3 From Hell (2019)

Rob Zombie’s “3 From Hell,” the follow up to “The Devil’s Rejects” and “House Of 1000 Corpses,” was filmed entirely in Southern California.  Some minor spoilers are contained in this article.

Prison scenes were filmed at the Sybil Brand Institute, a former women’s prison in Los Angeles. It was here that Manson Family member Susan Atkins confessed to a cell mate named Virginia Graham about the Tate Murders. Graham in turn shared what Atkins had told her, which eventually helped lead to the capture of Charles Manson. The prison shut down in 1997, but today the grounds are still owned by the Los Angeles sherrif’s office, where it’s used by warehouse companies and for filming purposes.  Another film featuring Sid Haig, 1997’s “Jackie Brown” also filmed at this location. Here is the front of the former prison, although it is never seen from this angle in the film.

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LOCATION: 4500 City Terrace Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Much of the film is set in the town of Durango, Mexico.  These scenes were actually filmed on the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot in Santa Clarita, California.

Many people know the lot as the Veluzat Movie Ranch and it is still commonly referred to by that name.  However, the ranch has since changed its name to the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot.  If you make it to the ranch in person, you’ll see a sign at the gates, referring to it as the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot.  The lot is owned by the Veluzats, who also own Melody Ranch in Newhall, California.  To make matters more confusing, right next to the Veluzat Backlot in Santa Clarita sits the Diamond V Movie Ranch.  This is owned by other members of the Velutats, but not the same ones as those who own Melody Ranch and the Melody Backlot (a.k.a. Veluzat Movie Ranch).  People often mistake Diamond V and Veluzat Ranch as being one in the same, but they are two separate properties with different ownership.

While perhaps not quite as well known as Melody Ranch in Newhall, the Melody Backlot is actually larger.  To get to the ranch, you make a turn from Copper Hill Drive.  There is a very unassuming dirt road there (GPS coordinates: 34°27’36.5″N 118°30’32.0″W).  You would never guess from that road what lies at the end of that dirt road, but if you follow the long dirt road, you’ll sure enough arrive at the ranches.  However, a locked fence is at the entrance and you can proceed no further without permission of the owners.  The good news, however, is that the ranch is available for public tours.  You must book by appointment only and if productions are in active progress, that may inhibit their availability, but the Melody Ranch owners are very generous in that they offer tours at all, because most movie ranches do not.

The main attraction of the ranch is the full scale Mexican town set, which is of course featured prominently in this film.  There are a few other sets there as well.  The ranch was also featured in Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses,” as well as such films as “Dante’s Peak,” “Friday The 13th Part III,” “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter,” “Last Man Standing,” “Chaplin,” “The Laundromat” and many more.  It was also featured in the TV show “Westworld” as the Mexican town of “Las Mudas.”

Here is the establishing shot of the town square.

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LOCATION: Melody Ranch Studio Backlot (a.k.a. Veluzat Movie Ranch), Forest Rte 5N28, Santa Clarita, CA 91390 (GPS coordinates: 34°29’03.5″N 118°30’25.1″W)

The “three from hell “look down on the town from this hilltop before entering.

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They make their way down into the town through these gates.

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Here is another view of the hill they drive down entering the town.

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They then pass through this arched gate toward the main town square.

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Baby, played by Sheri Moon Zombie, sees company approaching near the Estrella del Motel.

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Baby and Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, played by Richard Brake, sit on this fountain.

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Otis Driftwood, played by Bill Moseley, emerges from this church for a showdown.

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Related articles: The Devil’s Rejects (2005), House Of 1000 Corpses (2003), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009)

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

The 1991 sequel “Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey” shot in Southern California. The film begins at Bill and Ted University, which was shot at the Japanese Garden of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, California.  The location has been used in countless TV shows and films, notably serving as the “Starfleet Academy” in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”  Other TV shows to film there include the original “Knight Rider,” “Murder She Wrote” and the original “Charmed.”  Films such as “Bio-Dome,” “Rising Sun,” “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” “Zoombies” and “Most Wanted” also filmed at the location.

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LOCATION: 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Bill and Ted, played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, audition for the Battle of the Bands at the San Dimas Civic Auditorium, which is actually the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The building is now closed to the public, but available for filming and private events.

LOCATION: 1855 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Bill and Ted live at this apartment in West Hollywood. The same building has been featured in the films “L.A. Story,” “The Limey,” “Rush Hour” and more.

LOCATION: 1400 N Hayworth Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Evil Bill and Ted, two robot replicas from the future, arrive at the Circle K. This is not the same location from the first film, which is located in Tempe, Arizona. Instead, this incarnation can be found in Santa Clarita.

LOCATION: 28200 Bouquet Canyon Rd Ste Q, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Evil Bill and Ted toss Bill and Ted off the top of the famous Vasquez Rocks, after which they meet the Grim Reaper, played by William Sadler.  One of the most popular filming locations in all of California, the iconic rocks have appeared in such films as “The Flintstones,” “Dante’s Peak,” “Jingle All The Way,” “Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back,” “Hail, Caesar!,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Paul” and dozens more.  Television shows which featured Vasquez Rocks in episodes include “The Fugutive,” “The A-Team,” “MacGuyver” and perhaps most famous of all, the original “Star Trek” series, where the rocks were seen in numerous episodes, serving as multiple different planets. The rocks have also been seen in music videos for Michael Jackson, 311 and many more, as well as countless commercials.

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LOCATION: 10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, CA 91350

Related articles: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Duel (1971)

Steven Speilberg’s dazzling debut, the 1971 thriller “Duel,” was mostly filmed around the Santa Clarita and Acton areas of California.  David, played by Dennis Weaver, lives at this house in Toluca Lake, which has unfortunately since been heavily remodeled from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 10414 Bloomfield St, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

As the film unravels, David unwillingly embarks on a terrifying cat and mouse game with a sadistic truck driver.  The film does a great job of making most of the locations look quite desolate, but in reality the majority are located pretty close to civilization.

David stops off at this distinct looking restaurant with a stone facade in Santa Clarita after an encounter with the mysterious truck driver.  The same restaurant was featured in the film “Wild At Heart” and the TV series “Sharp Objects.” Just a few buildings up the road is the motel from “Too Old To Die Young.”

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LOCATION: 12625 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

The tunnel where the kids on the school bus are stranded can be found on Soledad Canyon Rd in Santa Clarita, just past Capra Rd.  From there you would pass through to the shoulder on the other side of the tunnel, as the view seen in the film is looking back westbound.

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LOCATION: 34°25’55.1″N, 118°20’59.9″W (nearest address is 11540 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390)

David hides and tries to get some sleep further down Soledad Canoyn Rd, near the entrance of Middleton Ranch.

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LOCATION: 6201 Soledad Canyon Rd, Acton, CA 93510

The truck follows David up this mesa next to Vasquez Canyon Rd in Santa Clarita.  In fact, the name of the road is Mesa Dr, though it is now fenced off.

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LOCATION: Mesa Dr / Vasquez Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

If you’ve never seen the film, we encourage you to seek it out.  While the plot is pretty minimal, the execution stands the test of time and is so well done, it’s easy to see why Spielberg quickly made a name for himself.

Iron Man (2008)

The 2008 film “Iron Man” famously launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is regarded not only as one of the finest Marvel films, but one of the best superhero films ever made.  Early in the film, Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr., demonstrates his latest weapon, the “Jericho” missile.  Supposedly set in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, these scenes were actually filmed at Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.  Many classic western films have also filmed there over the years, along with more recent films, such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and “Gladiator.”

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LOCATION: Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA 93545

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Tony’s iconic Malibu house doesn’t actually exist, it is rather a CGI creation.  However, the land where it’s located is very much real.  Point Dume in Malibu is a public park that is thankfully devoid of any homes.  Instead there is a foot trail and biking path which leads to a beautiful ocean view.  The closest actual home, located directly across the street, is the “Circles on the Point” mansion, another property frequently featured in film and television productions, such as “Color Of Night,” “Glow” and more.  The CGI design of the Stark home is rumored to have been inspired by another mansion; the The Razor House in La Jolla (9826 La Jolla Farms Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037), near San Diego.  The gated access and high cliff walls do not make for convenient photography of the Razor House, however.

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LOCATION: Point Dume, Cliffside Dr / Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265

More CGI trickery was used with the Stark Industries building.  The main building is the Masimo headquarters, formerly known as the Nikken Building, in Irvine.  However, the wider shot is a composite of other streets and buildings, including portions of Shoreline Drive in Long Beach.  The Masimo building has been used in many other productions, including “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “You, Me And Dupree” and “All About Steve.”

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LOCATION: 52 Discovery, Irvine, CA 92618

Tony attends a charity ball at the Walt Disney Concert Hall near downtown Los Angeles.  The unmistakable design is the work of legendary architect Frank Gehry.

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LOCATION: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tony first conceives the Iron Man suit after he is captured by terrorists.  Once he escapes and builds the suit, he returns to do battle with the Gulmira terrorists.  The bombed out ruins where he makes short work of his enemies was actually a set located on the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita.  As is always the case with movie ranches, the sets are often changed around to meet the needs of the latest productions, but several portions of the Iron Man set still remain recognizable.

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LOCATION: 20019 Blue Cloud Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Some additional views of the area where Iron Man battles the terrorists.

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Here is the spot where Iron Man blows up the tank and walks away, as famously featured in the film’s trailer.  It was dressed heavily by the production to look more war-torn.

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In 2019, the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles held a limited exhibition called “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” which featured Tony’s 1932 Ford Flathead Roadster from the film.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Not far from Alabama Hills in Lone Pine is the excellent Lone Pine Film History Museum.  Props and memorabilia from the many films shot in Lone Pine can be found there, with their primary focus on classic westerns.  They even have a small section of the museum dedicated to Iron Man.  Here are some of the items on display.

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LOCATION: 701 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545

Some merchandise promoting the film.

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Some posters and prop recreations.

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This is the suit worn by Robert Downey, Jr. during his “Jericho” missile scenes, filmed in Lone Pine.

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Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (1991)

The house from the 1991 Christina Applegate comedy “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead” can be found in Santa Clarita, California.  Some of the angles seen in the film were from the left side of the home by the driveway, but trees obscure the view from the street.  Many scenes were also filmed inside the actual home, as well as at the pool in the back yard.  The same house was used in the 1980s sitcom “Just The Ten Of Us.”

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LOCATION: 15548 Iron Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91387

The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

Like most of Rob Zombie’s films, “The Devil’s Rejects,” which is arguably his finest, shot around Southern California.  The opening standoff at the Firefly house was shot at Sable Ranch in Santa Clarita, California.  Unfortunately, the ranch is not open to the public.  Quite a number of buildings at Sable Ranch were lost, due to a wildfire in 2016.  The Firefly house, however, was one of the buildings which survived the fires.  In case you’re wondering, the Firefly house is not very visible from the road, if you were to drive up to the ranch entrance.

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LOCATION: 25933 Sand Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91387

Captain Spaulding’s house can be found in Lancaster. No address seems to show up on GPS, but the house can be found on E Ave J, between 60th St E and 65th St E. Exact GPS coordinates are listed below.

LOCATION: E Ave J, between 60th St E and 65th St E, Lancaster, CA 93535 (GPS coordinates: 34.689478, -118.018095)

On the run, Baby, played by Rob Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, makes a phone call to Captain Spaulding from this gas station.  It’s never seen in a wide shot in the film, which is why it may not look immediately recognizable.  The gas station is located right beside the motel location seen later in the film.

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LOCATION: 42848 150th St, Lancaster, CA 93535

Otis and Baby make their way to the “Kahiki Palms Motel,” where some unsuspecting guests have the unfortunate luck of crossing their paths.  The real location is the Club Ed movie set, out in Lancaster, California, in an area of mostly desert terrain.  The building is not an actual running business and is used strictly for filming purposes today.  This too is private property and closed to the public.  However, unlike Sable Ranch, these locations can be seen quite easily from the road.

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LOCATION: 42848 150th St, Lancaster, CA 93535

Another angle of the motel, including the rooms to the left, where many scenes with the hotel guests were shot.  Club Ed has been in many films, including “Nothing To Lose,” “Rubber” and “Eye Of The Storm.”

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After Captain Spaulding’s truck runs out of fuel, he stops at Buck’s Grab ‘N Go, where he steals the vehicle of a mother and her son. The same location appeared in the film “The Last Starfighter.”

LOCATION: 9411 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

The film’s climactic standoff with the police was filmed on a closed section of Golden State Hwy in Castaic. We’ve provided GPS coordinates below.

LOCATION: Golden State Hwy, Castaic, CA 91384 (GPS coordinates: 34°37’21.6″N, 118°44’40.6″W)

The police set up a barricade at this bridge, which runs over Piru Creek.

Here’s wider view of where the car speeds towards the police.

While this last shot is not seen in the film, this is the furthest point you can drive on Golden State Hwy before the road is blocked. The road to get to this point from the 5 freeway is a bit rough, but it is also a scenic drive, free from traffic. It is permissible to continue on foot or bike from this point and its about a half mile to reach where the scene was filmed. The path is flat and a modest walk for most.

Related articles: House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)3 From Hell (2019), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009)

Drive (2011)

Set upon the streets of Los Angeles, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” utilized locations both in the city and spread out across the Valley.

The opening robbery was filmed at Maestro DJ and Electronics warehouse in L.A.

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LOCATION: 1710 Naomi Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Driver, played by Ryan Gosling, meets Carey Mulligan’s character at the Big “6” Market.

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LOCATION: 550 S Rampart Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057

The Driver lives a few doors down from Irene, in what is supposed to be an apartment building. These scenes were actually filmed at the MacArthur in Los Angeles, formerly known as the Park Plaza Hotel. No longer a functioning hotel, the MacArthur today serves primarily as a property for hosting filming and special events.  It has been featured in many films, such as “Wild At Heart,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Gangster Squad,” “Tango & Cash” and many more. The building is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 607 S Park View St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

The Driver makes a deal with the criminals pressuring Oscar Isaac’s character Standard at MacArthur Park in front of the water.  The same park was seen in the 1993 film “Falling Down.”  For those unfamiliar with Los Angeles and planning a visit, MacArthur Park used to be considered a popular drug hangout. While there has been an effort to improve safety conditions at the park, it is still frequented by some addicts and homeless people.  Visitors are advised to use some caution.

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LOCATION: 2230 W 6th St., Los Angeles, CA 90057

Nino’s Pizzeria is a real pizza place, however the name of the restaurant is actually Vincenzo’s Pizza, located in Granada Hills.  The sign was swapped out by the production, which also added the checkerboard paneling over the front windows.

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LOCATION: 11045 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, CA 91344

The pawn shop’s robbery gone wrong was filmed at the Santa Clarita Elk’s Lodge, which is a bit of a distance from the other locations.

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LOCATION: 17766 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91351

The motel where a violent gunfight ensues is the Pink Motel in Sun Valley.  It is not an operational motel, rather a set used for filming or special events.  While we encountered no issues when visiting, according to many online comments, the property is not receptive to public visitation these days, preferring only professional clients.  So be sure not to trespass.  The motel property has been featured in countless productions, such as “The House Bunny,” as well as the TV shows “GLOW” and “Dexter”  Due to the frequent use in productions, the director deliberately chose to film only the interiors of the motel, as to avoid immediate recognition.

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LOCATION: 9457 San Fernando Rd, Sun Valley, CA 91352

Related articles: Too Old To Die Young