“Carl says if I lose ten pounds, he’ll take me to the University of Maryland Fall Mixer.”

Although John Waters may not have depicted University of Maryland students in the best light in his 1994 black comedy Serial Mom, he did add to the canon of Terrapin-adjacent media across Hollywood.

The aforementioned character of Carl, played by Lonnie Horsey, would go on to join a crew including far more iconic fictional university alumni such as Dana Scully of The X-Files and Liz Lemon of 30 Rock.

While these leading women of television represent this university in their respective alien-infested and comedically-timed universes, this university’s campus itself has appeared in a variety of films over the decades. Here are just a few of its silver-screen appearances.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

At the end of the 2007 spring semester, Nicholas Cage-mania took hold of campus. In the follow-up to the 2004 hit adventure flick, Cage’s Ben Gates is forced to track down his mother, who just so happens to be a professor at the University of Maryland.

The film shot for about 15 hours on this university’s campus, employing 165 student extras in the process. Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight and Justin Bartha all appeared on McKeldin Mall for the exterior scene. Hundreds of spectators braved frigid temperatures to catch a glimpse of the film’s stars.

[Meet Me Behind McKeldin Mall creates space for UMD music lovers]

St. Elmo’s Fire

Joel Schumacher’s tale of seven recent college graduates reuniting in their college bar was one of 1985’s breakout hits, thanks in part to its inclusion of rising stars Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Demi Moore. 

Despite the characters being Georgetown University alumni, Schumacher was denied permission to film on the Jesuit institution’s campus, partially because of the film’s depiction of premarital sex. Instead, the crew shot on Fraternity Row, and the Sigma Kappa sorority house doubled as a university building.

The House on Sorority Row

This 1982 slasher follows a similar formula to other college-based bloodfests of the era – namely Bob Clark’s acclaimed Black Christmas. A house of sorority sisters find themselves being knocked off one by one as a mysterious killer targets their house.

Although the sorority house featured in Mark Rosman’s cult classic was actually located in Pikesville, the film’s establishing shots paint a scene on spots like McKeldin Mall and Fraternity Row.

Life 101

This 1995 coming-of-age college feature starred The Lost Boys’ Corey Haim as a freshman physics major who gets introduced to partying, girls and more by his older, non-STEM roommates. Ami Dolenz shot scenes from the direct-to-video movie on and just off McKeldin Mall — in one instance, taking over a brick wall structure flanking the mall’s exterior.

[African culture, dancers shine in Afrochique’s first high school showcase]

Species II

So far, most of these films have used the university’s campus for collegiately-based films, an understandable filmmaking impulse. But the sequel to 1995’s Species used this university for a very different purpose — depicting a bio-lab that hosts dangerous alien-human hybrids.

The sci-fi successor shot in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department’s labs, which stood in for the advanced research lab attempting to contain a seductive, mind-controlling extraterrestrial. The film boasted Michael Madsen in its ensemble cast, but it was ultimately a critical and financial failure for the studio.

Now almost 20 years since Cage-mania swept College Park, this university seems overdue for its next shot in the Hollywood spotlight. With a third installment of the National Treasure franchise on the horizon, it could be sooner than you think.