Sept. 28--WORTHINGTON -- Three years after a tragic accident leaves a student dead at the annual homecoming dance, a group of senior friends anxious about the return of homecoming night to their sleepy Southern town find themselves visited by a deadly presence from their past in the dark and desolate halls of their very own high school.
With that plot summary and a title of "Bloody Homecoming," no prospective viewer is going to plug this recent movie release into a DVD player expecting a romantic comedy.
But local horror movie enthusiasts might spy a familiar face as they watch "Bloody Homecoming" -- that of Branden Lee Roth, a 2007 graduate of Worthington High School.
Shortly after his high school graduation, Branden moved out to California to pursue a career in show business. He was cast in "Bloody Homecoming" last year and filmed it in Texas.
"It was so much fun," he recalled during a recent phone call from California. "They flew us out to location in Austin, Texas, for three weeks. The horror films are so scary on TV, but when you're behind the scenes, it's so different."
A couple of months ago, Branden attended a preview night for the flick and learned that the independent film had a distribution deal, although he was not privy to the particulars. Then, earlier this week, he was told the DVD was available at Wal-Mart stores.
"So I called my mom and said, 'You have to go and check and see if the Wal-Mart has it,'" related Branden, whose parents, Darwin and Lindia Roth, now live in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Sioux Falls store did indeed have a copy of the movie, which was just released on Tuesday. Branden also called the Worthington Wal-Mart and was told the store did not yet have it in stock.
"But my best friend went out and rented it at Family Video," noted Branden about local availability.
In the movie, Branden portrays Wade Scott.
"I'm one of the supporting characters," he explained. "It's about this group of friends in high school who all grew up together, and it's based around their homecoming party. They start getting killed off one by one."
An online trailer for the movie shows Branden on the dance floor and crowning the homecoming queen. Branden's character is not the killer, but he is a victim, and per the genre, he dies a gruesome death.
"I made it pretty far, though," he said. "I'm not the first killed. That's always exciting."
Branden has been doing some short films, but doesn't have any big projects on the horizon at the moment.
"I've been auditioning a lot, working on getting my brand out there," he reported.
Earlier this year, he was involved with a project, "Logan (+)," about a young man who finds out he is HIV positive, that was seeking financial backing through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Unfortunately, it did not reach the $16,000 financial goal by the site's deadline.
"But that doesn't mean the project is over," explained Branden. "We made some good contacts. We're just going to put it on the back burner for now, take a little break and come back next year and see what we want to do."
Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers may be reached at 376-7327.
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