Halloween is less than a week away, so to get you in the spirit we’ve put together a list of eight frightening flicks – all filmed right here in Texas – that cover the range from campy to gory. Grab some popcorn and settle in on the couch for these spine-tingling horror movies. And let us know if you recognize any of the Texas locations in the films!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
A classic in the horror movie genre, the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was directed by Austin-born filmmaker Tobe Hooper. The movie follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of serial killers on their way to visit an old homestead. While there was some hype that the film was based on a true story, it is (thankfully) fictional. The film does, however, take some plot details from real-life murderer Ed Gein. According to a 2003 article in the Austin Chronicle, the movie was filmed in an early 1900s farmhouse located on Quick Hill Road near Round Rock, Texas, now the La Frontera development. Several additional Chainsaw Massacre films ensued, including a 2003 version starring Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger. Yep...
Race with the Devil (1975)
Fronted by Peter Fonda and Warren Oates, the film is an intense mix of car chases, action, and horror rolled into one. It follows two vacationing couples that are terrorized by a satanic cult and end up running for their lives across Texas. Race with the Devil was shot on location in Bandera, Castroville, Leakey, San Antonio, and Tarpley, Texas.
Blood Simple (1984)
The famous Joel and Ethan Cohen, who directed O Brother Where Art Thou and The Big Lebowski filmed this crime thriller in Hutto and Pflugerville, Texas. In this movie, a jealous husband hires a private investigator to kill his unfaithful wife and her new man. But once blood is involved nothing is simple.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
Shot in Austin and Bastrop, this film examines issues of bullying and burgeoning sexuality among a group of teenagers in Texas who come under attack while attending a party on a secluded ranch. The film stars Amber Heard, and there's a guest appearance by Robert Earl Keen.
Death Proof (2007)
Death Proof is Quentin Tarantino's contribution to the Grindhouse double-feature. The film stars Kurt Russell as a charming psychopath who uses structurally reinforced muscle cars to murder groups of Texas women. Part of the film was shot in The Texas Chili Parlor right here in Austin.
Planet Terror (2007)
Part of the Grindhouse double-feature with Quentin Tarantino, this film was written, directed, produced and musically composed by native Texan Robert Rodriguez. The movie chronicles the efforts of a group of survivors battling a planet of zombie-like creatures. You'll recognize Bruce Willis, Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin and others in this campy zombie movie that was filmed in Austin, Luling, and the Williamson County Jail. It made Rolling Stone's list of the top 10 zombie movies.
Friday the 13th (2009)
The 2009 re-make of the 1980s slasher classic was shot throughout Central Texas, including Austin, La Grange, Round Rock, and Wimberley. A boy and his friends are menaced (that's putting it nicely) by killer Jason while they search for his missing sister at camp on Crystal Lake.
Filmed in Bastrop, this movie follows a group of friends that go camping for a weekend in the Texas Big Thicket. An urban legend comes to life when these friends find that their casual camping fun is being stalked by Bigfoot, who is seeking a murderous revenge for the death of its child.
We could keep writing, but wouldn't you rather start watching?
For serious fans of the genre, here is a list of other horror movies filmed in Texas. Let us know if there are any Texas films we missed, and we will happily include them in next year's list.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (remake)
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)
- The Final
- Silent Rage
- Shark Night 3D
- Phantom of the Paradise
- Night Fright
- Nail Gun Massacre
- Hoboken Hallow
- Deadly Blessing
- Bloodsuckers from Outer Space
Enjoy, be safe, and have a happy Halloween!