The 2003 Rob Zombie horror film “House Of 1000 Corpses” was shot entirely in Southern California. Captain Spaulding’s “Museum of Monsters and Madmen” was filmed at the Four Aces Movie Ranch in Palmdale, California. The set has been seen in countless films, such as “Identity,” “Palm Springs” and “Faster.” It has also appeared in such TV shows as “Twin Peaks” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” as well as numerous commercials and music videos.
Please keep in mind the property is private and there are “no trespassing” signs posted. However, it is easily visible from the road. The set is a popular filming location, so you may encounter a shoot in progress when you visit. If it’s a particularly secretive set, sometimes the roads next to it are closed off to the public.
LOCATION: Four Aces Movie Ranch, 14499 E Ave Q, Palmdale, CA 93591
The Firefly house was another set, this time located on Universal Studios Hollywood lot, where it can be seen as part of their studio tour. The same house facade was featured in the film “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.”
LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Also on the Universal lot is the house of Don Willis. The same house was featured on the classic television series “Leave It To Beaver.”
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.
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.
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.
They make their way down into the town through these gates.
Here is another view of the hill they drive down entering the town.
They then pass through this arched gate toward the main town square.
Baby, played by Sheri Moon Zombie, sees company approaching near the Estrella del Motel.
Baby and Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, played by Richard Brake, sit on this fountain.
Otis Driftwood, played by Bill Moseley, emerges from this church for a showdown.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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