In 1985 Jack Marino produced his first motion picture through his own company, Spartanfilms Limited Productions. The film was distributed at the AFM by Shapiro Entertainment, and soon became a profitable venture for both the filmmakers and the investors.

I created this web page both to tell my story and to inform first time filmmakers of what may lie before them, and what being a truly independent "warriorfilmmaker" is all about.

Shortly after my wife and I left Boston and arrived in Hollywood in 1980, a few of us started our first production company - Spartan Productions, Inc. After two and a half years of writing and struggling to sell our scripts, we decided to dissolve this, our first attempt at working within the system, and went our separate ways in order to pursue independent acting and writing careers.

Insofar as I had no film school training or any kind of connections within the studio system, I was convinced that the only way I would ever make a film was to get the financial backing myself. In the meantime, I worked many odd jobs while trying to pursue an acting career that I had started in my undergraduate days at Northeastern University in Boston.

As 1984 approached, my former associates and I got back together and formed a new production company, Spartanfilms, Ltd. I had recently developed a story idea and title for a new action film, KILLZONE. None of us at the time had any money to speak of, nor did we have the connections to attract the financing for such an ambitious project.

It was at this time that my parents came out from Boston to visit their first grandchild, and I informed my father, John Marino, of my crazy ambition to make an independent action film for something between $50,000 to $100,000.

I am proud to say that my father, who was and still is the biggest supporter of my filmmaking dream, became the very first investor, writing me a check for $1000.00. This one act would be the spark that would ignite not only the success of KILLZONE , but all my future films and the films that my former partners would eventually produce and direct - together with their many companies and the countless people who were influenced by the extraordinary way in which we pulled this project off.

This one investment gave me the confidence to call the rest of my relatives, friends from high school, college, and the business world, asking them to back me in my first producing effort. To my surprise, the investment checks started flowing in. It took six months to raise enough money to begin shooting in September of 1984. KILLZONE was then completed the following February and was premiered successfully at the 1985 American Film Market in Los Angeles by Shapiro Entertainment.

Thirteen years later (1998), a KILLZONE Alumnus, Actor Chris Tashima, won an Oscar at the 70th Academy Awards for Best live-action short. "VISAS AND VIRTUE" , which he wrote, produced, directed and appeared in. Heartiest congratulations Chris!! I always felt something good would come out of KILLZONE.

Hollywood is truly an amazing place. I have always wondered how many films and careers connected with KILLZONE would have been altered had my father never written that first $1,000.00 check.

- Producer Jack Marino

I first met Victor Alexander in May of 1984. My partners and I hired him as our Director of Photography and eventually I asked him to edit the film. He brought to this project a complete mini-studio - a full camera and lighting package, editing and lab equipment, together with his years experience and a love of filmmaking that inspired everyone he met. Working with Victor on this film was like going to four years of film school.

As President of Spartanfilms, I decided to make him an equal partner in KILLZONE so he would be with us in future projects. I believed that his experience and equipment company, American Victor Organization, would be a great asset for both our companies

I always want to thank Victor for the many years that he has been a friend to me and my family. When the split occurred within Spartanfilms with the other two partners, he remained loyal to me and to the plans we had set down for us to achieve. We were both determined to make better quality films from this point onward. Our biggest problem was getting funded for our individual projects. However, in the meantime, Victor and I had to work on many different projects to support our families.

I look forward to the day when I will produce and direct my next film. On this project , Victor will be my director of photography. Again I look forward to working with him, and creating a film that we can both be proud of.

Bill Zipp - Jack Marino - Rick Massery 

Jack - Sept. 1984

Producer Jack Marino 

Executive Producer Richard Corey 

KILLZONE campsite in Norco Basin Park, CA - Sept. 1984 


David Campbell - William Zipp 

Larry Udy pours ICE WATER over Jack Marino on the last day 

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