Friday, April 16, 2010

Outta the Way! Goes to the Movies Part 2

A lot of residents of Pennsylvania may not even be aware that a movies been made about all the quirky characters living in the keystone state. From the good hearted, confused country boy to the Civil war buff a little too fascinated with Jennie Wade's butt. Throw in a few Amish who like television, and a quirky shop keeper with a fondness for elephants. The result is Route 30, a small budget independent comedy, filmed mainly along the famed route 30 also known as the Lincoln Highway.

But a lot more odder places in Pennsylvania have made it to the movies. The historic state hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania played an important role in the film Girl, Interrupted. The imposing structure and the massive size of the place allowed it to be another character in the film.

Director M. Night Shyamalan has always been drawn to filming his movies in his home state. For his upcoming film The Last Airbender he found some Asian influence in the hills of Pennsylvania. Quite a few of the scenes were filmed at the pagoda, perching high on the hilltops overlooking the city of Reading.

There's a 12 mile stretch of abandoned turnpike in Pennsylvania completely desolate. So much so that the filmmakers of the movie The Road decided to use it for the post- apocalyptic thriller. With grass and trees fighting through the asphalt, and such a deserted sense of eerieness it's no wonder they were attracted to this lost highway.

The near ghost town of Centralia, Pennsylvania has been an inspiration for a few movie settings. The 1991 debacle Nothing but Trouble takes place in a rural Pennsylvania town that's on fire. Sound familiar? Even The Simpsons Trash of the Titans episode was loosely based on Centralia. When Homer becomes sanitation commissioner, he charges other towns to dump their trash into Springfield's abandoned mine, eventually causing the town to relocate.

The most famous movie inspired by Centralia was actually a video game first. Silent Hill tells of a mother searching for her lost daughter in a town full of smoke and fallen ash due to a prolonged mine fire. The film depicts characters wandering through fog and smoke wearing mining gear. It also depicts the mother battling monsters within the town. Of course if you wanna get a real look at Centralia without leaving the house, I'd recommend The Town that Was. This is a full length documentary focusing on the remaining residents, sharing what the town was like before and what's in store for it's future.