7) CAPE FEAR (1991) ~ Ft. Lauderdale & Hollywood
PLOT: After serving 14 years in prison, a convicted rapist seeks out & stalks the family of his defense attorney.
MARTIN SCORSESE’S REMAKE of the 1962 classic was filmed primarily in the downtown area of Ft. Lauderdale as well as in Miami, where production set up their camp. Additional scenes were filmed in Everglades National Park & John U. Llyod Beach State Park located in Dania Beach, Florida.
SPECIAL THANKS TO “Tampa Jay” for his awesome video on the filming locations for “Cape Fear.”
CHECK HIM OUT: https://youtu.be/8BHAy3-OTmg
8) CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) ~ Silver Springs & Jacksonville
PLOT: A group of scientists try to capture a strange creature lurking in the Amazonian jungle in order to study it once back in civilization.
RELEASED IN 1954, “Creature from the Black Lagoon” was innovative for its time. From the costume design to the beautiful underwater shots that show off the deep blue waters of Silver & Wakulla Springs, there’s NO denying its place in horror history.
PERHAPS ONE OF the most unique aspects of “CFTBL” is the design of Gill-man; Specifically, the designer. Milicent Patrick was an actress, makeup artist, special f/x designer & animator. During the 1940’s, she was an animator for Disney. Milicent was the creator of Gill-man & actually the 1st & only female creature designer of a Universal Monster.
IN SPITE OF her talent, Milicent did not receive the credit that she deserved for the hard work & creativity she brought when she created Gill-man. For many years, a male co-worker was the one credited. Fortunately, this has been corrected in recent years & Milicent Patrick is now widely known as the creative mind behind the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
9) TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! (1964) ~ St. Cloud
PLOT: A group of people stop to visit Pleasantville for the small town’s Centennial celebration but soon discover that the townsfolk are out for revenge.
FILMED IN TINY St. Cloud, Florida, “TWO Thousand Maniacs is your classic, “B” horror movie with slasher elements. The film is often included with other movies on the “Video Nasties” list because of its gore & gratuitous violence & gives off a “Motel Hell” vibe.
“TWO THOUSAND MANIACS” is definitely not a masterpiece but it’s a fun watch. One can even come to enjoy the cringe worthy acting…Just chalk it up to production’s decision to have a cast that’s primarily made up of St. Cloud locals. In fact, almost every resident of the town was given a role, making up about 95% of the cast.
10) MISSIONARY (2013) ~ Sanford, Orlando & DeLand
PLOT: A single mother begins a relationship with a young, Mormon Missionary but when she decides to call off their affair to reunite with her ex-husband, she gets more Missionary than she bargains for!
HELL HATH NO fury like a Mormon Missionary scorned! I came across this movie several years ago & have to admit that it wasn’t terrible. There were some suspenseful moments, where the tension built, leaving the viewer wondering what would happen next. Filming in Sanford & DeLand allowed for that small town, rural vibe that often makes an already bad situation more dire for the protagonist.
THOSE WHO ARE looking for a slasher, gore fest of a movie will probably be either disappointed OR bored as “Missionary” is mainly a psychological thriller OR even a drama with horror elements sprinkled throughout. Lifetime actually made a knock-off of this film; That should tell you something right there.
11) JACK-O (1995) ~ Orlando, Zellwood, Longwood, Hollywood & Apopka
PLOT: Once upon a time, a wizard was put to death. On his way out, he cursed the townsfolk & vowed to return to take revenge. Years later, a group of bone- headed teens accidentally resurrect the wizard, now in the form of “Jack the Pumpkin Man” AKA “Jack-O.
JACK-O IS THE poor man’s “Pumpkin Head”, not that “Pumpkin Head” is a masterpiece by any means. All of its filming locations (with the exception of Orlando) are very rural & to be honest, don’t really have a ton going on…Even less so 25 years ago. So what better conversation starter for the residents than to say “Hey, Did you know that they filmed “Jack-O” in MY town?” If the person your talking to isn’t impressed, you don’t want to be friends with them anyway.
12) LAST SHIFT (2014) ~ Sanford
PLOT: Tasked with guarding the old abandoned police station overnight, a rookie cop begins to feel as if she’s not alone. She soon realizes that it’s more than just rookie nerves & that she’s in for the fight of her life if she wants to survive the last shift.
ANYONE SCROLLING THROUGH Netflix has probably encountered the image above. I mean, how could you miss it?? It’s actually so horrifying to me that I avoided watching the movie for a long time as I just assumed it would probably suck…SURPRISE, It was pretty good!
LIKE SEVERAL OTHER titles on both parts of this list, “Last Shift” was filmed in Sanford, Florida. Unlike the others though, this movie came with a bit of controversy.
WHILE THE DIRECTOR was given permission to use the abandoned Sanford PD for the entire 10 day shoot, issue was taken when city officials found out that several actual police uniforms & cars appeared in the finished film. The director has always maintained that everything that can be seen in the movie was approved by Sanford officials
IT WOULD NOT be completely shocking to find out that the director pilfered a couple of “extras” to use in the movie as the total budget was only $150,000. At the end of the day, it only added to the authenticity of the completed film.
WHILE I’M SURE that I could probably find enough horror movies that used Florida as the backdrop to continue this list, I think I’m going to hold off for now. Who knows, maybe a part 3 will make an appearance this fall!
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