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Ghost Town Rides Into Pasadena, California
GHOST TOWN IN THE SKY a Maggie Valley, North Carolina western theme park was the inspiration for Ghost Town: The Movie which will premiere in California opening the Action on Film Festival July 25th, 2008.
The film is a director’s tribute to his father, Robert Doyle Teaster who had played the famous “Digger the Undertaker” during the sixties when Ghost Town in the Sky was seeing record attendances from “Dan Blocker Day”, Burt Reynolds, Irene Ray, Veronica Cartright, and many other Hollywood greats.
In an amazing coincidence of timing, both the film and the theme park were financed on the same day. So with some pioneering private investors, both Ghost Town: the Movie and Ghost Town in the Sky began an amazing new journey.
The idea started when co-director Dean Teaster began looking for a travelogue film that his father claimed to
have appeared in along with a troop of actors from the theme park. These “International Famous Ghost Town
This would lead to some interesting connections that would end up ultimately in this new Smoky Mountain
Teaster located the travelogue on EBAY in Stamford Conneticut after fifteen years of searching for his fathers
only filmed famous performances as the legendary "Digger the Undertaker". The first connection was
Dean Teaster’s long time involvement with Collective Development Inc. of Lansing, Michigan
( HYPERLINK "http://www.cdiproductions.com" www.cdiproductions.com)
Jeff Kennedy for his first directorial endeavor and producers DJ Perry and Anthony Hornus. DJ Perry also
penned the screenplay from a story he created with Dean Teaster. This marked the seventh motion picture for
the independent company.
Another interesting connection was Robert Teaster's friend Herbert "Cowboy" Coward, a GHOST TOWN
theme park worker turned actor, had befriended a young Burt Reynolds. A few years later when they were
looking for someone to co-star with now famous “bad guy” actor Bill McKinney (Outlaw Jose Wales,
First Blood) in John Boorman’s Deliverance, Burt remembered his buddy "Cowboy" who had gotten his two
front teeth knocked out in a gunfight performance at Ghost Town in the Sky when Robert Teaster had taken
a day off of work and was filled in by a novice young gunfighter who accidently butted “Cowboy” in the
mouth with a Colt 45 revolver. With his teeth knocked out, “cowboy” finished the gunfight in front of 2000
people who thought it was part of the act.
When auditioning for Deliverance, the toothless man Herbert Cowboy Coward was reported to have
manhandled the producer menacingly and was immediately given the role. He was mistakenly thought to be
a non-actor, but for thousands of people familiar with the theme park "Cowboy" was an old favorite named
"Grandpappy or Old Zeke". That casting of McKinney and Cowboy raised the movie to a cult status
that has stood the test of time. In 2005 Maxim Magazine readers voted them the #1 screen villains of all time
and "The Great Book of Movie Villains", called “Cowboy Coward”, "filthy, ragged, ugly, and half-human".
Watch the film again today and you’ll see why.
Fast forward to late fall 2006 on the set of Ghost Town when Bill McKinney and Herbert Cowboy Coward
were reunited some thirty years after Deliverance. Both men grizzled and yes, scary in appearance,
prepared to go head to head in this redefining mountain movie. The two men who had made tough men with
“pretty mouths” cry and “squeal like a pig” would now turn on one another in the rugged Smoky Mountains.
It was Dean Teaster's wish to reunite these villains after their debut some 37 years prior. After being contacted,
the retired Herbert "Cowboy" Coward agreed to be in the movie since it was a tribute to his old family friend
Robert Doyle Teaster, the co-directors father.
While many stereotypes about mountain folk are completely untrue, their loyalty to kinfolk is 100% true.
Unlike most westerns with greed based firmly at the heart of the story—be it gold, silver, bank or train
robberies—this film highlights the power of family ties with murder and revenge being the major themes.
The Cherokee culture that lives alongside our mountain people permeates deep throughout the film.
This sets the stage for a complex and tragic love affair between the children of Cowboy and McKinney’s
characters played by Princess Lucaj and DJ Perry and a final showdown between Coward & McKinney.
Four thousand six hundred feet on top of Buck Mountain audiences will enter Ghost Town. A mystical town
surrounded by a smoky, clouded backdrop plays home to a rich cross selection of rugged characters such as
Jim Jumper, Whiskey Walters, Jim Dandy, Little Jack, Madame Birdie and Digger the Undertaker. These
performances bring something truly “strange and amazing” as noted by the rating board official who gave
the film an R rating for western violence.
The release date for both the National DVD and the special edition theme park release will be October, 2008.
Producers hope to announce their major studio distributor at the festival. Barnholtz Entertainment brokered
the deal. Triumphant Entertainment is currently handling foreign sales for the film.
Ghost Town has just entered its second theatrical season in North Carolina in conjunction with the theme park
and will also play various theatrical dates on the west coast working with Fireshoe Distribution. Ghost Town
rides fiercely into California with Action on Film Festival being its first showing on the west coast. It has been
nominated for Best Western, Best Special Effects and Best Costumes and we’ll know soon if any gold will
come home to Maggie Valley, N.C.
Executive Producers Alaska Presley and Robert Bradley, both life-long residents of Maggie Valley who share
a long history with the Ghost Town in the Sky theme park, are very confident this film will find a heartfelt
place with fans of western films. Fans in anticipation have already been purchasing merchandise from the
theme park such as posters, clothing and Bob Terrell’s novel Teaster based on the script published by
Alexander Books and found on Amazon.com.
In addition to the starring cast of Herbert Cowboy Coward, Bill McKinney, DJ Perry and Princess Lucaj the
film also stars Rance Howard, Renee O’Conner, Tony Becker, Stella Parton, Terence Knox and country star
Sammy Kershaw. Many of the stars will be in attendance for the six o’clock screening in theater one at the
Laemmle Theater located at One Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA on July 25th, 2008.
So, if you looking for a fresh Appalachian take on the tried and true western tradition then hitch up your horse,
swing through the saloon doors and keep your shooting hand free…you’re entering the strange, brutal, and
beautiful place called Ghost Town!
# # #
CDI has produced several feature films in various genres and prides itself on the ability to draw together the tribe to create any project, regardless of the type of story being told. We’re proud of where we’re headed, and where we started.