TUPELO – Bateman Underwood’s performance as a raging serial killer was so convincing, the police showed up.
The Tupelo actor was filming the short film “ColdBlooded,” directed by Jamie Hall, in an abandoned Memphis brewery earlier this year when a few surprise guests showed up on set.
“The Memphis (police) showed up, thinking a murder was taking place there,” Underwood said. “I guess I was so convincing. I had to escort the police around and show them the lights, cameras and sets.”
Underwood, who splits his time between Tupelo and Los Angeles, stars as David Wales, a seriously disturbed man in “ColdBlooded.”
“He’s a pedophile, serial killer, just released from prison. He’s a cannibal, he’s bi-polar. He has anger issues,” Underwood said. “He’s just moved into a new neighborhood and he has a couple of nosy neighbors. He kidnaps them and ties them to chairs and tortures them. It’s gonna be a big shocker for Tupelo.”
Oh, and there’s a surprise twist – but he kept that under wraps. Underwood said he drew from Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” and Jack Nicholson’s role in “The Shining” for inspiration for his dark character.
Tupelo actors Glenn Payne and Casey Dillard star alongside Underwood as his nosy neighbors.
The film clocks in at just over 33 minutes, and while it isn’t rated, Underwood said it should be rated R.
“ColdBlooded” has been premiered in other cities, but for the Tupelo premiere, Underwood is rolling out the red carpet – literally.
“I’m a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and I went to the SAG Awards earlier this year,” he said, “so I know how to do a red carpet.”
• On the big screen
What: “ColdBlooded” premiere
When: 7 p.m. April 11
Where: The Malco at Tupelo Commons
Extra: The film isn’t rated, but Underwood suggests an “R” rating. There will be an after party at Romie’s Grocery at 8 p.m.
Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal