The Hoosierist: Local Horror Films

Indiana slasher flicks, a cricket park, and what it’s like to drive a combine. Ask The Hooserist.

Q: I’m having a horror-themed Halloween movie party. Are there any Indiana-based films or TV shows I can include?
A: For a state that looks like an elaborate Children of the Corn backdrop, the pickings are slim. On the movie front, there’s An American Crime, a retelling of the loathsome Sylvia Likens murder that, honestly, sounds like an awful party flick. Happily, the small screen offers better options, including the NBC series Eerie, Indiana, which ran for only 19 episodes in the early ’90s, but earned a substantial cult following. Then there’s the gold standard of Hoosier horror, Netflix’s Stranger Things. Set in the fictional Indiana town of Hawkins, it’s basically a salute to ’80s horror-movie tropes, with monsters in rubber suits, scary government agents, and a group of plucky grade-schoolers on bicycles. The show’s second season comes out this month, so heat up some pizza rolls and call your friends.
Q: How often does the new World Sports Park on the east side get used for cricket, as intended?
A: In spite of the fact that this most British of sports enjoys a local following roughly comparable to that of alligator wrestling, the folks at the Sports Park say their cricket fields get regular workouts from local clubs. Once or twice a year, the International Cricket Council also brings in teams from Canada and the Bahamas. And when cricket players aren’t tossing balls at wickets (or whatever it is they do), plenty of other exotic sports trample the park’s turf. The lineup includes Gaelic football (basically soccer, only you can pick up the ball); ultimate Frisbee; and hurling (another Gaelic sport that’s like lacrosse). The quintessential international sport, soccer, takes over the park with league play from April to October. Although these days, calling soccer an exotic, international sport is like saying Olive Garden serves great Italian food.
Q: Every fall, I see combines bringing in the crops. What’s it like to drive those massive things?
A: Actually, there’s precious little driving to be done these days. While most of us are still waiting for our self-driving cars, the Machine Uprising has already swept through our soybean fields. Because modern combines usually steer themselves, the farmer’s only job is to act as a backup in case of trouble. Given that a farmer may spend 16 hours a day in his combine during harvest, today’s models offer Mercedes S Class–levels of comfort: heated leather seats, sound systems, and refrigerators. There’s also plenty of room in the cab for visitors, because when you spend day after day serving as a fifth wheel for a corn-harvesting robot, human companionship is much appreciated.
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