There are tons of quarries in Estonia. They each have their own unique look and feel. But it’s hard to imagine a quarry more intriguing and peculiar than the one in Rummu. Although many local films and art project have exploited this unexampled spot, Rummu quarry is still waiting for its international breakthrough.
The Internet is a wonderful thing . Google “dumping a body,” for instance, and you’ll be bombarded with lists of convenient places to dispose of a dead body. (Although you might consider using a different search engine in this particular case.) Search results will tell you the most popular spots in the United States are Louisiana swamps, followed by the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania, and the Mojave Desert in the American Southwest.
But hold on a second—why do you want to dump a body in the first place? A couple reasons come to mind. First—you’re a killer. If that’s the case, please stop reading this article and go turn yourself in to the authorities. Second—you make movies. If this is you, which we will assume, read on for the best idea since the Georgia Film Tax Credit.
In any good thriller, there’s always at least one dead guy. When there’s a dead guy, there are people looking for him. When there are people looking for a dead guy, your villain needs to get rid of him. One way to do it is to move your production to Louisiana and start mucking around in the swamp. The other—and much more exotic—option is to go to Estonia. Why? Because it’s packed with ideal spots for that “drowning car” scene every director since Hitchcock has been fantasizing about.
Which ideal spots am I talking about? Quarries, of course!
You probably already have an image in your mind of how a quarry can be used on film, thanks to iconic scenes in Breaking Away, Stranger Things, and The Sopranos, just to name a few examples. Quarries offer the ideal cinematic appeal of a deep, dangerous-looking pit, sheer-faced rough-hewn rock and, often, water of a mysterious depth at the bottom. In a word, they’re grim, which is quite often the mood you’re looking to deliver on film. And they’re usually located in out-of-the way places with the necessary level of secrecy your movie definitely needs.
Estonian criminals certainly approve of quarries. Or at least they used to: In the early 1990s, every Estonian quarry was filled with dead guys. When Estonia became independent from the Soviet Union, the Estonian mafia took over for its Russian counterpart. When situations turned violent, those mobsters knew just where to stash their victims.
The most famous Estonian quarry has to be the Rummu quarry. You may never want to leave (like that dead guy) once you’ve seen this place. With its ghostly ruins rising from smooth blue water, it’s like a world wonder. Not the eighth, not the ninth, but the first. Seriously—even if your script doesn’t currently include a guy in a trunk, it will after your writer sees this place.
We’re talking about a partially submerged former limestone quarry located in Rummu, a scenic 40-minute drive from Tallinn, the capital, which boasts an international airport. Much of the natural area of the quarry is under a groundwater lake, and is situated next to a spoil tip—that’s a huge mound of waste rock and sand left over from the mining process. (Thanks to erosion, the spoil tip looks a bit like Richard Dryfus’ mashed potato mound in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.) Most of the quarry’s workforce were detainees of onsite Murru prison—now closed, but its gutted ruins still stand adjacent to, underneath, and rising from the lake. Another endless source for amazing movie plots!
The place is hard to access by car, since vehicles are prohibited from stopping near the gate of the road to the quarry. The problem can be overcome, though, since the territory is private property and the owners are known for being open-minded, especially when art projects and movies are concerned. (For example, the video for Alan Walker’s hit song Faded was shot here.)
Furthermore, one of the owners of the quarry used to work in a nearby prison, so they might have a few ideas how to spice up your story.
There are tons more quarries in Estonia. They each have their own unique look and feel. But it’s hard to imagine a quarry more intriguing and peculiar than the one in Rummu. Although many local films and art project have exploited this unexampled spot, Rummu quarry is still waiting for its international breakthrough. Helping to make it happen isn’t only an artistically brilliant idea, it might pay off financially, too. Shooting your body dump (or bikini-clad-teen murder, alien sea-monster, or any other scene) in Estonia will save you a solid 30 percent cash rebate on eligible production costs.
So, there’s really no excuse for not taking your production, along with that dead guy in the trunk, to Estonia. Rummu quarry is one of the eeriest locations in the world and it’s past time to give Louisiana swamps a well-deserved holiday. Seriously, how many bodies can you stash in one place, even if only in the movies?
Used photos: Visit Estonia