PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Most tourists return from the Outer Banks of North Carolina with a souvenir; Butch Maier returned with an idea for a horror-thriller that was later titled Kill Devil Hills.

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Maier, a veteran journalist, explains a local Outer Banks legend. “Pirates, back in the day, used to store their rum in the sand dunes and the rum was strong enough to kill the devils,” said Maier with a wicked Vincent Price gleam in his eyes.

“I figured, what if the pirates also stole some gold and that was the genesis of this movie,” said Maier.

(WAVY photo/Regina Mobley)

Cue the scary music here. “What would happen if there’s still gold there and it surfaces on the Outer Banks and where there’s gold there’s blood,” said Maier.

The Production

Production on the film Kill Devil Hills started in 2019 with local actors and technicians who used the Virginia Beach Oceanfront to depict the Outer Banks.

“There are a lot of talented actors; there are a lot of talented crew members. I’ve tried to gather up as many as I could to make movies,” Maier.

Kill Devil Hills is his third film. To date, his most successful movie is “Mother of a Day”, a family comedy movie that is available on Peacock.

(WAVY photo/Regina Mobley)

In his third film, the plot details where there’s gold there’s blood, and where there’s blood there’s local news.

“I had the role of a television reporter and I thought what actress should I get to play a television reporter? Then I thought ‘why don’t I talk to a television reporter?’ and I found one and that was you [Regina Mobley]. You were so professional and I didn’t have to tell you what to do because you already know your job,” said Maier.

(WAVY photo/Regina Mobley)

But in 2020, something that is truly horrifying happened. A novel coronavirus created a global and deadly pandemic. Over the months Maier, who is employed as a lead writer for Bloomberg, remained determined to bring the film to the big screen. The Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk rolled out the red carpet.

“I wanted to give the cast and crew that satisfaction of seeing themselves and their work up on the big screen. I’m hoping that with this debut our weekend title is going to be on the weekend box office list and if you look at averages per theater, while we’re not going to do Top Gun Maverick numbers, I’m hoping to crack the top ten,” said Maier.

The world movie premiere of Kill Devil Hills takes place Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 11 a.m.

The Naro Expanded Cinema is located at 1507 Colley Avenue in Norfolk, VA. The premiere includes a cast and crew question and answer session.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at eventbrite.com.