The movie ‘In Country’ based on the novel by Bobbie Ann Mason was shot in 1989 in Paducah and Mayfield, Kentucky. The film, starring Bruce Willis and Emily Loyd, was about a relationship between an uncle and his niece. Willis played a Vietnam veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
When recalling the location and timetable for filming ‘In Country’, Bruce Willis’ former ‘very pregnant’ wife, Demi Moore, accompanied Willis to Paducah where they stayed in Canterbury Hills located in Reidland, a suburb of Paducah. The family rented a home nestled in the subdivision protected by ‘gate entry only’ and surrounded by numerous trees and brush. Mercy Health - Lourdes Hospital is where Moore gave birth to their first child, Lourdes. The event was the ‘talk of the town’ for months.
The movie depicted the struggles and horrors of a war that was long, costly, and divisive. Soldiers returned scathed and embattled from the atrocities experienced, in a war many didn’t want to fight.
In a twist of horror stories, Mayfield, Kentucky hosted a film in late 2017 and early 2018 that premiered on video-on-demand last week. Produced by Jeff Allard, ‘Star Light’ is an adult supernatural horror film. Allard is no stranger to this genre and has produced such films as the 2003 ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, ‘The Night Watchmen’, and ‘The Push: Owning Your Own Reality is Where the Journey Begins.’
According to an agreement between the city and the movie company, the film ‘Star Light’ agreed to hire most of the cast and crew locally. A staggering 80% were locally-sourced and provided employment for those with experience in make-up, special effects, and lighting. Other sources said there was a local connection to one of the film’s producers, Cherly Staurulakis. Staurulakis knew somebody who knew somebody, and on and on.
Another perk to filming in Mayfield was the generous tax credits as part of a film incentive program passed in 2015 granting more opportunities to produce projects in Kentucky.
As mentioned, there are a number of famous movies that were produced in western Kentucky dating back to the 1955 film ‘The Kentuckian.’ Directed and starring Burt Lancaster, much of the filming took place in Cumberland Falls near Owensboro.
Another famous film, ‘How the West was Won’ a classic western starred a cast of some of the most famous actors including John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Debbie Reynolds, Spencer Tracy, and James Stewart. Portions of the film happened in Paducah and Smithland around the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers.
‘Star Light’ is available for rent on Amazon Prime and Google Play. In an August 7 release from the website of Kentucky Film and Entertainment, films are not being shot in Kentucky due to COVID-19. The pandemics effect on the film industry has hampered releases of films, especially on the big screen. If there’s an interest in horror films, ‘Star Light’ might be one to check out.