"Gringo" (Story Of A Junkie) is a 1987 drama film directed by Lech Kowalski and starring John Spacely. Distributed by Troma Entertainment. Filmed in documentary-style, the film follows the character of Gringo, a young man looking for fortune in New York, only to fall into heroin addiction.
The movie has amassed quite a reputation in certain circles for its depictions of hard drug usage in New York City's East Village area. Many of the cast members, including leading man John Spacely, are actual junkies. The numerous shooting-up sequences are reportedly entirely real, as are many of the drug dens and their denizens. Perhaps even more notable than the cinema verite structure is the almost total lack of moralizing on the part of the producers or its characters.
Lead actor Spacely died in the early 1990s, reportedly from AIDS, which he contracted through intravenous drug use. His final moments are chronicled in yet another Lech Kowalski film, "Born To Lose: The Last Rock & Roll Movie", a documentary about deceased former New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders.
The filmmakers wish to thank the following people for appearing in "Gringo":
Claude du Sorbier
Jesse The Mess
Dave "Frogman" Fargie
Guillermo Perez (Cano)
Ana M. Monges
Patrick Jennings (Papo)
Producer: Ann S. Barish
Producer: Lech Kowalski
Executive Producer: Gareth E. Newell
Associate Producer: Karen O'Toole
Assistant Director: Georgia Kacandes
Assistant To The Director: Hilary White
Story Consultant: John Spacely
Research Consultant: Paul Bloom
Gaffer: Bill McCartney
2nd Electric: George Smol
Driver: Hilton Webb
Soundman: Benoit Deswarte
Additional Sound: John McCormick
Special Effects: Lester Larrain
Dialog Editor: Lach Duncan
Mix: Trans Audio, Inc.
Mixer: Tom Fleischman
Lab: Precision Lab, Inc.
Editing Facilities: Rafik
Negative Matcher: Match Cut
Titles & Graphics: Skylight Productions
Camera & Lighting Equipment: F&B Ceco
Sound Equipment: Audio Services
Original Music Composed By Chuck Kentis
Performed By Children Of Paradise
Recorded At Grand Slam Studios
Recording Engineer: Alan Douches
Performed By Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
Courtesy Of Sugar Hill Records
"Since I Don't Have You"
Performed By Don McLean
Courtesy Of Millenium Records
"Gringo" Mural By Art Guerra
Leather Accessories By Leather Hardware
Special Thanks To:
Edward R. Schwartz
Kerrin B. Newell
Christine E. Mayer
Carlton Arms Hotel
Jack The Ribber
(c)1984 Gringo Enterprises
"This Time You Lose"
Performed By Bernie Worrell
Recorded At Atlantic Studios
Courtesy Of Invasion Records