On the Set: The Rebirth of ‘Taxi Driver’

LOS ANGELES — While leering at pretty 20-year-old Lily LaBeau as her throat is throttled by Tommy Pistol on the set of the upcoming “Taxi Driver” parody, one can’t help but think: What would Travis Bickle do? Would he shoot director General Stone in the gut and send LaBeau back home to her parents? Or, would he wait for his chance to watch the flick in some seedy theater with a date? It’s hard to know and — quite frankly — doesn’t much matter.

After all, when you’re situated inside a beautiful house high upon a bluff overlooking a private community in scenic West Hills, Calif., it’s easy to forget that “someday, a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.” For now, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and LaBeau’s spit glimmers off the tip of Pistol’s cock.

What’s being shot is a clever re-imagining of the ill-fated date between sociopath Travis Bickle and political activist Betsy (played by Cybill Shepherd in the original film). The parody is a Pleasure Dynasty and Diamond Productions movie in association with Love You Films. Today’s scene, Stone explains, will open as a romantic dream sequence that soon gives way to a gritty reality in which Bickle has come unhinged and is fucking Betsy like she’s some kind of skunk-pussy. 

From the Mohawk on his head to the swagger in his walk, Pistol has truly immersed himself in the role of Martin Scorsese’s iconic antihero. He says, “I’ve seen the movie many times and watched it again every day up until shooting. I didn’t want to do De Niro being Travis Bickle. I just wanted to be Travis Bickle. I studied the postures, the tone, the stares, the pauses, and the walk.”

But, did he do it all in front of a mirror?

“Yeah, man, of course,” he laughs. “I also shaved a real Mohawk on my head. I went all out. I’m lucky to do this. I think people are going to be wowed when they see it.”

LaBeau has been studying her part as well — all morning. She explains, “So, to be honest, I didn’t know I was going to be in this movie. I thought this was an entirely different ‘Taxi’ remake. So, all morning, I’ve been looking up clips on YouTube and I think I’m finally starting to get how cool a movie this [“Taxi Driver”] is. It’s all been a bit of a surprise.”

Whether LaBeau thought she was cast to do a spoof of the classic ’70s “Taxi” sitcom or the 2004 comedy of the same name starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah remains uncertain as she quickly steers the conversation towards sex — namely her love for the rough stuff. “God, yeah, that’s my thing,” she coos. “I like letting loose, especially when I’m doing a scene with someone else who’s crazy. I know most of what Tommy and I did won’t be used in the movie, but it was cool that we were allowed to build up heat that way.”

Carlos Cavero, founder of PD Films, is beyond thrilled with the footage and the passion everyone has brought to the project. “Watching the guys at I Love You Films work three 20-hour days on this movie showed me how dedicated they are to producing quality adult entertainment. That’s why they are the production arm of PD Films on all of our parodies.”

Launched in 2009, PD Films is not only a production house, but also serves as a management company for adult industry upstarts. Cavero, who got his start as an adult content producer, explains PD’s mission statement, “I founded PD Films to help new producers set up their businesses and to provide them — and existing producers — a wide network of distribution channels. Our program connects these producers with our partners who specialize in production, distribution, sales and marketing, legal, and web development.” To learn more, visit www.pdfilmsllc.com.

Up next for PD Films are spoofs on David Fincher’s “Fight Club” and Antoine Fuqua’s corrupt cop drama “Training Day.” All of PD Films’ DVDs are exclusively distributed by industry vet Howard Levine’s Exile Distribution (www.exiledistribution.com). Broadcast and VOD are exclusively handled by Coastline Licensing.