Ernie Nesbitt, a fictitious New England fisherman, is a troubled soul whose life changed forever after watching a fellow fisherman die in the jaws of a shark.

An outcast in his small fishing village because of rotten teeth and a quiet nature, Ernie's only friends are tiny figures of pirate Captain Bones and Mermaid Mary inside his fish tank. Hooked on painkillers because of his teeth and in debt to the drug dealers, Ernie pulls his teeth and fashions a new set out of shark teeth, then uses the deadly dentures to chomp his way into a killing spree.

The gruesome tale is the plot of a movie entitled "Hooked," currently being filmed in Salisbury by its writer/director Christopher Thies of Winterbeast Entertainment Group, headquartered in Woburn.

"The idea was kicking around in my head for years," Thies said yesterday. "The movie is pretty funny actually. You could call it a very, very dark comedy."

Yesterday, Peter Cormier and Larry Droun of Elm Street Bait and Tackle Shop watched as Thies and his camera crew, headed by photography director Josh Leonard, turned the shop into a movie set. Although interesting, neither thought they would give up their day job at the bait shop for an acting career.

But Newburyport's Abby Casey, an actress in the film, was engrossed in her role of Brandi, a bait and tackle shop clerk who tends to Ernie Nesbitt's fishing needs. All she gets for her trouble, however, is a killer bite from Ernie.

"Pretty much everyone Ernie meets ends up dead," Thies said.

Ernie, played by Lowell resident and actor Matty Satterfield looked on innocently in the background, until he smiled, showing a grizzly set of very sharp false teeth. Rounding out yesterday's cast at the bait shop was Mike Del Llano, also of Lowell.

"We had three casting calls to pick the cast," Thies said. "But not for Ernie. We picked Matt right away. He's a young Tony Perkins (of "Psycho fame"). He was perfect."

This isn't Winterbeast Entertainment's first sojourn into moviemaking or the horror genre. Its first production was "Winterbeast," said Thies, an Exeter, N.H., resident. "Winterbeast" is also a horror movie about a twist on a legendary Indian demon, living on Mount Chocorua, a mountain in the Sandwich Range of New Hampshire's White Mountains, in Albany, N.H.

"Winterbeast" had a premiere at a New York City theater, and the movie was available on video initially and now is available on DVD, Thies said.

"Hooked" will also have its premiere and will go straight to DVD, Thies said. Filming in Salisbury, Plum Island and some surrounding areas will go on for the rest of this week, with additional visits to Salisbury through the summer when needed, he said.

Thies' experience in town has been positive, he said, whether it's shooting at the bait shop, the pier, at Bridge Marina or other areas along the coast for the film.

"The people here have been really great," Thies said.

For more information on the Winterbeast Entertainment Group or about the movie "Hooked," visit www.winterbeast.com.

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