Today I wanna explore some horror films that are set in Texas because why not? The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most legendary horror movies out there, and even though its been a bit of a disappointing franchise, the originals still stand out as horror movie gold. That franchise is associated with Texas most often for obvious reasons, but lets check out some of the horror movies that aren't so obviously Texan.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) dir. Robert Rodriguez

George Clooney (right), Quentin Tarantino (left), and Salma Hayek (center) in a scene from the movie 'From Dusk Till Dawn'
George Clooney (right), Quentin Tarantino (left), and Salma Hayek (center) in a scene from the movie 'From Dusk Till Dawn'
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The Gecko Brothers

I've talked about this one before in my short list of movies that mention El Paso, TX specifically. Robert Rodriguez, the director, is a Texas native and loves showing off his state and his heritage. He does a lot of his work from Texas and Mexico so a lot of his movies wind up taking place in one of those two places.

From Dusk Till Dawn just happens to take place in both! The characters in the movie start off robbing banks in Texas, making a quick stay in El Paso, then crossing the border into Mexico where the real horror movie fun starts.

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THE GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE (2007)

Our next two movies on the list are part of a legendary horror movie release that was meant to be a love letter to the classic, low-budget horror movies from the past. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino made two different movies and released them as a double feature meant to be watched in the same night.

Planet Terror (2007) dir. Robert Rodriguez

Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan as the main characters in a film still from the movie Planet Terror
Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan as the main characters in a film still from the movie Planet Terror
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El Wray and Cherry Darling

Since we're on the subject of director Robert Rodriguez, lets talk about his homage to classic shock value B Movies, Planet Terror. Released in 2007 as part of The Grindhouse Double Feature, Planet Terror does its job! Fully embodying the history of grindhouse movies and their shock value, B Movie madness, this film is an unhinged bloody mess and it is so much fun.

Set in Rural Texas, a group of survivors fight off a horde of puss-spewing zombies threatening to take over the world.

Death Proof (2007) dir. Quentin Tarantino

Grind House (Death Proof)
Kurt Russell stars as Stuntman Mike in Quentin Tarantino's Grind House (Death Proof) Photo Credit: Andrew Cooper, SMP
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Stuntman Mike

The Grindhouse Double Feature continued with legendary director Quentin Tarantino's, Death Proof! One of my favorite horror films of all time, this film took a more subtle approach to the horror movie genre by following the slasher movie style instead of the shock value action horror route. The movie is a masterpiece of tension that introduces you to the villain early and lets him linger on screen for a bit before he finally strikes.

Death Proof is split into two halves, following two different groups of women crossing paths with Stuntman Mike in different places. The first group in Austin, TX and the next group in Lebanon, TN. The movie evolves from classic horror slasher in the first half to badass woman revenge movie in the second.

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The House of 1,000 Corpses (2003) dir. Rob Zombie

A shot of Sid Haig portraying the iconic character, Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombies 'House of 1,000 Corpses'
A shot of Sid Haig portraying the iconic character, Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombies 'House of 1,000 Corpses'
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Captain Spalding

Rob Zombies directorial debut was an outright gorefest film, the intention of the movie was to be as gross, offensive, and weird as possible. Rob Zombie achieved that exactly with his first movie, House of 1,000 Corpses.

House of 1000 Corpses follows a group of young people checking out different roadside attractions all over the south, leading them to a fictional town in Texas where they meet the Firefly family and start us on a journey that leads into a whole trilogy of gorefest films.

The Devils Rejects (2005) dir. Rob Zombie

Sheri Moon Zombie (left), Bill Moseley (center), and Sid Haig (right) in a shot from the film The Devils Rejects
Sheri Moon Zombie (left), Bill Moseley (center), and Sid Haig (right) in a shot from the film The Devils Rejects
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The Firefly Family

Yep, another Rob Zombie film and it just happens to be the sequel to his first.

The sequel to Zombies first film follows the sadistic family from House of 1000 Corpses as they make their way through Texas on a warpath trying to escape from the police. Although the series ends in what should be a shootout the family doesn't walk away from, there is a third film called '3 From Hell' that finishes the Firefly family's journey but it was received pretty poorly by the horror community and takes place in Mexico.

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X (2022) dir. Ti West

Mia Goth portraying Maxine in a shot from the film, X
Mia Goth portraying Maxine in a shot from the film, X
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Maxine

X is an homage to the old school horror movies of the past. Filled with sex, horror, and lots of violence! X is the first film in a horror trilogy that starts off with a film crew in the late 70s shooting a porno in a farmhouse in rural Texas.

The crew finds out shortly that one of the owners of the farmhouse, Pearl, an elderly woman, is actually insane and winds up going on a killing spree after her sexual advances are denied by a couple of the actors.

Pearl (2022) dir. Ti West

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Ti West directed these films basically back to back! Pearl is another slasher film that actually continues our little streak of duo movies for this list. Pearl follows the old woman from the movie X in early 1900s Texas as we find out about her depraved history, giving us a bit of a prequel to the first movie.

Ti West is clearly working hard, because this is supposed to be a trilogy, with the final film coming out this year and following Mia Goth yet again as we return to her character from the first film, X, to find out how Maxine's life plays out after the massacre of the first movie. That film will take place in Hollywood however, not Texas.

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Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) dir. Harold P. Warren

Tom Neymen in a still from the film, Manos: The Hands of Fate
Tom Neymen in a still from the film, Manos: The Hands of Fate
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The Master

Last time I made a list about movies that mention El Paso, everyone reminded me that I forgot one key film. The worst movie ever made. That's not just my opinion either, 'Manos: The Hands of Fate' was voted the worst movie ever made and has held that title for a long time. Of course other people believe other movies belong in this spot more, but that's up to personal opinion. The film was written, produced, and filmed right here in El Paso, TX.

The movie made a resurgence a few years back when Mystery Science Theatre 3000 made an episode about it. If you're unaware with MST3K, its a classic show where the hosts watch old, low budget movies and crack silly jokes about them as they watch.

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Well there ya have it, some good horror movies and some bad horror movies that all take place in the great state of Texas!! Go watch till your eyes fall out and your heart cant take anymore!

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