Breakdown (1997)

Belle’s Diner from the 1997 Kurt Russell film “Breakdown” can be found in Palmdale, California, just past the outskirts of Lancaster.  It’s located on 240th St E, between E Ave O and E Ave P.  The same building also appeared as the sheriff station in the 1999 Melanie Griffith film “Crazy in Alabama.”

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LOCATION: Approximately 40020 240th St E, Palmdale, CA 93591 (GPS coordinates: 34°36’35.1″N 117°42’06.0″W)

Kill Bill (2003)

Quentin Tarantino’s revenge drama “Kill Bill,” was shot around California, China, Japan and Mexico.  Here we will cover locations from both volumes of the film.

The “Two Pines Wedding Chapel,” supposedly located in El Paso, Texas, is actually in the Mojave Desert in Lancaster, California.  First called the “Hi Vista Community Hall,” the building served as a community center and did not originally feature the Spanish style front facade, which is so recognizable today.  The Mission-style facade was actually added by another film production, 1981’s “True Confessions,” starring Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall.  The building also later featured in Talking Heads’ music video for “Road  To Nowhere.”  The building wasn’t widely known, however, until “Kill Bill.”  Tarantino’s production team added the wooden porch on the front and heavily remodeled the interiors.  Sometimes known as the Sanctuary Adventist Church, most people today just refer to the building as the “Kill Bill Church.”  It’s location is a bit remote, being out in the middle of the desert, but well worth a visit if you’re a fan of the film.

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LOCATION: Approximately 19809 E Ave. G, Lancaster, CA, 93535 (near the corner of 198th St E)

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The Bride’s “Death List Five” brings her to the house of Vernita Green, which is set in “The city of Pasadena, California.”  The real house is near South Pasadena, but actually located in East Los Angeles.  The house can also be seen in the 2003 “Project Greenlight” film, “The Battle Of Shaker Heights” and “Mysterious Skin.”

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LOCATION: 5500 Atlas St, Los Angeles, CA 90032

The Bride drives her Kawasaki bike along the streets of Tokyo, riding behind Sofie Fatale’s car down Yasukuni Dori.  It’s difficult to replicate the exact angles, as they were filmed by cameras mounted on moving vehicles in the middle of the street in a high traffic area.  The shots are also mostly quick cuts against moving backgrounds.  Here are a couple views of the general area used in the sequence.  First up is a shot looking down Yasukuni Dori at night.

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LOCATION: Yasukuni Dori, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to, 160-0022, Japan

Here is another view of the same street in the day, which is near Kabukicho, a red-light district of Tokyo where parts of Gaspar Noé’s “Enter The Void” were also filmed.

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After a few shots in Tokyo, The Bride pulls up beside Sofie at this tunnel entrance, which is actually in Los Angeles at the Second Street Tunnel.  The tunnel is also well known for it’s use in “Blade Runner,” “The Terminator” and many more films.

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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (facing S Figueroa St.)

Budd, played by Michael Madsen, lives in a remote trailer on a dirt road near Barstow.  At the base of these hills toward the right is where Budd’s trailer sat.  Mule Canyon Road is a popular site for off road vehicles.  While you may be able to reach it in a regular vehicle (this site is about 1 mile down from the nearest paved road), we recommend a 4×4 vehicle or at least something that doesn’t sit low to the ground, as there are many rocks and dips along the way.  Also keep in mind this area gets very hot in the summer months.

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LOCATION: Mule Canyon Rd, Newberry Springs, CA 92365 (GPS coordinates are 34.936439, -116.837655)

The area to the right is where Bill parks his car, with these rock formations in the background.  This is located in the same general vicinity as Budd’s trailer.

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Looking back towards Calico Rd is the view where Elle Driver races down the road with a dust trail kicking up behind her.  This is also in the same general area as Budd’s trailer.

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The interior of the bar where Budd works is Sam’s Hofbrau, a real topless bar, also featured in “Jackie Brown.”

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LOCATION: 1751 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Django Unchained (2012), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)