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September 13, 2013

Man with Mabank roots stars in ‘The Merchant’ movie

Athens — The independent film “The Merchant” plans to have a public screening on Oct. 19 at the Mabank Pavilion. The movie will start about 5:30 p.m. Admission to watch Mabank home town boy Mike Hall  in his first feature film is free. Hall plays a character called Levi in the film.

Hall, 45, graduated from Mabank Independent School District in 1987.  He also attended Trinity Valley Community College. Hall said his family goes way back in the Mabank area. His mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all grew up in Mabank.

While filming the movie in east Texas, Hall discovered how much he had in common with a number of cast members.  The Director, Justin Mosley, graduated from Malakoff High School.   The other actor in the movie, Allen Reed, attended Mabank and Kemp Schools for a number of years.  

“It really is a small world,” said Hall.

“The Merchant,” a Texas horror movie,  takes place in the mysterious fiction town of Burning Bush, Texas. In the movie, a vagrant local priest returns to his parishioners wielding an unholy power. The people of Burning Bush must fend for their lives.

An outbreak of madness topples the town to make way for two strangers who have come to stake their claim on a deal made two decades prior by the town's three founders.

​What the innocents of Burning Bush don't know is that the town's benefactor, William "Big Bill" Micallef, had made his own twisted bargain. As a result, these demons from Hell are after younger blood as a group of survivors attempt to last the night in the local saloon.

A mystic bartender, drunken adventurer, simple farmhand, pregnant widow, can-can dancer, and a young man with a price on his head fight for their lives as they learn the dark truth behind the arrival of The Merchant.

Hall said his character Levi is  considered to be mean and nasty.  In “The Merchant,”  the entire cast of the movie will be in attendance at the special screening on Oct. 19.

“We plan on having some fun with it,” he said.

There will be a red carpet event, a photographer and a question and answer session after the showing of film.

“I'm very excited to be in ‘The Merchant’ and working with such talented people. Everyone from the director, producer, writer to all of the cast - they are just simply amazing,” said Hall.

The cast of “The Merchant” includes Mathew Greer, David Shelton, Jaysen Dry, Kari J. Kramer, Allen Reed, Tristan Lavelle, David Ford, Robby Robertson, Mark Kellar, Shawn Makinson, Mike Chandler, Cody Pottcotter and Dan Priest. The film is directed by Justin Moseley.

Hall said he is staying busy as an actor. He just completed an episode for the Investigation Discover (ID) channel and will start filming another movie in New Mexico in the next couple of months.

“I have been acting for 20 years. I call myself a 20-year overnight success,” he said.

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