Film Santa Clarita: The Horror
What do you get when you combine crazed zombies invading a sleepy town, blood sucking vampires running amok, murderous automobiles out for revenge, psychopathic killers preying on unsuspecting campers and ghosts and ghouls with haunting intentions? You get a lot of film history that took place right here in the Santa Clarita Valley. Santa Clarita might be known as one of the safest cities of its size in the United States, but in the world of television and film that’s not necessarily the case. As we approach Halloween, here’s a focus on a few fan favorites.
One of the most iconic of all horror film franchises is Friday the 13th. Both Friday the 13th: Part 3 and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter feature iconic villain Jason terrifying and attacking hapless campers right here in the lovely Santa Clarita Valley. The bulk of Friday the 13th: Part 3 was filmed at Veluzat Movie Ranch. Several locations on the property were filmed, but their barn served as the backdrop of some of the most memorable scenes. This film was also shot in 1982-era 3D, which ads a campy wonderfulness to the story.
Stephen King would arguably top the choices of writers to be featured on the Mount Rushmore of the horror genre and in 1983 his classic Christine was brought to the big screen with Santa Clarita having a notable role. In the story, a nerdy protagonist develops a bizarre relationship with an evil red 1958 Plymouth Fury. The most explosive scene in the movie took place at the fictional “Mobico” gas station, which was built along the corner of McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard (predating the mall) in what is now the Kohls shopping center. The authentic-looking gas station set was literally blown to pieces, sending a huge fireball into the sky, which many long-time residents of Santa Clarita likely remember. Valencia Liquor on Lyons Avenue was also featured in the movie.
Scouts have a long and honorable tradition in the Santa Clarita Valley that continues through today, but in the world of horror films their service in the community took on a twist. In the 2015 feature film Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, three scouts try to save their town from zombies. The light hearted horror film (and there is such a thing) was filmed extensively in areas of Newhall, including Happy Valley. While the film might not be appropriate for all ages to watch (rated R for a reason), Santa Clarita does stand out.
You can’t have Halloween without vampires and you can’t mention vampires without mentioning True Blood, which filmed on location in Santa Clarita for several scenes. Settings included Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch, a home in Sand Canyon and areas in Acton and Agua Dulce.
Haunted Mansion, based on the Disney ride and starring Eddie Murphy, featured the actual haunted mansion set being built on-site locally at Sable Movie Ranch. The elaborately built set led to over three months of production at the storied movie ranch and plays a big role in the film.
As Halloween transforms our community and zombies and vampires march into the night, know that Santa Clarita has long been home to some terrible frights. In the movies anyway.
The City of Santa Clarita’s Film Office was started in 2002 and today processes over 500 permits per year, leading to approximately 1,300 film days! Filming is a great benefit to the community, adding over $30 million of positive economic impact per year to the local economy. For a list of what has filmed in Santa Clarita, go to http://www.FilmSantaClarita.com and follow the City’s film office at http://www.Instagram.com/FilmSantaClarita.