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Kerry Prior was born the son of a Kentucky mining town preacher and grew up working day in and day out in the dust choked coal mines of the Appalachian mountains. His father, Rev. Mitchell Burnhardt Prior, was one of the legendary "Snake-Church Ministers" famed for their use of poisonous Cotton-mouth and Rattle Snakes in their church sermons. Young Kerry was twelve years old before he had any formal schooling, and spent the few hours he was away from the mines making elaborate charcoal drawings of the local hill people.

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When his father died of untreated snake bites, Prior and his seven brothers and sisters and sickly mother were forced to move from Coon's Hollow, their family home since before the civil war, to Cincinnati, Ohio, to try and find employment. His mother, the only breadwinner of the house soon took ill with a tremendous case of Cirrhosis, leaving Kerry and his sister, Tredgil to care for the other children.

Prior and the children who were old enough sought employment at the local steel mill, working twelve hour days with barely time for school. Kerry soon took to sketching portraits on the street corner to scrape together the few penny's that were needed to buy the family's soup and crusts of bread. By the time he was sixteen, Prior had a job sketching portraits at a local amusement park. It was there that he became fascinated with the clowns, jugglers and hot-dog vendors that would mold his young and eager mind in the direction of Hollywood. He would spend hours in the funhouse watching the terrified guests simply because he couldn't find his way out.

By the time he dropped out of high school, Prior was an accomplished juggler, unicyclist, and sword swallower. He kissed his siblings and bed-ridden mother good-bye and with only his pastels, unicycle, juggling clubs, rooster, harmonica carving knife, a small fern, his dog Fiffer, some jacks, an Etch-a-Sketch, his father's tattered Bible, and a heart full of dreams, he started to hitch-hike to California.

He quickly gained employment at the fabulous Universal Studios as a pop-corn vendor and started making his way up the ranks in Hollywood. By the time he was eighteen, he had worked in the fascinating world of special visual effects, and was sending every other dollar home to his ailing mother. Although he was quick to find success in the real world of filmmaking, he threw it all away to go to UCLA Film School. Armed with the degree from that prestigious institution and with his spirit almost thoroughly broken, he found that he was completely unable to find employment in even the most menial film industry jobs. People simply laughed at his worthless scrap of paper.

If not for the charity of Director Don Coscarelli and Producer Zippy Blair, Prior may have disappeared without a trace. However, they hired him to work on the motion picture Phantasm III, and Prior took the ball and ran with it and in the process created some visionary effects sequences.

After the Phantasm experience, Prior, once again found himself destitute and without any hope of ever getting hired on someone else's film. Then Prior had an inspiration and decided to hire himself. He began writing a movie screenplay which he intended as his feature writing and directing debut. Several months ago he disappeared into the empty deserts on the eastern border of California with only a small daypack and a 16mm camera. He vowed not to return to civilization until his film was completed. No one has seen him since, however mysterious footage was previewed at a recent American Film Market to great acclaim. The film was titled ROADKILL, and it's credited writer and director was one D. Kerry Prior.

 
 

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