Hollywood film star heads back to hometown

| November 23, 2011
Shane Woodson.

Shane Woodson.

Twenty years ago, Shane Woodson was an usher at Village 8 Theatres, where he spent much of his time tearing tickets. Two decades later, he’s an actor, writer, director and producer – and he’s coming back to the cinema on Dutchman’s Lane – this time to premiere his award-winning feature film, “Barracuda.”

On Friday, Nov. 25, he will sign autographs at Village 8 after the 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. showings of “Barracuda.” The film tells the story of a phone sex operator seeking vengeance on sex offenders while driving in – what else? – a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda. It’s directed by Woodson and written by Christy Oldham, with whom he co-owns Mercury Rising Films.

“There’s quite a bit of truth (in the film),” Woodson said. “Christy was a part-time sex phone operator so she could pay her bills. The main characters in the film were derived from real-life phone calls.”

One such character is a schizophrenic named Dudley Johnson, whom Woodson plays in the film.

“He thinks he’s Elvis Presley and is one of the key villains the main character has to take down,” Woodson explained.

“Barracuda” is a dark comedy filled with gritty action similar to the cult-classic “Grindhouse,” but beneath the surface of the storyline is an important social message that’s become increasingly relevant recently. “We’ve got this stuff with Penn State – we have pedophiles, escaped racists, incest, character flaws and disturbed people who need to be brought to justice,” Woodson said.

Barracuda PosterThe film took three years to complete, including a year to write the screenplay and a year to edit footage. In just 30 days, the film was shot at various locations in Los Angeles, Louisiana, Louisville and New Albany.

Since its completion, the film has won several awards from film festivals across the U.S., including the 2011 Mississippi International Film Festival, the 2011 Flint Film Festival in Michigan, and it outsold all of its screenings at the 2011 New Orleans Film Festival.

In just a few weeks, another of Woodson’s films, “The Legend of Black Annie,” will also hit the festival circuit. Woodson appears as one of the leads in the horror film, playing a crooked sheriff.

“A good story is a good story no matter what genre it is,” Woodson said. “That’s been my motto as a working actor in California for 20 years. I’m a character actor and have played all sorts of crazy roles. It’s never boring and you never know what you’re going to be playing – cookie-cutter to wacky to more psychologically disturbed characters.”

In the last decade, Woodson has acted in such feature films and television shows as “Criminal Minds,” “Resident Evil: Extinction,” “Johnson Family Vacation” and “Southland.” He got his start in the film industry as an actor, but equally enjoys his work behind the camera as well.

“It’s my calling,” he said. “It’s why God put me here – to make people laugh and cry and maybe learn about themselves and leave the movie theater feeling better. The good, the bad and the ugly – you learn from it all.”

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051.

courtesy photos

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Ashley Anderson

Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).

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