For the first two years or so of undergraduate college at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I was employed by a work-study program called “Book Buddies.” (Yes, “Book Buddies.” Alliteration is cute.) The idea behind the program was to pair up college students with elementary school children struggling with reading and reading comprehension. Former United States Secretary of State and four-star general Colin Powell even stopped by when he was running for president to talk about what a great thing this program was. (Funding was cut shortly after. Coincidence? Probably.) All of which brings us to… I was walking to work at Garrison Elementary (which has since become a “school for the arts?) one morning when I was almost hit by a car. (This, in itself, isn’t much of a story. In fact, the only reason I have that much of a build up is that the story is so short that I have to include context to make it worth telling.) Later that same day, I found out that it was Robert Redford’s car (who was in Savannah at the time directing “The Legend of Bagger Vance”) through a friend who also worked for “Book Buddies.” They had found the hubcap on their way to work and were debating whether or not they could get Robert Redford to autograph it so that they could sell it on Ebay. The point of all of this being… you too may have almost been run over by Robert Redford. Nope. That’s not it. The point being, is that a lot of us have had a brush with fame. (Mine involved a vehicle.)
All of that aside, here are some movies filmed in Kentucky.
To tie in my opening ramble to actual content, we’ll start with a Robert Redford movie. Scenes in “The Old Man & the Gun,” a semi-biographical tale of a charming bank robber and escape artist, were filmed in Newport, KY. (Luckily, they were filmed before I moved here. Sure, it’s been 20 years but why chance it?)
A Cincinnati boy falls in love with a Kentucky girl in “Fresh Horses.” Scenes were filmed in Campbell, Kenton, Boone (possibly in Union on US 42 according to an anonymous internet denizen) and Gallatin Counties. I can’t say I’m a huge Molly Ringwald fan, although I have seen “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink” more than a few times, but “Fresh Horses” doesn’t sound familiar at all. The title makes me think of the song “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus. Which makes me think of “Silence of the Lambs,” the movie that made that song famous. And then the parody of that scene featuring that song in “Clerks 2” and “Jay & Silent Bob Reboot.” Because that’s the sort of “fun” association game my brain likes to play on me.
“The Clovehitch Killer,” filmed in Louisville, KY, is the story of a teenage boy who suspects his father’s hobbies might include serial killing. See below. This is the face of someone who thinks they might be alone in the woods with a serial killer. I haven’t seen the movie but, as a former Boy Scout myself, I know he can at least whittle a quick shiv out of a tree branch to defend himself. A Scout is always prepared!
BCPL has “The Art of Self-Defense,” filmed in Louisville, KY, labeled as a comedy and the promo poster definitely says “sinister dark comedy.” The description of the movie via wikipedia, however, makes the movie sound more like a revenge thriller, with Jesse Eisenberg typecast as the awkward guy who decides to learn martial arts to defend himself from street thugs, not knowing that the martial arts instructor has been masquerading as a thug to promote their business. (Which should have been obvious. I mean, when doesn’t that happen?)
Here’s one you might have missed: “Zombie Planet.” Filmed in Lexington, KY, “Zombie Planet” is the story of some sort of drug turning people into zombies and the post-apocalyptic shenanigans that typically follow that sort of thing. And by “post-apocalyptic shenanigans,” I mean lots of scenes that look like they are filmed at night with inadequate lighting.
Other movies filmed in Kentucky:
Devil’s Revenge – Louisville, KY
Elizabethtown – Elizabethtown, KY
Fire Down Below Natural Bridge State Resort Park and Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Goldfinger – Louisville, KY
Haunt – Covington, KY
Next of Kin – Perry and Letcher County
Rain Man – Campbell County
Rust Creek – Louisville, KY
Seabiscuit – Lexington, KY
Secretariat – Louisville, KY and Lexington, KY
The Ides of March – Cincinnati, OH (It’s practically in Kentucky.)
The Strangers: Prey at Night – Covington, KY
U.S. Marshals – Benton, KY
More to come (should Robert Redford read this and decide to come out of retirement in order to film a movie in Boone County) as this story continues.
Kevin Wadlow is 100% a real human being and definitely not a murder of crows wearing a person suit. He is an avid reader of horror, tabletop gamer, and drinker of coffee who enjoys drawing things of strangeness along the way. When the zombie apocalypse comes, he will probably be eaten first after saying something about how he fully expected to go out like this.
How about American Animals? Was that just set in Lexington or was it filmed there too. (I feel like it was actually filmed there.)
Some of Fresh Horses was filmed off 42, closer toward Richwood Road. We lived not far from there at the time. Ran into some of the film crew at the old IGA that used to be in Union. I’ve never watched the movie.
My Daughter is a SCAD bee, she is currently at the Atlanta campus for Graduate classes in her Film and Television Major, working towards her thesis…she knows well how easily it is to get hit by a car in Savannah…one of her Professor’s was the Actor who played the father in the TV show Switched at Birth, she was thrilled to work with him…
@Lia Sansoucy: I believe “American Animals” was set in Lexington KY but filmed in Charlotte, NC.
@Cindy Donaldson: Confirmation that “Fresh Horses” was filmed not to far from here! Thanks!
@Tracy Vornberger: It’s ridiculously easy to get hit by a car in Savannah. The roads are designed to be occupied by horses with buggies and little else. And still are. Or were when I was there.
Not too many SCAD students/Alumni in the area, thought it was really cool to stumble across an article written about Movies being filmed here written by a Bee and my Bee learning to be in the Film Industry…I hope this is some sort of sign that she will have a great career ahead of her when she graduates…thank you…
@Tracy Vornberger You’re very welcome!