[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
45°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 20
1906 - L.A. County accepts Mr. H.C. Register's bid to build (Old) Newhall Jail for $2,237 [story]


Santa Clarita Valley's historic oil town plays itself in a feature film | Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Jan 27, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

England has movies about the Baskervilles. Long Island has its Amityville movies. Soon, coming to a theater near you, is the new horror movie, “Mentryville.”

The story line: A major drug company recruits a lonely and eccentric scientist (Danny Glover)  to  find a cure for a deadly virus. This virus causes those infected to turn into insane killers.

Additional cast members include Taylor Handley, Vinnie Jones, Beverley Mitchell, and Margo Harshman.

Written and directed by Jason Dudek, “Mentryville” was shot in part at the real Mentryville. Pico Cottage (the Big House) has a prominent role, as do the surrounding grounds of the old town.

The original working title of the film was “Spores,” but there is another film by the same name, so for reasons yet unknown, the title was changed to “Mentryville.”

7/24/2011: The Big House at Mentryville is dressed for the filming of Jason Dudek's "Mentryville."

7/24/2011: The Big House at Mentryville is dressed for the filming of Jason Dudek’s “Mentryville,” due to be released in theaters this year.

If you watch [the video tour] I gave of the town on July 24, 2011, you can see the many trailers for props, costumes, commissary and dressing rooms parked in the lot across from Felton School. The video also shows the house decorated for the “Mentryville” movie. There were also some inside shots of the house taken. We all will just have to see the movie to see inside.

The production company that made the film is Studioline Entertainment,  with offices on Wilshire in Los Angeles. A real studio from Los Angeles – not Chatsworth or Van Nuys.

So there you have it. A big movie production in Mentryville with the title “Mentryville.” We know the legal reason the production company changed the name of the movie but haven’t been able to determine how they came to use the name, Mentryville.

Danny Glover stars as the good Dr. Locke.

Danny Glover stars as the good Dr. Locke.

I’d like to think some cast member was leaning against the historical marker at the front gate and noticed the name. Or maybe the director himself saw it. I don’t know.

Right around the time I debunk the myths of a “haunted” Mentryville, along comes a film that has crazy killers running around. Here we go again.

Taylor Handley (TV's "Vegas") co-stars.

Taylor Handley (TV’s “Vegas”) co-stars.

Maybe there will be a sequel, “Mentryville II: Dr. Locke returns.” Glover plays the good doctor.

If not a movie sequel , how about a television show? Does “Mentryville Theater Presents” ring any bells out there? Anyone?

Could there be tours of the house soon? Maybe an ad that reads, “As seen in ‘Mentryville’ The Movie – Come see real Mentryville.” Maybe look in on Dr. Locke’s lab. Oh, I can see beakers of all shapes and sizes with Bunsen burners making the brightly colored liquids boil. Boiling beakers have always been a great way to make a lab look real – at least in the movies.

7/24/2011: The writer shows Mentryville: The Historic Town on a tour. Filming at Mentryville: The Movie Set started the next day.

7/24/2011: The writer shows Mentryville: The Historic Town on a tour. Filming at Mentryville: The Movie Set started the next day.

I know I used the old office and lab in the Pico Cottage as a lab of sorts. I had a project for chemistry class and it involved a process called “destructive distillation.” I was making a form of plastic from oil – at least, that was the plan.

Sometime in the process, the cooling tubing cracked and water was sucked into the beaker, creating a lot of steam – quickly. The stopper blew off the top of the beaker and oil shot to the ceiling, 12 feet above the floor.

That was just before I was told to move my chemistry class to a location outside of the house.

So maybe there is a scene in the movie with an exploding beaker. If they filmed it in the house, it is nothing new. It’s been done there before.

7/24/2011: The writer gives a tour against a backdrop of honey wagons and production trucks for the film currently titled "Mentryville."

7/24/2011: The writer gives a tour against a backdrop of honey wagons and production trucks for the film currently titled “Mentryville.”

There is no recorded filmography of the town of Mentryville. Some oral history from former residents indicates it has been used for filming since the William S. Hart and Tom Mix era. We do know of some later films such as “Thanksgiving Promise” made by Disney. But the fact is, we may never know all of the films that could have or did use Mentryville as a set. Anyone want the task of hunting down that information?

I do hope the film is actually released with the title of “Mentryville.” Some fans may even take the time to go see Mentryville, the town. I know I can’t wait to see the movie.

But I don’t like horror flicks much. I’ll need someone to go to the theater with me and hold my hand. Maybe even cover my eyes when it gets really scary. Let me know if any of you ladies want to apply for the job.

Drop me a line if you do. What the heck. Growing up on a movie set has to have some perks.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

mentryvillemovie3

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. lnmurry says:

    “Outlaws of Red River”, starring Tom Mix was filmed in Pico Canyon in 1927.

  2. phillis says:

    Who knew? Love learning about Mentryville.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Feb 8, 2019
On January 30, 2019, I conducted a press conference to discuss the current state of the Department. During this press conference, I presented statistical data compiled by the previous administration related to violence within the Los Angeles County jail system.
Monday, Feb 4, 2019
We are a month into 2019 and your City is already hard at work taking plans and projects and turning them into reality.
Monday, Feb 4, 2019
The men and women from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station have been hard at work fighting crime and we have the numbers to prove it. Part one crimes – which include homicide, rape, robbery, burglary and arson - went down 20% in 2018. This is a significant drop from 2017 and the lowest crime rate on record.
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019
Discipline standards for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) have been a source of concern for several years.
Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019
Most doctors accept Medicare as full payment for their services. But some accept it only for certain services, and others don’t accept it at all. What does this mean for you?
Tuesday, Dec 18, 2018
Imagine going to the grocery store, picking up the items you need for the week, but not knowing how much anything costs until the store sends you a bill two weeks later.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1906 - L.A. County accepts Mr. H.C. Register's bid to build (Old) Newhall Jail for $2,237 [story]
Members of the SCV Water Agency board, who found themselves saying goodbye to two of their fellow directors this past year, have called a special meeting Tuesday to talk about obtaining permission to reduce the size of the board should there be any more attrition.
SCV Water to Discuss Reducing Board Size
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 20, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Feb. 20: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday authored by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas to phase out the use of oleoresin capsicum spray (pepper spray) in County juvenile facilities.
SUPES Approve Motion to Phase Out Pepper Spray in Juvenile Facilities
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) announces that the full amount of CalFresh benefits for March will be issued on March 1, 2019 to eligible households.
County to Issue Single-Day CalFresh Benefits
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Health Officer is extending a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
County Officials Issue Cold Weather Alert for SCV
Castaic Union School District is proud to announce the recipients of the Castaic Schools Teacher of the Year Award.
Northlake Hills Teacher Named Castaic Union’s Teacher of the Year
A woman was killed after her car went underneath a semi truck on the northbound side of Interstate 5 Tuesday, according to CHP officials.
Woman Killed in Collision on I-5 Truck Route
Stars continue to line up to present on the Oscars - the year’s most-watched, live entertainment event - on Sunday, February 24, announced show producer Donna Gigliotti and co-producer and director Glenn Weiss.
Academy Announces New Round of Oscar Presenters
College of the Canyons has created a Continuing Education Survey to identify the unique and specific needs of the Santa Clarita Valley community.
COC Requesting Community Input on Continuing Education
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is hosting its third annual CARE SCV, a Cancer Awareness & Resource Expo, at the College of the Canyons Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center on Saturday, March 2, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
March 2: CARE SCV Cancer Awareness, Resource Expo at COC
Princess Cruises, the world’s largest international premium cruise line, is growing and today major milestones for three ships under construction at the same time were celebrated, at Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Princess Cruises Highlights Progress of Three of Its Newest Ships
LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (2-9-1) fell to the Warriors of Lewis-Clark State College (4-4-1) in game one on Sunday, 13-6, and the two teams would finish game two in a 2-2 draw in non-conference NAIA baseball action at the Hangar.
Pioneers Face Off Against Lewis-Clark State College
Payless ShoeSource joins the line of retail chains soon to close down in the United States.
Payless Closing All 2,100 Stores
Senator Scott Wilk, (R-Santa Clarita), announced Tuesday that he has introduced Senate Bill 333 (SB 333), a measure to address California's homeless crisis by requiring the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) to develop and implement a long-term, strategic plan to combat homelessness across the state, complete with specific goals and benchmarks.
Wilk Intros Bill Addressing Statewide Homeless Crisis
Washington, DC – Vice Chair of Oversight and Government Reform Committee Congresswoman Katie Hill, (D-Santa Clarita), introduced H.R. 1064, a bill that allows whistleblowers to report concerns about classified programs directly to their supervisors and up their chain of command.
Hill’s Whistleblower Bill Passes House
1803 - Indian family members removed from Caamulus (Camulos) village, Piru area, are baptized at San Fernando Mission [record]
California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a 16-state coalition, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes.
California, 15 More States File Challenge to National Emergency Declaration
The University of British Columbia lost a pair on Saturday when The Master's University received two excellent performances from its starting pitchers in a double-header sweep of the Thunderbirds.
Superb Pitching Leads Mustangs Past British Columbia
The Master's women's basketball team turned the ball over on its final possession, when it trailed by two, and fell 49-46 to Westmont inside Murchison Gym.
Women’s Hoops: TMU’s Win Streak Snapped in Santa Barbara
The No. 10-ranked Mustangs beat Westmont, 97-81, on Saturday, moving into a tie with Vanguard for first place in conference standings.
Men’s Hoops: TMU Beats Westmont, Moves Into Tie for First Place
The College of the Canyons Sports Medicine Program and Valencia High School Medical Science Academy will host the 2019 Sports Medicine Professions Fair at the college's Valencia Campus on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Feb. 23: 2019 Sports Medicine Professions Fair at COC
Seema Shah, executive director of the North Los Angeles County Volunteer Center (formerly HandsOn Santa Clarita) for the past seven years, is stepping down as ED to work with children to help them develop leadership and social entrepreneurship skills.
Shah Exits North LA County Volunteer Center
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb. 20: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
In celebration of National Heart Month, the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health, Health Services, and Fire are partnering with the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the Los Angeles Fire Department to train 100,000 individuals in Hands-Only CPR.
Be a Heart Hero: Learn Hands-Only CPR
College of the Canyons defensive back Michael Nacnac became the latest Cougar to sign with a four-year school, with the Hawaii native committing to Clarke University earlier this week.
Cougar Safety Nacnac Signs With Clarke University
College of the Canyons golfers took the first two spots in the individual standings but carded a five-man score of 400 at Bakersfield Country Club on Monday to finish second in its first Western State Conference tourney of the season.
Cougars Men’s Golf Team Swings to No. 2 at WSC Bakersfield
U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) is in Germany attending the 2019 Munich Security Conference and visiting NATO Headquarters and the seat of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium as part of a congressional delegation led by the Speaker of the House.
Hill Among Congressional Delegation at Munich Security Conference
The Lady Cougars remain in the hunt for the Western State Conference, South Division crown after an important 74-63 victory over Bakersfield College on Sophomore Night in the Cougar Cage.
Lady Cougars Stay in the Hunt with 74-63 Win Over Bakersfield
Three people were arrested and five firearms plus ammunition seized by authorities during a two-day compliance operation in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to SCV Sheriff's Station officials.
Three Arrested in SCV Gun Law Compliance Sweep
All lanes of Interstate 5 are now open after closure due to snow and ice.
I-5 Reopened in Both Directions Through Grapevine
For the second straight year, developers wanting to build 70 homes on The Old Road, near Parker Road, in Castaic, are appealing to regional planners for a one-year time extension.
Lake View Estates Developer Seeks Time Extension
Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, announced Thursday she will join fellow legislators on the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, a bipartisan effort to promote policies that attempt to end the nation’s addiction crisis.
Hill Joins House Working Group on Addiction
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a 22-year-old Santa Clarita man on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of a loaded gun Wednesday night, the station reported Sunday.
Deputies Arrest Santa Clarita Man on DUI, Weapon Charges
SCV Water officials are blazing a course they set during a recent two-day, strategy-setting retreat.
SCV Water Holds Strategy Session, Maps 5-Year Plan
1955 - Actor and nightclub owner Ace Cain incorporates the Rocky Springs Country Club in Sand Canyon [story]