When it comes to horror movies, fans have come to expect a body count. Sure, your average vampire or ghost is only going to drain four or five people, but if a movie’s villain is a knife-wielding psycho or a horde of infected monstrosities, there better be a considerable pile of mutilated teenagers by the end credits. Now, a new study of horror movies has determined which U.S. state has the highest death toll in the nation.
As reported by the Pocono Record, a new analysis was run by Rotten Tomatoes using the 200 greatest horror movies of all time, and surprisingly, Pennsylvania is the most murdered-in state in the nation, with a total of 615 corpses over six films. Second was New York, with 254 over the course of seven films, and California with 138 over 17 films.
So how did Pennsylvania win with fewer movies made within its borders than California? The answer lies in the films of cinematic master George A. Romero, who set all of his infamous zombie movies in Pittsburgh. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Land of the Dead racked up a whopping 594 deaths — which makes sense, due to all the widespread apocalyptic flesh-eating. We wonder if they counted every zombie as a death?
New York’s silver medal came from the Amityville and Jaws movies and, weirdly enough, from King Kong, which, according to the analysis includes the death of 52 New Yorkers during the title monster’s rampage through the city. California, meanwhile, has Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Lost Boys working in its favor.
You can check out a full breakdown graphic below. And just remember, if you feel your state has been unfairly misrepresented in this study, there’s only one solution: make a really, really hardcore horror movie.
Words by Chris Krovatin