Bronson Canyon and Caves, Los Angeles, California

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Bronson Canyon, or Bronson Caves, is a section of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California that has become famous as a filming location for a large number of movies and TV shows, especially westerns, horror and science fiction, from the early days of motion pictures to the present.

A craggy and remote-looking setting, yet easily accessible location, has made it a prime choice for filmmakers, particularly of low-budget films, who want to place scenes in a lonely wilderness. Many of Roger Corman’s productions utilised the canyon location.

In 1903, the Union Rock Company founded a quarry, originally named Brush Canyon. The quarry ceased operation in the late 1920s, leaving the caves behind. The caves became known as the Bronson Caves after a nearby street, giving the area its more popular name of Bronson Canyon.

Scenes of the main cave entrance are normally filmed in a manner that shows the entrance at an angle. This is because the cave is actually a very short tunnel through the hill, with the rear opening easily visible in a direct shot. The most well-known appearance of the tunnel entrance is likely as the entrance to the Batcave in the Batman television series of the 1960s.

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Selected list of films that used Bronson Canyon as a location:

White Zombie (1932)

The Vampire Bat (1933)

The Monster and the Ape (1945 serial)

Superman (1948 serial)

Unknown World (1951)

Robot Monster (1953)

The Snow Creature (1954)

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Killers from Space (1954)

King Dinosaur (1955)

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The Day the World Ended (1955)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

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Man Beast (1956)

It Conquered the World (1956)

Night of the Blood Beast (1957)

The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)

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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

The Cyclops (1957)

Teenagers from Outer Space (1957, released 1959)

She Demons (1958)

I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)

Earth vs. the Spider (1958)

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Monster from Green Hell (1958)

The Bride and the Beast (1958)

The Return of Dracula (1958)

return of dracula in bronson caves

Teenage Caveman (1958)

Monster from Green Hell (1958)

Invisible Invaders (1959)

The Cosmic Man (1959)

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The Cape Canaveral Monsters (1960)

Eegah (1962)

Invasion of the Star Creatures (1962)

Invasion of the Star Creatures Bronson Cave

They Saved Hitler’s Brain (Madmen of Mandoras) (1963)

The Human Duplicators (1965)

The Mighty Gorga (1969)

One Million AC/DC (1969)

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Dracula, The Dirty Old Man (1969)

Equinox (1970)

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Octaman (1971)

Flesh Gordon (1974)

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Help Me… I’m Possessed (1976)

Deathsport (1978)

Don’t Go Near the Park (1979)

The Return (1980)

Screamers (1981 – additional New World footage added to 1979 Italian movie Isle of the Fishmen)

Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)

Gayracula (1983)

Dreamscape (1984)

The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)

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Demonwarp (1988)

The Nest (1988)

The Phantom Empire (1988)

Lobster Man from Mars (1989)

Shadowzone (1989)

Army of Darkness (1992)

Screamers (1995)

The Wasp Woman (1995)

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Filming The Wasp Woman (1995)

Sometimes They Come Back… Again (1996)

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001)

Cabin Fever (2002)

Fangs (2002)

The Scorpion King (2002)

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004)

Vampire Blvd. (2004)

The Naked Monster (2005)

Abominable (2006)

Beast Beneath aka The Wrath (2007)

The Land That Time Forgot (2009)

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu (2009)

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (2010)

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Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus (2010)

The Ghastly Love of Johnny X (2012)

Return of the Killer Shrews (2012)

Wikipedia | IMDb | Ellis Gooson’s Bronson Canyon Tripod page (via Bill Warren)

Image credits: Greg Aronowitz

 



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7 replies

  1. I scattered my best friend’s ashes at the caves. He was a HUGE Bronson Caves fan!

  2. Ellis, I quite honestly had never seen your piece until you sent the link. The whole point of Horrorpedia is its mainly based on the free content we can all share via Wikipedia, except for reviews/articles we have written ourselves and put our names to. If the author of the Wiki article used some of your phrases then they should have credited you. I’ll gladly add a link now to your original piece as the more people that ‘share’ on the internet the better! Newsgroups and chat sites are still good sources of info and occasionally images. We’ve used a couple of bit of info and attributed the author.

    It might amuse you to know I’d just been telling a friend online about a German publisher that translated and put out the whole of my Blood & Black Lace book with no credit or payment. I should have taken legal action but just laughed. It would have been months of headaches and wrangling for a few quid…

    • I’m not bugged at all by it. And the more I study it, the less I see that I wrote. Just a turn of phrase that made it intact, pachinko machine style, down through the web iterating miscellaneous sources. The tripod page is only cool because it represents such ancient web life. I was working at Blue Sky Software doing games like Vectorman if that help dates it.

  3. Why thank you Ellis, in fact the Bronson info is freely available under the Creative Commons Licence on Wikipedia and there’s a link to the article at the end. I wasn’t aware Tripod sites are still online (big smile). I aim to visit Bronson Canyon one day! Cheers for feedback…

    • Just pieces here and there are my wording. And you’ve obviously fleshed out the list of films. Interesting thing about the list of films. They came to me from Bill Warren, noted fan author. Via Newsgroups. Remember those? alt.cult.films He sent an angry message about theft even though I clearly attribute where I got the list. And there was no such thing as embedded video when I did the Tripod page. That’s a big, new, good thing. If the counter still works, my page has been visited 5882 times.

  4. I love Horrorpedia. As much as I loved Psychotronic. I love it even more now that you lifted my copy off my ancient Tripod page on Bronson Canyon. Dig it. http://zonzen.tripod.com/bronson.htm

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