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Horror movie filmed in New Mexico has real-life chills

Bill Sage in a scene from the New Mexico-filmed "Fender Bender."(Courtesy of Shout! Factory)

Bill Sage in a scene from the New Mexico-filmed “Fender Bender.” (Courtesy of Shout! Factory)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mark Pavia is a fan of the horror genre.

That’s why the director jumped at the chance to work with Shout! Factory and TV network Chiller on his latest project.

And thanks to his producers – Joshua Bunting and Carl W. Lucas – the film also landed in New Mexico.

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“Josh and Carl had both worked on projects in New Mexico and they swayed me to do the film there,” Pavia said. “What I wanted to do with the film is showcase Albuquerque as something different.”

Pavia spent nearly a month in Albuquerque shooting “Fender Bender” in November. The film will premiere at 9 tonight on Chiller. The network shows all types of horror films.

The film follows 17-year-old Hillary Diaz, played by “The Good Wife” alum Makenzie Vega, who gets into her first fender bender.

As most innocently do, she exchanges her personal information with the apologetic stranger, played by “Hap and Leonard’s” Bill Sage.

Later in the day, she is joined by her friends at home, only to be visited by the stranger she gave her information to. Turns out he’s a serial killer, who pulls the same fender bender on other victims.

“I got the premise for the film when a friend of mine got in an accident in LA,” Pavia said. “After he gave all his information to the other driver, I told him, ‘What if he’s a killer and stalks you.’ Once I said it, I knew it was going to be a movie.”

Pavia was able to snag Vega, Sage, Dre Davis and “Longmire’s” Cassidy Freeman for the film. Rounding out the cast are New Mexico actors Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Steven Michael Quezada, Kelsey Leos Montoya, Harrison Sim and Gus Krieger.

The production filmed in Old Town and in the Country Club area.

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“It was stunning,” Pavia said of his time filming. “What was exciting about New Mexico was that the crews were terrific. They are incredibly supportive and were excited about the project. I would definitely come back to the state to do more productions.”

Makenzie Vega filmed Fender Bender in November in and around Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Shout! Factory)

Makenzie Vega filmed Fender Bender in November in and around Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Shout! Factory)

Vega was attracted to the role because of the script.

“Hillary is a very strong character who doesn’t give up,” Vega said. “The script was also scary in that it could be a real-life situation. The underlying fear of this happening is what drew me to the project.”

Vega is also a horror film fanatic, though when she walks into her house, she turns on all the lights.

“I get suckered into it,” she said. “I enjoyed my time in Albuquerque and it was beautiful. We went up to Sandia Peak and then I got to see the mountains change color at sunset.”

New Mexico also had an impact on Sage, who plays the villain in the film.

“I’ve been out there before,” he says. “It’s to the point where my wife and I talk about moving there. The industry has changed so much that you can live just about anywhere. I don’t have to be in New York anymore to book projects.”


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