Oh, this is disappointing news for those of us seeking tourist-terrifying video material: "Shelter" movie's casting director fired, (AP), February 27, 2008.
A casting director for the horror thriller "Shelter" has been fired after West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin's office objected to what it termed an insensitive casting call for extras with unusual features.
Donna Belajac Casting's Web site initially advertised the scene as being set in a "West Virginia 'holler,''' but producers Emilio Diez Barroso and Darlene Caamano Loquet said the movie is not set in West Virginia and the state will not even be mentioned.
"On behalf of the entire SHELTER production we regret and are deeply sorry for the very insensitive casting call sent out without our knowledge by our casting director Donna Belajac who has been dismissed from this project as a result,'' Barroso and Loquet said in a statement issued Tuesday night.
Manchin spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg said the West Virginia Film Office contacted the producers Tuesday night on behalf of the governor.
"They weren't aware of all that had transpired," Ramsburg said today. "They quickly became aware."
Casting agency director Donna Belajac did not respond to calls seeking comment Tuesday and today.
Never mind. Movies like "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre XCII" continue to frighten potential visitors to rural retreats all over the US. Many people still believe "Deliverance" is set in West Virginia. Even if "Shelter" expunges references to the Mountain State, it should still be a good selection for the Snowshoe Resort video library.
And remember, there are bib-overall-wearing old women wandering the ridges of Pocahontas County, muttering T.S. Eliot verses, photographing bugs on clotheslines and getting into who knows what-all. Be afraid....