiming any rights to the Work, ordering Defendants to return all copies of the work to Plaintiff forthwith, and ordering Defendants to destroy all electronic copies of the Work forthwith.
So when can we expect to FINALLY see Farrah Abraham on the big screen in Axeman II: Overkill? Unfortunately, lawsuits can take a loooooooooong time, so I’m not optimistic it will be any time soon — unless Mr. Otiko and ImageWorks decide to resolve the dispute prior to going before a judge or jury.
However, Farrah is also featured in another of Joston Theney’s productions — Adam K. According to Amazon, that movie will be available on DVD on August 8!
We will leave you with an image of Farrah’s unforgettable scene from Adam K, which I’m guessing echoes Joston Theney’s sentiments about Chris Otiko at this point: