From the majesty of the Wasatch and Uintah ranges, to the spectacle of red rock and canyon country, Utah is a diverse and beautiful place. The wide variety of scenery in our fair state has made it the filming location of many fine (and bizarre) movies. Here are a few that no Utahn, or anyone else for that matter, should miss:
10. Planet of the Apes
Charlton Heston and his astronaut companions crash land in a body of water that looks a lot like Lake Powell on a planet entirely populated by English speaking apes.
9. Better Off Dead
Chill off, man, give me my two dollars, and rewatch this zany 80′s teen flick. As seen at Snowbird, Brighton and Alta.
What says Utah more than kicking off your Sunday shoes and losing your blues by encouraging everybody to cut footloose?
7. 127 Hours
Based on the story of Aron Ralston, a canyoneer who finds his arm trapped beneath a boulder in Canyonlands and is forced to take drastic measures in order to survive.
6. The Outlaw Josey Wales
Clint Eastwood plays a gunslinging rebel on the run from Union militiamen and bounty hunters through the Rocky Mountains.
5. The Sandlot
This classic preteen buddy movie about baseball and friendship featuring James Earl Jones was filmed in many Utah locations including Salt Lake City, Odgen and Midvale.
4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
It’s fitting that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed (partly) in Utah, considering this duo of legendary bandits spent time hiding out and spending loot in the Beehive state. Butch Cassidy was even born in Beaver, Utah.
3. Plan 10 From Outer Space
This bizarre take on life in Utah involves old books penned by a mad Mormon, aliens from the planet Kolob, and the mysterious “secret of the bees.” A Utah cult classic.
2. Troll 2
The holder of the prestigious title “Worst Movie Ever Made”? Utah’s own Troll 2. Not to be confused with Troll, of which this film is not related. Also, there are no trolls in Troll 2, just goblins.
1. Carnival of Souls
If you like cheesy horror films, you’ll love this film. Or, if you’re a Utah history buff, the old footage of Saltair and the Great Salt Lake are worth the price of admission. For me though, the strange beauty of this film is unparalleled in later films with higher budgets. These images are permanently burned into my brain: A mattress mysteriously sliding down a slide in an abandoned fun house at Saltair. A mud-caked girl clambering from a murky river onto a sandbar. Ghouls rising slowly from the waters of the Great Salt Lake and twirling in a crumbling dance hall. Eat your heart out, M. Night Shyamalan.