If you don’t know – I’m a movie buff and I’ve lived in Texas since I was twelve years old.  So, I was meant to write this article.  There are a lot of movies filmed in the Lone Star State some are great, some not so good. The list you are about to read is a combination of all the scary ones or ones that tried to be.  I do suggest that if you do try to find these films – WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!   So, what makes a good scary movie? Well, the film can just be scary by playing with you mind (The Sixth Sense-not filmed in Texas) or by showing you gory visual (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-definitely filmed in Texas). This list also includes low budget movies that were trying to capitalize on a trend at time (See "Don't Open The Door" and its attempt at being scary).   There are a lot fo bad slasher flicks out there and I left a lot off of this list.  Some are scary weird  in a good way - Peter Fonda and Warren Oates in "Race With The Devil."   Bikers running away from satanists! Anyways, for your enjoyment, I've added the trailer for each so you can see what I'm talking about.  The trailers (for some) are just as confusing or as strange as the movies themselves. Of course, as Texans, we all know movie classics “Urban Cowboy,” “No Country For Old Men,” and “Friday Night Lights” were filmed here, but do you know these horror classics were made in the Lone Star State…

FIRST THE SCARY AMISH PEOPLE...

Deadly Blessing (1981)  -  What movie filmed in Waxahachie, Texas starred Sharon Stone and Ernest Borgnine and was directed by horror legend Wes Craven? The answer - 1981's strangely not-very-so-scary "Deadly Blessing."  The film, in which Texas doubles for Pennsylvania Amish Country, is just weird.  

Stone, along Maren Jensen (from the original Battlestar Gallactica) and Susan Buckner (the annoyingly lovable Patti Symcox from "Grease) play three women terrorized by curses, ancient evil and Ernest Borgnine yelling in his horribly pasted-on amish beard. Texas looks nice in the trailer though...

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NEXT THE WANNABE SLASHER...

Don't Open the Door (1975)

When I watched the trailer the first question I had was - "how is this movie rated PG?"  This slasher was made in Jefferson, Texas and revolves around a woman who comes home to take care of her sick grandma.  While she's taking care of Grandma, she's harassed by weird phone calls from a maniac. Welcome home!  Filmed in 1973 and originally called "Don't Hang Up," "Don't Open The Door" is riddled with bad horror movie cliques - weird camera angles, blood that is way too red and a whole lot of screaming going on!  DOTD tried to ride the successful coat tails of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" it had one problem - it wasn't a good film - heck - it was even a mediocre film.

 

BEES! OH NOT THE BEES! AHHH!

The Swarm (1978)

Sorry to use Nicolas Cage's famous line from "The Wicker Man" remake, but it in the 70's the made a full-fledged disaster movie about killer bees!

Filmed partially in Houston (Astrodome, McKinney Street. Memorial Park), this killer-bee attack film from the "master of disaster" Irwin Allen ("The Poseidon Adventure," "The Towering Inferno") was an actual disaster. In fact, some call "The Swarm" the worst film ever made. When I saw it in the theatre when I was 10, I loved it.  Now, not so much. Like all disaster movies of the 70's, the movie featured way to many stars playing underdeveloped parts.  The climax of the movie takes place in Houston where they basically burn H-town down with flame-throwers to take on the swarm of killer bees.  FUN FACT: 800,000 bees had their stingers removed to interact with the actors. What a waste of stingers...

 

IT'S BIKERS VS. THE SATAN PEOPLE...

Race With the Devil (1975)

Peter Fonda and Warren Oates are two motor bikers who are on vacation with their wives. One night, sitting outside their parked camper, they see a satanic ritual and they are spotted by the satanists. This starts a "Race With The Devil!" The devil folks chase the camper and terrorize the four vacationers. Filled with action, I loved this movie when I was a kid.  And, I saw it a few years ago and it still holds up.  The movie was filmed in Bandera, San Antonio, Leakey, Castroville and Tarpley Texas.

THE GRANDDADDY OF THEM ALL...

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) 

Tobe Hooper's horror classic was thankfully actually shot in Texas.  Hooper was an assistant film director and cameraman at UT when he was inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin killer Ed Gein to come up with the film.  He also credits graphic reports on local violence by a San Antonio news station as an inspiration. The main filming location was a 1900s farm house on Quick Hill Road near Round Rock, Texas.  The La Frontera development now sits on that land. The farmhouse was moved to Kingsland, Texas and restored as a restaurant.

 

AND GRINDHOUSE LOVES TEXAS...

GRINDHOUSE: Death Proof (2007)/ Planet Terror (2007)

The Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double feature filmed all over Texas.  In the Death Proof, a key scene is filmed at Guero's Taco Bar on Congress in Austin. Meanwhile, Planet Terror has zombies rolling around in Austin and Luling, Texas.

There you go!

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