NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – What’s Halloween without scary movies?
While the Volunteer State may not even be remotely close to Hollywood, some filmmakers thought Tennessee was a prime location to shoot a horror movie.
Here are three horror films shot in the Tennessee:
Dear Dead Delilah (1972)
One of the most popular subgenres of horror films is the slasher film which, as it name implies, involves a killer stalking and murdering a group of people, usually via a sharp tool, such as a knife, chainsaw, or scalpel.
This 1972 slasher film was written and directed by John Farris and stars Agnes Moorehead, Will Geer, Michael Ansara, Dennis Patrick, Anne Meacham and Robert Gentry. The plot centers on a group of family members in a dilapidated Nashville plantation who fall victim to axe murders while looking for a family fortune hidden somewhere on the property.
The movie was actually filmed in Nashville and — to add to the spookiness — Moorehead’s health began to decline during production, so her character was written to be in a wheelchair as part of the story. Moorehead died less than two years after the film was released.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Director Sam Raimi, producer Robert Tapert, and actor Bruce Campbell joined forces to deliver “the most ferociously horror film of the year.” The film stars Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManicor, Betsy Baker and Theresa Tilly and follows five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a remote wooded area; what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot can and did go wrong.
The group stumbles on an audio tape that, when played, releases a group of demons that possess four members of the group, sending Ash Williams (Campbell) on a quest to survive a large amount of gory mayhem. Principal photography took place on location in a remote cabin in Morristown, Tennessee. In the years since its release, the film has developed a reputation as one of the most significant cult films; rave reviews from horror author Stephen King resulted in New Line Cinema acquiring its distribution rights.
The Evil Dead spawned a media franchise including two direct sequels, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, a fourth film, Evil Dead, which serves as a soft reboot and continuation, a fifth film, Evil Dead Rise, a follow-up TV series, Ash vs. Evil Dead, video games and comic books. Protagonist Ash Williams has since been considered to be a cultural icon. The film also initiated Raimi, Tapert and Campbell’s careers, who have since worked together on several films, including Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy from the early 2000s.
After principal photography on The Evil Dead wrapped up, Raimi had a mound of footage to edit. He met editor Edna Paul at a Detroit editing association and assigned her to cut the film. While Paul edited the majority of the film, it was her assistant who drew lots of inspiration from Raimi’s early work — Joel Coen.
Coen got his hands on some of the footage and edited the movie’s shed sequence. Raimi’s short film Within the Woods inspired Coen, who liked the idea of producing a prototype film to help build interest from investors, according to the book “Coen Brothers- Virgin film.”
Joel and his brother Ethan used the concept to help make their debut film Blood Simple. Since the debut of Blood Simple, the Coen brothers have gone on to direct 17 films together, including Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.
The Curse (1987)
Known internationally as The Farm, this film is based on the short story The Colour Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft. A meteorite crashes into a farming community in Tennessee, which begins to infect the land and its residents. The film stars Wil Wheaton, Claude Akins, Cooper Huckabee, Malcolm Danare, John Schneider and Amy Wheaton, while David Keith sat in the director’s chair for the first time. Production began in Sept. 1986 in Tellico Plains, Tennessee and Rome, Italy. Unfortunately, the film was a box office bomb, grossing $1.9 million against a $4 million budget.