Archived Story

RTC to star in 2nd film

Published 11:07am Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Regional Treatment Center will be getting another opportunity for stardom starting next month, when producer/director Peter Hurd begins shooting “The Control Group” inside the Kirkbride building.

The film has also landed an old hand at the horror genre as one of its stars: Brad Dourif, perhaps best known as Grima Wormtongue in “The Two Towers” and the voice of the murderous doll Chucky in the “Child’s Play” films.

“The Control Group” is a horror film conceived by Twin Cities resident Hurd after he saw pictures and footage of the RTC on the Minnesota Film and TV Board website (the board shot the footage last fall). He was immediately struck by the building’s unique, creepy look, as well as its history.

“I’ve never really seen anything else quite like it,” Hurd said, adding, “It’s very cool, and it’s in Minnesota. You don’t really see things like that in Minnesota.”

“The Control Group” will be Hurd’s first professionally-directed film. Shooting will last from Aug. 13 through Sept. 10 and will include some shooting in other buildings on the RTC grounds, as well as in a few homes.

“The basic plot is of a group of teenagers that are kidnapped by government scientists and put in this (building),” he explained. The scientists perform drug testing experiments on the teens but soon realize that the abandoned insane asylum they’re in is haunted by the ghosts of the building’s now-bloodthirsty inmates. The teens and the scientists must team up to escape.

“(The plot) was definitely formed by the building,” said Hurd, who explained that he and his screenwriter thought of several plots that could be done well in the Kirkbride. “Eventually we just basically ended up combining all of them.”

The result, he said, is a fun mash-up of all kinds of horror subgenres.

“It’s going to be a very big film, I think,” Hurd said. “We’re already in talks with major distributors.”

Though Hurd is new to the film scene, he said he’s made some Hollywood contacts that are very excited about the movie.

“You get one person, and they bring their friends on and it just gets bigger and bigger,” he said.

There’s also the presence of Dourif, who has been acting since the mid-1970s and has appeared in many films and TV shows, including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Alien: Resurrection” and “Deadwood.”

“I’m really excited to have him,” said Hurd.

The film is still looking for a few actors to play small roles, as well as extras. For more information about how to get involved in the cast, crew, or as an extra, e-mail or visit (the film also has a Facebook page).

As he gears up for filming, Hurd is bursting with ideas over which Kirkbride rooms he wants to shoot. The tunnels were an easy choice, and he also likes the gym because its projection room allows for some nice overhead shots.

“There’s a lot of areas in there that we definitely have to include in the movie,” he said.

  • P. Carlson

    Just think how popular the RTC could be for films if the first two movies had not been denied by the “brilliant” council. Maybe there woul be no need for people now trying to save the buildings. There could have been a line up of movie producers waiting to do their filming in Fergus Falls bringing in millions of dollars to the community.

  • RichHensch

    That type plot sounds VERY VERY sick to me, but seeing what kind of crap is in our movies and tv today simply for the mission of making a very dollars. If you all haven’t yet figured it out yet….apparently that is what the USA is all about today…MONEY….I don’t buy that kind of crap, but if the residents of FF want it then I say go for it….I personally do not think its a good idea…I was raised there and attended school there when teachers were all respected…but that time is a far far cry from what USA is today…only concerned about MONEY!!!

  • fergusnative

    I haven’t seen any articles about the millions of dollars promised for movies being made at the RTC. How many millions did this film and the prior film pay the city for use of the facility?

    • Mike

      Probably nothing. I have no idea what is going on in the heads of Fergus Falls residents being excited about this movie or for that matter Mr. Howard.

      This is an extremely low-budget “film” that if lucky will be streaming on Netflix sometime soon.

  • Frizzel

    Hey, if Chucky (the voice) is in town, this is big time LOL. Rich, it may be sick but people want more out of horror than someone in a bad mask jumping out from behind the bushes and yelling BOO! That is what is (or soon to be was) great about America. You don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to and you don’t have to let your kids watch it. Personally I find it much more offensive to watch the news and see our servicemen and women being shot at or gang violence shootings in Chicago. The boogyman does not frighten me.

    • Mike

      “That is what is (or soon to be was) great about America”

      …great write!

      So what is then the scariest movie you’ve ever seen Frizzel Boscoe???

      • Frizzel

        Wolf Creek (2005). A wonderful independent Australian movie. Much in the way that Platoon or other war movies don’t really bother me when they are fictitious, Saving Private Ryan made me break down for the first 15 minutes. This movie is sort of like that. It has influences from murders around Australia and isn’t over the top cheesy about it either.

  • P. Carlson

    Peter, I never said the city would get paid millions, bussinesses in Fergus Falls would have meds the money,. The first two movies that were denied were bigger budget with several well known actors and actresses. They would have filled motel rooms for 3 weeks or more each, filled restraunt seats for many meals, purchased goods at many bussinesses in the community. Using mostly locals that only need free coffee are not the profitable movies for those who own bussinesses in town. Big name celebrities bring in the bucks.

  • P. Carlson

    Sorry about typo first line meant made not meds. So Sorry.

Editor's Picks

Underwood Harvest Festival, Threshers Reunion set for weekend

Get ready for days of community celebration with the Underwood Harvest Festival going on tonight and Saturday and the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in ... Read more

Jobless rates drop in Fergus, Otter Tail County

The 2015 July unemployment rate for Fergus Falls and Otter Tail County has fallen from last year and is at its lowest point for July ... Read more

Suspect arrested after standoff [UPDATED]

Man allegedly shot tenant after dispute over eviction A landlord was arrested on attempted murder charges after allegedly shooting his 39-year-old tenant 7 a.m. Friday ... Read more

Bicyclists to ride 150 miles in Otter Tail co.

The Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota is hosting its 11th annual Bike Minnesota event at Glendalough State Park this weekend. Thirty people will tour ... Read more  | 10 comments