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.
• To join the MAILING LIST, send me an email at and let me know you'd like to sign up.
• 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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Monday, February 17, 2014

Quetzalcoatl flies — and kills — on the Iverson Movie Ranch

Quetzalcoatl — the feathered serpent deity of the Aztecs — made an appearance on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., in 1946 for the low-budget PRC horror flick "The Flying Serpent." And low-budget or not, the movie produced at least a couple of noteworthy location shots, thanks to the magic of special effects.

"The Flying Serpent" (1946)

The movie's opening shot, above, includes some real-world Iverson features at the bottom of the frame, incorporated into a fake Aztec setting via a superimposed backdrop at the top of the frame. I've pinpointed some of the key elements of the shot in the photo below.

The adobe village seen in the bottom half of the shot was in place in the Iverson Gorge throughout the late 1940s, and turns up occasionally in old PRC B-Westerns and other productions of the era. The buildings were temporary movie structures and had a tendency to move around, so the key thing that pinpoints exactly where the above shot was taken is The Wall, a massive rock feature at Iverson that clearly never moved — until it was destroyed after the filming days so that condos could be built in its place. The Wall is barely noticeable in the above shot, but it's there, and Potato Rock, which sat on top of The Wall, helps identify it.

Another shot from the movie further incorporates real-world Iverson rock features into a make-believe world that includes ancient Aztec structures. In this shot we see the full spread of the Devil's Doorway rock features at the bottom of the frame, and another set of Aztec buildings superimposed at the top.

The labels make for a "busy" photo, but the simple version is this: The bottom one-third of the frame consists mainly of actual Iverson Movie Ranch rocks, with the rest of the shot created through movie magic.

This shot appears to me to be yet another special effect  — a smaller-scale composite along the same lines as the larger-scale shots above — combining some unknown Iverson rocks at the bottom with a superimposed background that includes a representation of an Aztec structure.

The movie also has a fun scene in which Quetzalcoatl flies down from Tower Rock in Iverson's Garden of the Gods and attacks a guy. For the most part, shots of the deadly serpent in flight appear to have been filmed in and around Bronson Canyon, including just before Quetzalcoatl shows up in Garden of the Gods in the clip below. Check out the clip:


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