Missouri, yonder “Highway 44”.
Zig-zagging through the thick, rolling hills into promises of greater obscurity where all the backwoods goblins and other folk truly live. For this is the poisonous stink-hole where he dwells and civilization would be horrified– located across from “Times Beach” made infamous for the dioxin poisoning incident back in the early ’80s.
Apparently, an old codger laid down toxic, fuming asphalt on his back-road and filled the air with carcinogenic chemicals– everybody had to pick-up and move, over night as the area was declared a disaster zone and residents were hastily compensated and settled-down in other trailer-parks and scuttle-houses.
You’d find it funny, that the area was eventually “safe-vetted” and turned into a public park full of hiking-trails, but across the river it’s sure is scuttle-butt and rickety through the funeral arch of trees and dim sunsets like something you’d see out of “The Blair Witch Project” when the kids were tramping through the woods.
We can’t lay claim to “a Blair Witch”, but maybe another supernatural haunting as Beetlejuice hacks his way through the underbrush with a chainsaw, dressed in a flap-eared lumberjack hat and hunting jacket as he makes his marginal dwelling out amid the rusted-out, old abandoned water heaters and beer cans and other junk going back decades as life is a leafy trash-mound. Beetles crawl around, so much moldy decay through this putrid, moldy forest covered under a reeking layer of wet leaves.
The house sits-up on poles with a long flight of steps leading to the door, cooking BBQ’d possum on a primitive charcoal grill and living on “very little”, so to speak. You can see the water marks on the house left over from the great flood of ’93. Sometimes, when it rains hard he has to take a canoe up to the front steps and leave the truck parked beyond the lone sort of “draw-bridge” over the creek bed.
The yard is littered with logs and lumber and evidence of serious wood-chopping. You see, it’s all fed into his wood-burning stove as the evenings are cold, dark, and miserable as the dog howls out in the murky undergrowth at the approach of meth dealers passing through.
They pay the dim glow little-mind, merely a house lit with a single-watt bulb on a pull-chain as the yard has a headless angel statue all-covered in Christmas lights while a garish big-earlobed Buddha nods, sacredly by the front steps stained brown with mud and decay.
Ruffians drink here and you could stash a body out in these woods, our own Missourian version of “Deliverance” as Beetlejuice makes himself right at home.
Is that atmospheric, or what? Filmed on location, a real netherworld you can visit.
Don’t get lost.