Here's what the Iverson Movie Ranch obsession is all about ...

For an introduction to this blog and to the obsession a growing number of vintage film and TV fans have with the Iverson Movie Ranch — the most widely filmed outdoor location in movie and TV history — please read the site's introductory post, found here.
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• To find specific rock features or look up movie titles, TV shows, actors and production people, see the "LABELS" section — the long alphabetical listing on the right side of the page, below.
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• I've also begun a YouTube channel for Iverson Movie Ranch clips and other movie location videos, which you can get to by clicking here.
• Here's a link to Garden of the Gods, the best-known section of the Iverson Movie Ranch (featured in the movie "Stagecoach," the "Lone Ranger" TV show and hundreds of other productions).
• To go right to the great Iverson cinematographers, click here.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How the Iverson Movie Ranch found its way into a 1998 music video by Neil Finn

This 1998 video for the song "She Will Have Her Way," by New Zealand rocker Neil Finn, is a parody of the old "rampaging enormous women" movies, including the 1959 Lou Costello comedy/sci-fi movie "The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock," much of which was shot at Iverson.

"Candy Rock" was itself a parody of the much more famous sci-fi movie "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," which came out the previous year. "50 Foot Woman" was not shot at Iverson.

Neil Finn and his 30- to 50-foot girlfriend, in the music video "She Will Have Her Way"

Neil Finn is known for fronting the bands Split Enz and Crowded House, along with his solo career. This solo video includes footage from both "30 Foot Bride" and "50 Foot Woman," cleverly blending original clips from both films with new footage featuring Finn and his own 30-foot (or 50-foot) girlfriend.

Best of all, from the standpoint of an Iverson Movie Ranch aficionado, the video creates "new" footage shot at Iverson by superimposing Finn and his video girlfriend over scenes originally shot at Iverson in the 1950s. The barn seen here no longer exists — it has been borrowed from "30 Foot Bride," with Finn's modern-day video vixen seen running in front of it using composite imaging.

Here's a shot I really like from the video, which is lifted straight from the movie. It shows a truck hauling the wrapped-up "30 Foot Bride" past a distinctive formation I call Rock Island, which was located in the Iverson Gorge and had high-profile appearances in John Wayne's "Fighting Seabees" (1944) and many other productions. The shot is flipped horizontally, for whatever reasons. (For more about flipping shots, click here.)

This is how the above shot "should" look — and how it would have looked if it hadn't been flipped in production. It was flipped for both the movie, "30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock," and the music video, Neil Finn's "She Will Have Her Way." The big cluster of boulders seen in the shot, Rock Island, effectively no longer exists, having been mostly buried during grading for condominium development. In other words, it's probably still intact, just underground. Parts of it — maybe the top one-third — remain above ground but are barely visible and hard to get to.

The barn featured in "30 Foot Bride" and in the video is the Fury Barn, which was part of a ranch set built for the TV show "Fury" that got a lot of use in movies and TV shows in the late '50s and throughout the '60s. The barn and the rest of the set are believed to have burned down in the big 1970 Newhall/Malibu fire.

An intimate moment featuring Neil and his big girlfriend creates a reasonable facsimile of the interior of the Fury Barn for the video. I don't know how they got the shot, but I presume it's either a studio set or else filmed in some real barn that's still around today.

As a footnote to the "30 Foot Bride"/"50 Foot Woman" story, a 1993 HBO TV movie remake of "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," with essentially the same title ("Ft." replaces "Foot"), featuring Daryl Hannah in the title role, is widely thought to include footage shot at one of the estates on the former Upper Iverson, long after the days when the place was a working movie ranch. However, I did a little homework and was able to track down the estate used in the movie, and while it was close to Iverson — just a few doors away — technically it was on property that was once part of the neighboring Brandeis Ranch, and not Iverson.

"War of the Colossal Beast" composite shot, filmed partly at Iverson

It's also worth noting the "rampaging enormous men" movies. Probably the best-known entry in this subgenre is "The Amazing Colossal Man" (1957), which pretty much started the whole oversized people phenomenon of the Cold War era. "Colossal Man" was not shot at Iverson — the location work was almost entirely done in Arizona and Nevada, including some iconic shots you may recall of the big guy taking out his hostility on some large neon figures on the Vegas Strip. But "Colossal Man" had a lesser-known sequel, "War of the Colossal Beast" (1958), that not only is a terrific Iverson movie but also is part of an extremely select group of movies to set foot on the iconic Chatsworth rock formation Stoney Point.

Stoney Point in Chatsworth, as seen in "War of the Colossal Beast"

Stoney Point often appears in the background in movies shot at Iverson, but "War of the Colossal Beast" includes footage actually shot at the site.

1 comment:

kenneth crowe said...

I'm VERY curiuos who the beutiful woman is in the video!!dam she is super cute!! I saw clipse ofb this video and other giantesses onanother video (GTS oooh) girls aloud: something kida OOoh. that is how I discovered this one! Idid not know if it was a "b" movei or an MTV music video..hence the MTV logo for GTS oooh.