Tabernas Desert Film Sets (Part #1) Straight to Hell and Chino

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Something we love doing when in Spain is visiting filming locations, as you probably know the Tabernas Desert in Almeria was and still is used as the setting for many a Spaghetti Western. Films such as The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars, A Few Dollars More and Once Upon a Time in America were all largely filmed in the area. I’m starting here with a somewhat less obvious one, the location for  The 1986 Alex Cox film Straight to Hell which starred (to name but a few) Joe Strummer, The Pogues, Elvis Costello, Grace Jones, Dennis Hopper, Sy Richardson and Courtney Love. This set was originally built in the Tabernas Desert for the 1973 Film Chino starring Charles Bronson.

We headed down here on our way to San Jose and in typical (of me) fashion we arrived in the midday sun that was hitting the low 40’s and what was supposed to be 1 mile as the crow flies was about 3 miles each way….. Blistering Heat and No Water (not the best combination).

As you can see from the photos most of the site has now collapsed and is slowly eroding back into the desert so I guess in another 10 or 15 years or so there will be nothing left here to see except for some roof tiles and broken bottles.  I was rather taken with how close the site is to the motorway but how out in the wilderness it feels. To me there is something quite special about walking around this area knowing how many famous feet have trampled here, In the UK you would expect to see a parking area with an Ice Cream van and people trying to sell you  Cowboy Hats and Cap Guns but in somewhat typical Spanish Fashion it has just been left to crumble away.

More Info on these two movies can be found by following the links below:
Chino aka Valdez the Half Breed
Straight to Hell

I will post some other sets I have visited over some time so if you are interested please check back 🙂


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