Aside from sunny beaches, warm winters, and crystal-clear springs, we’re home to some truly horrible, made-in-Florida, B movies. We’re talking movies so bad, they’re amazing. This week on our podcast, Rick Kilby and I take a B-movie road trip around Florida, using some of the best of the worst films made in Florida as a guide. Follow along!
Right next door to tourist-swollen Kissimmee, you’ll find St. Cloud, where filmmakers made this delightfully bad film — from which 10,000 Maniacs got its name — in 15 days. Stop by St. Cloud, an area with some fascinating history, and don’t forget to eat at The Catfish Place. Watch the trailer.
Take one mad scientist, a catfish, and a human, and what do you get? ZAAT. Filmedin Green Cove Springs, a small town on the St. Johns River well worth a visit. It’s a beautiful Florida town that evokes whispers of yesteryear. It’s changing rapidly, though, so go see it now. At Christmas, they have an annual Parade of Trees, a mailbox with a direct line to Santa, and Christmas on Walnut Street. Watch the trailer.
Don’t be fooled by the name — This film is all Florida. Check out the scenes filmed at the caves at Florida Caverns State Park. A Jim Wynorski classic. Watch the trailer. P.S.: Jim, if you’re reading this, whatever happened with CobraGator? The trailer looks amazing!
A visit to Everglades City isn’t complete without an airboat ride and a look inside the lobby at the Everglades Rod & Gun Club. Check out Joannie’s Blue Crab down the street, and don’t forget to check out the Lucky Cole photography in the bathrooms. Watch the trailer.
Grew up in Florida in the 1980s? This is so your movie. Seriously. Hungry? Go grab a bite to eat at one of Orlando’s amazing restaurants. Rick suggests Hot Dog Heaven, which opened around the time the film hit theaters. Watch the trailer
This 1972 eco-horror film asks the question, “Suppose Nature gave a war and everybody came?” and then answers it in the most bizarre, wonderful way possible. Watch the trailer, then you can stream Frogs. Plus, you need this Frogs t-shirt, you really, really do.
(Photo credit for newspaper ad for Frogs: American International Pictures, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)