Florida locals affected by the Sun Gym Gang's brutal killings have taken aim at producers behind Mark Wahlberg's new action thriller Pain & Gain for painting the tragedy in a comedic light.
The film tells the true story of a group of bodybuilders who kidnapped, tortured and murdered two people in South Florida during the 1990s as part of a sick extortion scheme. Daniel Lugo, Noel Doorbal and Jorge Delgado kidnapped wealthy businessman Marc Schiller and held him against his will in a warehouse for a month while they burned him with lighters until he signed over his assets.
They made several attempts to kill Schiller, who makes a cameo in the movie, by strapping him to a car, lighting it on fire and crashing it into a utility pole, but he miraculously survived and hired a private investigator to track down the criminals.
Two other victims, Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton, were not as lucky and their bodies were chopped up and scattered around the state, and now those affected by the tragedy have spoken out against the film, which portrays the conmen in a likeable light.
Griga's sister Zsuzsanna tells The Miami Herald, "It's horrible what happened to them (the victims). I don't want the American public to be sympathetic to the killers."
And former Police Sergeant Felix Jimenez, who worked on the case for years, also thinks the project is disrespectful to the memories of those who died, telling the Associated Press, "You are talking about real people. And in this particular case, especially when you're talking about the murder victims, these were innocent victims."
Lugo, who is played by Wahlberg, and Doorbal, who is portrayed by Anthony Mackie, were convicted of murder in 1998 and sentenced to death, while Delgado was ordered to serve 15 years behind bars.