If you were scouting locations for a film, Highway 30 probably wouldn't be the first place you'd think of. But once you've "touched the road," so to speak, there's a grittiness mixed with nature that can't be replicated. A handful of film productions have used Highway 30's ample bosom to nourish their art... here are the most intriguing.
• Things I Never Told You (1996)--When Ann (Lili Talyor) gets dumped by her globetrotting boyfriend, she calls a hotline in desperation and gets advice from Don (Andrew McCarthy). By chance, they later meet, and a comedy of errors evolves, mixed with heady philosophical yammer about relationships. The film eventually evens out and becomes pretty enjoyable. Filmed in and around St. Helens and Columbia County.
• Blast (2000)--A modern twist on To Kill a Mockingbird, Blast follows four high school friends who believe everything they hear about a nasty developer who supposedly killed a kid years earlier. When one in their posse turns up missing, the teens assume it was Mr. Nasty and plot revenge, all of which is set to awful (and often inappropriate) music. Major filming was done around Scappoose, with some of the main scenes occurring at Mill Pond near Vernonia.
• Halloweentown (1998)--Go to St. Helens and ask anybody if a movie was made there. "Halloweentown!" will be their reply. St. Helens does look just like a movie set, and it's perfect for a "nice" family movie about witches and goblins (and one, according to the St. Helens Chamber of Commerce, where "nobody gets killed"). The plot revolves around a witch (Debbie Reynolds) who visits her grandchildren, wanting to teach the eldest some magic before she turns 13 and loses her powers forever. Yeah, it's pretty cheesy and dopey--but what do you expect from a TV movie made by Disney?