James Merendino

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James Merendino
James Merendino 2.jpg
Q&A in SLC, Utah - September, 2019
James Anthony Merendino

(1969-01-11) January 11, 1969 (age 52)
OccupationFilm director, film producer, screenwriter
Years active1991–present

James Anthony Merendino (born January 11, 1969) is an American film director and screenwriter who is best known for directing the 1998 film SLC Punk!.[1]


Merendino was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah when he was six years old. He graduated from Judge Memorial Catholic High School in 1985 and went to college in Rome and Los Angeles, California where he studied Western philosophy and theology. Merendino moved to Hollywood, California when he was 19 and found work with Hollywood mogul Dan Melnick.

In 1991, Merendino was hired to direct Witchcraft IV. His fourth film, Toughguy (1995), is a psychological thriller starring Heather Graham and introducing Carrie-Anne Moss and Balthazar Getty. His next film was A River Made to Drown In (1997). Merendino's most successful film, SLC Punk!, was released in 1998. SLC Punk! is semi-autobiographical. The screenplay was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2000.

The 2000 film Magicians was a European co-production with Alan Arkin and Claire Forlani. Amerikana was part of the Dogma 95 movement by Lars Von Trier. Merendino directed (with Lisa Hammer) the drama film The Invisible Life of Thomas Lynch in 2009. He wrote and directed the sequel to 1998's SLC Punk!, Punk's Dead, which was released in February 2016.



Year Film Director Writer Producer
1992 Witchcraft IV: The Virgin Heart Yes Yes No
1993 Witchcraft V: Dance with the Devil No Yes No
1993 Beware of Dog No Yes No
1994 Hard Drive Yes Yes No
1994 The Upstairs Neighbour Yes Yes No
1995 Terrified Yes Yes No
1996 Livers Ain't Cheap Yes Yes No
1996 The First Man No No Yes
1997 River Made to Drown In Yes No No
1998 SLC Punk! Yes Yes No
2000 Magicians Yes Yes No
2001 Amerikana Yes Yes No
2004 Evil Remains Yes Yes No
2008 Death Club Yes Yes No
2009 The Invisible Life of Thomas Lynch Yes Yes No
2011 Pox No No Yes
2016 Punk's Dead: SLC Punk! 2 Yes Yes No
2018 Double Proposal No No Yes
2020 Ashes No Yes No
TBD Cat in a Box Yes Yes No
TBD Arthur Kill Road Yes Yes No


Year Film Director Writer Producer Notes
1998 Alexandria Hotel Yes Yes Yes 6 episodes


2000 Nominated Independent Spirit Award Best Screenplay for: SLC Punk! (1998)


  1. ^ "James Merendino". The New York Times.

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