Movies are one of the main sources of entertainment for people all around the world and there are many small and independent film companies that aim to produce quality work and serve as a means to help boost the careers of aspiring screenwriters, actors, directors, film editors and set and costume designers. Most indie companies take on movies that fall into specific genres and horror-comedies are among the most beloved sorts of film among fans of underground and semi-low-key cinema. Horror-comedy films have become a staple of both pop-culture and Americana and a driving force behind a sizable portion of the independent film industry. The upcoming film titled “Hillbilly Horror Show” fits that description. According to the official press release:
The fourth volume of popular horror-comedy series “Hillbilly Horror Show” is now available to stream online. For just 99 cents, viewers can catch some terrific horror shorts, laugh at the antics of Lulu (Rachel Faulkner of “Ride Along 2”), Bo (Bo Keister of “The Cabining”), and Cephus (Scott Geiter), and find out what Kim Jung Un has to do with all of it. “Hillbilly Horror Show” helps promote upcoming talent by packing together an hour’s worth of brilliant short horror films from some of today’s most gifted filmmakers. In between each short, there’s some hilarious banter between the show’s oddball redneck hosts. “We’re up to 4 volumes and each new episode seems to be better than the one before” Keister said in a recent interview. “As long as our audience likes what we’re doing, we’re going to keep going.” Volume 4 begins in a strange way with “Strange Thing”…keep those doors closed! Next, Bo & Cephus take a hilarious, horror-filled romp into the not-so-blissful side of marriage with “Til Death.” After that, we’ve got a deliciously horrific feast with “Foodie,” and round things out hanging the curves in “The Hourglass Figure.” Be sure to stick around to the end for a surprise bonus short, “Collision.”
In honor of the release of this installment of “Hillbilly Horror Show,” I recently had the opportunity to interview an actor involved in the series, Bo Keister, who happens to be one of the big names in horror at the moment. Bo Keister is a veteran actor and producer, appearing in numerous feature films, such as “Remember the Titans”, “Killing Kennedy”, and the multiple award-winning indie features, “The Cabining” & “House of Good and Evil,” to name a few. Bo is the lead host, and co-producer, of the rapidly growing horror-comedy series, “Hillbilly Horror Show.” His other acting credits include several TV and web series shows, as well as numerous commercials for companies like Office Depot®, Coke®, NASCAR® and US Cellular®.
Bo was born and raised in the small town of Dublin, Virginia. His father, Benny, was the Delegate for the 6th District to the Virginia General Assembly and former mayor of the town. Bo’s mother, Harriet, is a retired high school teacher of 36 years. After attending East Tennessee State, he moved to Wilmington, NC to begin his acting career. There he landed his first two speaking roles in “Remember the Titans” and “Vampire’s Anonymous”. Afterward he spent 7 years in Los Angeles, before returning to Virginia, where he lives with his wife, Cyndi, and two sons, Hayden and Seth.
Q: What inspired you to become an actor?
I’ve always loved movies; ever since I was a little kid. My generation saw the advent of HBO boxes, and a VCR became a common household electronic, so I devoured every movie I could growing up. Through singing and theater, I found a love for performing too. I was drawn to it, and finally decided to give it a shot. The first time I walked on a set, I knew that’s where I belonged, and I never looked back.
Q: What are your favorite genres to act in and why?
It’s a coin toss between horror and comedy for me, I think. I love drama, and others too, but horror and comedy give you so much room to play. You get more freedom with those characters. In the case of comedy, I love having the ability improvise, and there’s nothing better than hearing an audience laugh during a comedic moment you created. On the other hand, horror lets you explore characters with a darker side. Where else can you slaughter people with a machete and not go to prison? It’s a blast. I love my job.
Q: What most appealed to you about “Hillbilly Horror Show”?
There are lots of aspects about the show that I love. First and foremost, it gives us a chance to be filmmakers that help other filmmakers by getting their work out to a broader audience. There are so many great films out there that people never get exposed to, unless they do the film fest circuit, so it’s nice to give them the exposure they deserve, and hopefully it helps the filmmakers behind them further their careers. Another aspect is the creative control. We get to mold and shape each volume and really make it our own. Lastly, it’s just a fun show to do. Being on set is a non-stop laugh fest. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Q: Do you think there will be any more “Hillbilly Horror Show” installments?
Absolutely! The current plan is to shoot Volumes 5 and 6 late summer or early fall. We definitely want to keep it going. As for completed volumes; Volume 2 just released on DVD and can be ordered through most major retailers, as can Volume 1, which you can find on our website: http://hillbillyhorrorshow.com/buy-now-on-dvd/ Volume 3 will be out later this fall, and we hope to release Volume 4 on iTunes and Amazon Prime this year as well.
Q: If you could act in a film in any genre, without financial constraints, what kind of film would you choose to be a part of and why?
It would probably be a super hero film. I have two boys, ages 7 & 9, and they are already my biggest fans. But, if I ever did a super hero role, they’d be over the moon.
Q: To date, what project are you most proud of?
Well, I guess I have to look at that from both sides of the camera. As a producer, it would be “Hillbilly Horror Show.” We’ve taken the show from concept to 4 produced volumes, with worldwide distribution, in 17 months. That’s something I’m very proud of, because that’s not an easy accomplishment. On the acting side, I’d have to say “The Cabining.” It was the first role that gave me a chance to show off my comedic abilities, and I really feel like I made the most of the opportunity. People always compliment me on playing “Bruce”, and that’s a terrific feeling. You live for those moments.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?
We’ve got a big one coming up called “Finding Waldo.” It a new feature film, by the same team behind “House of Good and Evil,” that’s going to really wow people. It’s a big departure from our previous work. It tells the story of my character, Chance Reed; a former pro football quarterback, who falls from grace due to his battles with alcohol and a fateful night of drunk driving. Now, out on parole and working in the dismal mail room of a Lloyd’s of London-esque insurance firm, he is failing to pick up the pieces of his life. That’s until he is summoned to the office of Cyrus Motley (Richard Riehle), the president of the firm, and tasked with interviewing eccentric novelist, Waldo Greene (Matthew Jacobs). Waldo’s brain is insured by the firm, and the writer is now claiming to be insane. The validity of his insanity holds an $80M policy payout in the balance. Waldo has already dispatched 3 previous insurance adjusters, so Chance is sent in to fool Waldo and make a determination. It’s at this point all goes awry, as Waldo kidnaps Chance, busts out of the psych ward, and the two are launched into a series of misadventures through the Arizona desert. Neither Chance, nor the audience, knows the end game to this road trip, but Waldo is not all he appears to be. As the game plays out, a bond is formed, Chance will have to face the transgressions of his past, and all roads lead to forgiveness and redemption. We’ve got an outstanding cast & crew attached, with more to come. We’ve got high hopes for its success. Currently, we are completing the budget, and have an Indiegogo campaign going. We encourage everyone to check it out and support the project with donations and shares.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an actor?
Train hard and never give up. Training is the single most important thing you can do for your career, so get after it. And remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. It doesn’t happen overnight, so keep moving forward and you’ll get there.
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To learn more about Bo visit: