Written by WCPO staff
Northern Kentucky’s very own “portal to hell” is the set of a brand new horror film.
“Sweet Meats” is an ultra-low budget horror that’s being filmed inside one of the most haunted places in America, the legendary Bobby Mackey’s Music World in Wilder.
“Sweet Meats” follows the story of Bobby Sweet, a country music legend and restaurateur. He opened Sweet Meats in 1978 and it took off. Many fans want to know what makes the meat so darn sweet? Well… sometimes it’s best not to know the “secret ingredient.”
NKY FILMS said it is proud to bring to life the story of Bobby Sweet and to show that “elbow grease” isn’t just a saying, but also a flavor.
Writer and director, comedian Ricky Glore, said there’s no better place to film than at Bobby Mackey’s.
“It had to be Bobby Mackey’s,” said Glore. “That basement is haunted. And it is terrifying. So it already has that production value… it looks like murders have happened there.”
It doesn’t hurt that Mine Flinchum, the grandson of Bobby Mackey, is an executive producer on the film, Glore said.
Most of the cast and crew are local, according to Glore. Sophie Ferris, who operates the USS Nightmare, is running the makeup and special effects department.
“This will be her first helming for a film,” Glore said.
Glore said having Kaufman’s support on the film is a “dream come true.”
Troma will be helping with the film’s distribution by taking it to horror conventions and theaters across the country.
Glore said filming begins Sept. 18, but there is still time to get involved in the production.
“We’re more than happy to have people come in because we need the help. It’ll help us not wear as many hats. And I love collaborating,” Glore said.
Glore added that since announcing the film, he’s already been contacted by film students from schools across the Tri-State asking to be a part of the film.
“The best people to have come in and work on something like this are young and hungry people who are just as excited and want to see a thing come to fruition.”
Glore said he’s also received support from some big names in the film industry.
“Roger Avery, who co wrote Pulp Fiction, wants to see the movie and has supported us on Twitter,” Glore said. “It’s just really cool. Because… you think that you don’t matter if you’re not in Hollywood, or if you’re not in New York, and you’re not where it’s happening. I think that’s the benefit of nowadays, with the internet is wherever you’re at, you can make it happen.”
Glore said ever since he announced that scenes will be filmed at the legendary night club, people from across the country have reached out, warning him of what he might encounter inside.
“People on Facebook are commenting, like, ‘well, they better bring a priest with them and I hope their production is safe while they’re filming there,'” Glore said.
Who “haunts” Bobby Mackey’s?
There’s a sign at Bobby Mackey’s that reads: “Management is not responsible and cannot be held liable for any actions of any ghosts/spirits on the premises.”
One of the spirits thought to haunt the premises is Pearl Bryan. On a cold morning in 1896, Bryan’s headless body was discovered in a farmer’s field near Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Her head was rumored to be thrown down the well in the night club’s basement. Mackey himself even memorialized the young woman’s tragic tale in a song:
“Poor Pearl, poor girl,
Laid dead upon the ground.
Poor Pearl, poor girl,
Her head was never found.”
Other legends at the club stem from the prohibition era and the mobster years in the early part of the 20th Century.
According to the Travel Channel, some still believe that in the building’s basement lies a gateway or “portal” to hell. Some believe that spirits can’t cross flowing water, so the rare northern current of the Licking River may keep whatever dark forces trapped inside the building.
In its research, the Travel Channel also references the case of a former caretaker, who lived in apartment above the club. He claims to have been possessed by the demonic spirits that lurk within the walls. His exorcism was performed in the club by a minister, according to the Travel Channel.
Glore said Bobby Mackey’s owners are excited to have the film being shot there but they may change their mind if any of those dark forces decide to show themselves.
“They may change their tune. If they come into the basement one day, and we’re all slaughtered because of whatever ghost spirits lay waste,” Glore said.
If everything goes as planned and they don’t get killed or possessed by evil spirits in the portal to hell, the movie should be released in October 2024.
Click here to learn more about the film and its production.