In June, Columbia Pictures began pouring millions of dollars into the making of the Adam Sandler movie Grown Ups 2.
At the same time, Marblehead artist and animator John Bonner set in motion his own movie — Thighs of Steel.
He did it himself. The planning, the script, the filming, the acting, the special effects and the editing.
He also financed the venture. It cost about $25.
His goal? Raise awareness.
"It was to raise awareness of the idea of making at some point the Swampscott branch of the former rail (line) a full amenity bike path," he said.
When John first moved to Marblehead 12 years ago, he was surprised to discover a beautiful smooth rail trail on the leg that runs to Salem and, on the other leg, to Swampscott, to find the route blocked and without access.
He's very familiar with the Marblehead to Salem trail. He rides 5 miles on it about every day.
He was not so familiar with the Swampscott path, which, John says, takes a meandering course.
In any event, John decided to have fun with the movie, assuming a persona that is one part Sir David Frederick Attenborough and one part world traveler and Monty Python actor Michael Palin.
He wanted to make a movie that was fun to watch and did not browbeat those who watched it.
So here it is: a trip by bicycle over the untamed leg of a former rail line extending from Marblehead to Swampscott.
To see John's paintings and drawings visit his website www.johnbonner.com
The Swampscott path has yet to be converted to a rail trail though some people in Swampscott have been working to that end. For more information on their efforts here is a link to a Patch story earlier this year and video from a year ago.