Tourist Trap





Tourist Trap was released into theaters on March 16th, 1979. Filming locations include Calabasas, Los Angeles, Malibu and Santa Clarita, Ca. It was direct by David Schmoeller. Ten years later, Schmoeller would go on to direct Puppet Master, undoubtedly Full Moon Productions' most successful release. Both Tourist Trap and Puppet Master were executive produced by Charles Band, who founded Full Moon. The film also had two Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) crew alumni. Robert A. Burns who was the art director and Ted Nicolaou who edited the film. The films villain, Mr. Slausen/Davey, was played by Chuck Connors. Connors is probably best known for his role in the television series "The Rifleman". In the end credits, Mr. Slausen is misspelled as "Slauson". The very unique score was composed by Pino Donaggio. Some other films scored by Donaggio include Beyond the Door, Carrie (1976), Don't Look Now, The Howling, Raising Cain, Seed of Chucky and Two Evil Eyes. The film had a reported budget of $800,000 of which one-sixth of it went toward Donaggio's salary. The films first DVD release was on July 28th, 1998.

I'd like to thank PaulH of Halloween Filming Locations for finding these locations.


Oscars - Sierra Hwy. and Rush Canyon Rd. Santa Clarita, Ca. 91390

The structure had been there since at least 1948. It was either removed or demolished by October of 1980. It has been a vacant dirt lot ever since, mostly used as a parking area for trucks hauling their atv's and dirtbikes, which they ride down Rush Canyon Road. At one point it was called the Hob Nob Cafe. It was during this time that it was used as a filming location for an episode of the television show The Fugitive, titled The Devil's Disciples, starring a young Bruce Dern. At the time of filming Tourist Trap, the "Oscars" sign seen on screen seemed to be authentic, as it had been owned by Oscar Newman. 


All "Now" pictures taken in 2021.


The Fugitive (The Devil's Disciples)


Woody gets a flat tire - Mint Canyon Rd. Santa Clarita, Ca. 90390

At the time of filming, there were no structures in this area. That's changed though, as seen in the comparison photos.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2021.



Jerry, Becky, Eileen and Molly driving - Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, Ca. 90302

There is a pull-off at this location which provides a spectacular view of Malibu Creek State Park.


2021


Slausen's Lost Oasis sign #2 - Mulholland Hwy. Calabasas, Ca. 91302

This spot is .8 miles east of the previous location, where they're driving.


2021


They turn onto the side road - Sierra Hwy. Santa Clarita, Ca. 91390

It was on this road that the "Slausens Lost Oasis Just Ahead" sign could be seen. The road is extremely overgrown and no longer drivable. In reality it wraps right back around onto Sierra Highway. This location is one mile west of "Chuck's Cafe" from the 1971 film Duel.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2021.




Jerry breaks down - Off of* Griffith Park Dr. Los Angeles, Ca. 90027
(Old Zoo)

This is the first of three locations from the film that were shot at the Old Zoo. The scene was shot on the Lower Old Zoo trail. They were driving west along the dirt road when the Jeep broke down.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2021.




Waterfall - Off of* Latigo Canyon Rd. Malibu, Ca. 90265
(Escondido Canyon)

Thurlow Orin McCoye purchased 180 acres in the canyon in 1959 with the intent of turning it into a botanic garden. He planted fruit orchards and a garden of tropical plants. In the late 60's and early 70's he grew and sold Christmas trees on the property. In 2013, the property was purchased by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Today, a portion of the road that leads down into the canyon is part of the Ava and Cole Weintraub Trail. In 2018, the Woolsey Fire, which burned a total of 96,949 acres, obliterated the entire canyon. When I visited the location in March of 2021, almost all of the remaining trees were charred black. However, much to my amazement, the area was quite overgrown with foliage, just two years removed from the devastating fire. I can only imagine how overgrown it was prior to the fire. The swimming hole seen in the film has since been filled in for the most part, over the years. Comparing the water level then to the ground level today was quite a contrast. Only a small puddle of water was present at the base of the waterfall when I visited. There is a gate at the entrance to the property, which looks like it has been there for about 150 years. The best way to reach the waterfall is by parking off of Latigo Canyon Road, in a small turnout, opposite the side of the entrance, and hiking down into the canyon from there.


Shortly after the Woolsey Fire.

All "Now" pictures taken in 2021.




The entrance to the location.


Slausen's Lost Oasis - Off of* Griffith Park Dr. Los Angeles, Ca. 90027
(Old Zoo)

This is the second of three locations from the film that were shot at the Old Zoo. Production added a facade to the front of an existing structure that was there. The interiors were filmed at Rampart Sound Studios, located at 539 S. Rampart Blvd. Los Angeles, Ca. 90057.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2021.


The actual interior of the structure.


Path with protruding poles - Off of* Griffith Park Dr. Los Angeles, Ca. 90027
(Old Zoo)

This is the third of three locations from the film that were shot at the Old Zoo. The path appears to have been some kind of caged walkway. The shed-like structure seen in a couple of the screenshots was located at the top of the path, on the right side.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2021.





2 comments:

  1. Wow!! I've been waiting for this one for a long damn time!! About time someone figured out all of the locations to this great movie!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing finds. Incredible work once again from the two Pauls :)

    ReplyDelete