Transylvania County has long been celebrated for many things — waterfalls, summer camps, classical music, white squirrels, outdoor adventure. It has not, however, been the hotbed of vampire activity its name may imply. At least not until a couple of weeks ago, when the horror film The Good Things Devils Do set up production and unleashed its legendary beasties on the local population.
Written and directed by Jess Norvisgaard, the film is a tale of crime, redemption, and bloodsucking fiends, described by the director as “kind of a family film, but extremely grisly.” Transylvania County film liaison and producer Tamara Hopkins collaborated with producer/Director of Photography James Suttles, a Brevard native, to locate the film in Brevard. Suttles was eager to shoot again locally, not just for the ease of the commute (Suttles works in Asheville), but because “it’s exciting for the town in a small way.”
The Good Things Devils Do draws on classic slasher films for inspiration. To that end, Norvisgaard enlisted a cast of genre legends, including ’80s “scream queen” Linnea Quigley (Silent Night, Deadly Night; Return of the Living Dead); Emmy-winning character actor Bill Oberst Jr. (Take This Lollipop); and stunt man/actor Kane Hodder, whose nearly four-decade-spanning career includes stints as killers and iconic monsters, such as Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise.
In real life, a laidback Hodder reports that the mood on set is congenial. “We’re all friends here. I know Linnea and Bill from other films, and always enjoy working with them.”
“Sometimes, making a movie feels a little like going to war,” says Oberst, “but this shoot has been going pretty smoothly. It helps that the movie is fun and pretty darn scary. Kane is scary in and of himself.”
When not slaying vampires or shooting fight scenes, both Oberst and Hodder have enjoyed being in Brevard. Oberst, a South Carolina native, was surprised by the “hipness and coolness of the town,” as well as the friendliness of the local population. “In LA, you’d have to be vastly successful to have people treat you the way they do here. It’s a quality of life I always enjoy coming back to.”
Hodder’s been pleasantly surprised by the cuisine — “My wife and I are really impressed by the sushi” — and the revelation that Brevard is home to so many summer camps. “Those kids up there should keep an eye out,” says the veteran scourge of summer camps. “You never know when I might be back.”
For updates on the release of The Good Things Devils Do, see suttlefilm.com.