Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

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.

Text Only
Local News
  • • DSC_0162.JPG Ramps for handicapped

    Encino Landscaping is doing a necessary job for the Texas Department of Transportation Tyler District. All four corners of the block upon which the Henderson County Courthouse rests are being converted to better serve handicapped pedestrians.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Appearance and operation of Splash Pad upgraded

    The Splash Pad at Athens Kiwanis Park has been closed this week, as work is being done that will upgrade the appearance of the surroundings and operation of the facility.
    The pad is now well into its first full summer of operation, and has proven to be a popular spot for youngsters in the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif GBC official asked to resign

    Gun Barrel City resident Carroll Strickland asked Councilman Marty Goss “to do the right thing and resign.”
    Strickland spoke to the GBC council during the citizen's comment portion of the Tuesday evening’s council meeting. Strickland  accused Goss of trying to take over the GBC Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
    In a prepared statement, Strickland said,  “Marty is doing harm to the city's reputation. I am asking the mayor and the city council to do something about the situation.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Nutt says being part of task force has really paid off

    Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt reports that being a part of the Drug Enforcement Task Force in Tyler has paid off in a big way with the arrest of two major drug distributors.
    On May 13, following an investigation initiated in January by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigators, Uleyses Roberts, 45, and Dijon Howard, 25, were arrested by a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The men were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Unemployment jumps up in HC

    The Henderson County unemployment rate jumped up in July, according to figures from the Texas Workforce Commission.
    The Henderson County unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was an increase of .4 percent over June. The county saw both an increase in the size of the workforce and the number without jobs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 gbc.jpeg Gift card to Chili’s

    Ralph Fortner, Chairman of the Gun Barrel City Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, presents Jamie Snuffer a gift card to Chili's Restaurant in Gun Barrel City. Fortner was thanking Snuffer for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the GBC Chamber Chapter during the recent July Fest held in GBC. Snuffer is the secretary for the CCLACC Ambassadors.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Coaches at Kiwanis.jpg Coaches speak to Kiwanis Club

    Trinity Valley Community College Volleyball Coach Tosha Spain and Softball Coach Ashley Johnston were guest speakers at the Athens Kiwanis Club on Tuesday. The volleyball season begins in August, and the softball team starts its 30-game fall schedule in September.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Victoria.jpg Emotional response given to Victoria's death

    The tragic news of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt’s violent death set off an emotional response on Monday, with words of consolation for the child’s family and anger at the girl’s mother who admitted to taking her life. But mostly sorrow at the loss of one so young.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD readies for annual backpack distribution

    Athens Independent School District and the Help Center are teaming up once again to provide backpacks and supplies to students in need.
    The annual Back-to-School Bash is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Athens High School gym during the family fun day.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Open house grace house.jpg Open house at Grace House transition location

    Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake, a faith-based transitional home for women, held an open house on Monday evening. The facility for women is 6,000 square feet on 13 acres in Tool.
    Grace House includes a kitchen and a classroom equipped with computers for training and practice, as well as dorm-type rooms for the residents.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo