News Column

Free screening Saturday of thriller filmed in Floyd

June 28, 2013

YellowBrix

June 28--"House of Good and Evil," a psychological thriller filmed in Floyd, follows the misfortunes of a troubled young couple whose move to a quiet, isolated country house might be the biggest mistake of their lives.

The movie's creators will screen the film admission free at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chantilly Festival Farm. Lead actress Rachel Marie Lewis will attend the screening, as will Christiansburg actor Bo Keister, who plays the county sheriff, and Floyd actor and former Oddfellas Cantina owner Rob Neukirch, who plays the real estate agent who sells the couple their house.

Most of the movie was filmed at an old boarding school built in 1914 that stands along Cannaday School Road in Floyd County.

The film likely won't win any Oscars, but the acting and production values are strong by the standards of a regionally made movie. Spoiler warning for the literary-minded -- the movie call s to mind both Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily."

Shot in September, "House of Good and Evil" gained the most publicity at first for who didn't star in it.

Tippi Hedren, legendary star of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," had been attached to play the part of Mrs. Anderson, the couple's neighbor. She was even scheduled to appear at a Floyd fundraiser, but ended up bowing out of both the event and the film because of health issues.

Regardless, the film got made. Hedren's place was taken by Marietta Marich, who portrayed the matriarch of the family of cannibal killers in the 2003 remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Producer and writer Blu du Goyer wrote in an email that the movie's been picked up for distribution, with a video-on-demand release scheduled for October and a limited theatrical run in January.

"The set was terrific. Great group of people, who were really focused and on top of their game," said Keister, whose film acting credits include "Remember the Titans" and the forthcoming adaptation of the Bill O'Reilly novel "Killing Kennedy."

"Even though my part was small, I still had the opportunity to network with some fantastic folks, like Blu, and it's led to another collaboration that we are planning to bring to Floyd next year," Keister said.

That collaboration, scheduled to film in early 2014, is called "The Lycanthropist." The producers are in talks with Mary Lambert ("Pet Semetary") to direct. Lewis is again slated to star, and Keister will play "an extremely conflicted character that I can't wait to delve into."

If you go to see "House of Good and Evil," parental discretion is advised. The film, though not rated, contains adult themes, scenes of domestic violence and slasher-film style mayhem and a few gruesome special effects.

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(c)2013 The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, Va.)

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