By Christina Cathcart/Accent editor
Love a good mystery? So does retired Eastern professor Larry Bobbert. So much, in fact, that he decided to direct and co-write a localized version of the classic movie “Clue.” Bobbert began filming the movie, dubbed “Bluegrass Who Dun It,” just last week.
Bobbert, who retired from the department of communications last July, began mulling over the idea for a movie as soon as he retired.“Somebody asked me: ‘Now that you’ve retired, if you had $1 million to do anything with, what would you do?’ So I started thinking — if I had $1 million I’d try to get a little more and then make a movie,” Bobbert said.
The original “Clue” — released in 1984 — featured all the usual guests of the Parker Brothers board game — Mustard, Scarlet, White, Green, Peacock and Plum — plus a French maid named Yvette, Mr. Boddy and several unexpected guests.
Bobbert’s version doesn’t have the exact same plot or characters; really, the similarities end at murder.
“Most movies begin at the beginning and end at the ending. This one has lots of flashbacks and interruptions — probably because I’m a television producer — things don’t just drag on,” Bobbert said. “This movie doesn’t have a linear flow. Things jump around.”
Alice Jones, an associate geography professor who plays the role of Amanda Perkins, a widow, said that even the characters’ names have a meaning; the names all make reference to Madison County history.
“This is a very campy, over the top whodunit with incredibly guilty characters,” Jones said.
“Bluegrass Who Dun It” is based in Madison County. Filming will take place at, among other places, White Hall, Galaxy Bowling, Turpin Funeral Home and the Hairline Barbershop.
Members of the Eastern community have already signed up to help. Broadcast major Randall Wilson, 39, is studying videography while helping Bobbert as a camera operator.
“I’m learning the fundamentals,” Wilson said. “It’s exciting to be able to see how a movie’s being shot, directed and produced.”
Bobbert has made an effort to connect with the Richmond community by involving local theater group Richmond Area Theatre and having open casting calls.
“We’ve made this as community-oriented as possible. This is a general audience kind of show: All the murders happen off-screen and there are no sexy love scenes.”
The scenes, although not graphic, are still full of action: In the first act, a blackmailer sneaks out of town; in the second act, people are shown in different places around town gossiping about who the murderer really is, which sets up who gets blamed in the viewers’ minds.
Then, similarly to “Clue,” “Bluegrass Who Dun It” will offer alternate endings.
“We’re going to shoot three to five endings. When we put it on DVD you’ll be able to watch any of the endings you want,” Bobbert said.
“Since it’s DVD, we’ll put up the cast of characters as the choice of who was the murderer. Each person will be a button, so all you’ll have to do is use the remote to choose your ending.”
“Bluegrass Who Dun It” is slated for release in January 2004. Extras and minor parts are still being cast. Cast call is at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Madison County Library.
For more information on “Bluegrass Who Dun It,” go to www.drbobbert.com/movie.htm.