Ahhhh, the Lone Star State with it's wide open spaces and beautiful skies...yes, it's a great place to make a great movie.  It's too bad all movies don't turn out great.  For every "Selena," "Office Space," "Tender Mercies," "The Last Picture Show" and "Dazed and Confused" we get, well, these strange films...





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...



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.


THE SWARM  (1978)

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...



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.


HANGAR 18 (1980)

Filmed partially in Midland and Big Spring Texas, "Hangar 18" was Sunn classic movie that was going to blow the lid off the many UFOs conspiracies that brewed in the 70s. Sunn's previous "documentary" movies included "In Search of Noah's Ark" and "In Search of Historic Jesus" which were minor hits at the box office. "Hangar 18" was a bit different - a docu-drama that would tell the story of a space shuttle's encounter with a real UFO. The movie starred Darren McGavin, Robert Vaughn and Garry Collins and claimed you would see the closest thing to a "real UFO" and featured a supposed alien autopsy based upon "real events." The movie even promised they would uncover the truth that the government is hiding from us about aliens! It didn't. It was just a bad space movie.


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