The third Saturday in October will be more than just a football weekend this year.

Inspired by a love for 1980s slasher films and college football, writer and director Jay Burleson is putting a new twist on the weekend in his latest project, "The Third Saturday in October Part V." The weekend is typically known as the day of the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry game, and the movie is set in 1994.

When it came time to bring Burleson's script to life, producer Frank Crafts knew just where to look for filming locations: his hometown of Athens.

"We kept looking at the neighborhoods," Crafts said. "The feel of the neighborhoods was so much like 'Halloween' or 'Nightmare on Elm Street.' It was so attractive."

Crafts said several locations throughout Athens and Limestone County were used in the film, including Catfish Cabin, Athens-Limestone Hospital and 11 private homes. He thanked Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks and the multitude of business owners and homeowners who helped during the five-week film schedule.

"It's gonna be neat when it premieres because Athenians are going to recognize the streets, the businesses, and of course, lots of local extras are in the film as well," Crafts said.

Much like the film series that inspired it, "The Third Saturday in October Part V" features a group of characters gathering for an event, only to be terrorized by a killer that just won't die. However, don't be surprised if this is the first you're hearing of this murderer — Parts I–IV don't exist. Yet.

"It's meant to be a later sequel in a slasher franchise, when they all start to go downhill or have things that you would find questionable in terms of the content or direction the story goes, and we're doing that on purpose," Burleson said.

He said the humor in the movie was inspired by some of his favorite horror comedies, including the "Scream" series.

"'Scream' has a lot of comedic aspects to it," Burleson said. "'Young Frankenstein' is a big influence because it's definitely set in the world of horror, even though it's much more comedy."

Crafts said they'd love to treat it like a certain space-themed film series, creating a popular film in the middle of a story then returning to build the universe before and after. During The News Courier's visit to one of the filming locations Friday, Crafts explained crew members were preparing to film a scene between the main character and the killer.

"This is a climactic scene when the main character, Maggie, who's played by Kansas Bowling, confronts the killer for the first time with the girl in her care, (played by) Poppy Cunningham," Crafts said.

Quentin Tarantino fans may recognize Bowling from her previous role as Blue, a member of the Manson family, in "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood." Cunningham recently appeared in "The Death of Dick Long," a comedic crime drama set in "small-town Alabama," according to the movie's IMDb page.

Burleson said he hopes to have "The Third Saturday..." ready for audiences by May. Crafts said they may host a local screening to thank everyone for their help, including as a fundraiser for ALH as thanks for the crew being allowed to film at the hospital.

In addition to keeping an eye out for familiar locations, audience members may also be able to take a piece of the set home. Crafts, who sells antiques and vintage items at multiple locations in Athens, said he furnished portions of the set through his inventory.

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