Land of Bad: Where Was the Action Movie Filmed?

A William Eubank directorial, ‘Land of Bad’ follows a special forces unit of the US Army airdropping into a Philippine forest to retrieve an intelligence asset. When their operation is compromised, the outnumbered squad members have to beat a tactical withdrawal as a UAV pilot becomes their deadly guardian angel. Air Force Seargent JJ Kinney joins an elite Dealt Force team on a mission to extract a captured CIA asset. Their operation is supported by Captain Eddie Grimm, who is remotely piloting a heavily armed MQ-9 Predator drone. As soon as the ground team spots the objective, they are engaged by Abu Sayyaf in a frantic firefight. As the smoke settles, Kinney appears to be the only survivor and must rely on the intelligence and fire support provided by Grimm to stay alive.

The military action thriller film deploys us into the dense rainforests of the Philippines alongside the Delta Force squad, intermittently transporting us between the remote battle station of Grimm and the birdseye view of the Predator drone. Boasting stunning cinematography and compelling performances, the film explores themes of bravery, camaraderie, and duty. Witnessing the pulse-pounding firefights take place in a setting familiar to action films, enthusiasts of the genre may find themselves conducting reconnaissance into the actual shooting sites behind the movie

Land of Bad Filming Locations

‘Land of Bad’ was filmed largely within the forests of South East Queensland in Australia, particularly, close to the city of Gold Coast. Principal photography began on September 15, 2022, and was wrapped up by November 9, 2022. Filming for most of the 42-day schedule in the Australian jungles, the production team faced considerable challenges due to weather conditions and geography. With incessant rainfall, production would be hampered as the team didn’t have the luxury of a concrete roof over their heads in many shooting sites. They even had to evacuate box canyons, which would flood in a heavy downpour. Allow us to take you through the specific regions and landmarks seen in ‘Land of Bad.’

Gold Coast, Australia

For the shooting of ‘Land of Bad,’ the production team was based out of the metropolitan city of Gold Coast and shot scenes of the Air Force base and Captain Grimm’s station in the city. The film crew ventured southeast into the Advancetown rural locality and the Tallebudgera Valley region, laboriously capturing the natural majesty of Springbrook National Park. Gold Coast became the filming site for a U.S. military base in a city thousands of miles away, and the jungles of South East Queensland stood in for the rainforests of the Philippines.

At the beginning of the operation, when the squad spots their target being driven across a dam, the site is actually that of the real-life Hinze dam in Advancetown. The massive dam is built on the Nerang River and holds a reservoir in the form of the picturesque Advancetown Lake. The aerial shot of the dam shows Abu Sayyaf pickup trucks barreling across it, allowing us to spot its ungated spillway. As the drone’s missile hits its mark at the dam, we can see the Hinze Dam visitor’s center in the background. The area usually serves as a popular local attraction, with fishing, horseback riding, and manual boating being carried out.

When Grimm hears Kinney’s recorded message and drives at full throttle to the Air Force base, he passes the real-world shopping mall, The Pines Elanora, on 13/31 Guineas Creek Road. As Kinney retreats into the forest, we are treated to the scenic beauty of Springbrook National Park and the Springbrook Plateau. Although taxonomically different from the Philippines’ jungles, the subtropical rainforests of the national park convincingly stood in for their Southeast Asian counterparts. One of the highlights of Springbrook National Park is the Natural Bridge, a stunning rock formation carved by the force of a waterfall over millions of years.

Nestled between the rugged peaks of Springbrook National Park and the pristine beaches of the Gold Coast, Tallebudgera Valley also offered filming sites for the movie. Additional aerial shots of the forest seen during the film likely include the greenery of Lamington National Park. The forested areas of South East Queensland are becoming a go-to filming location for Holywood movies set in a jungle. With generous location incentives through Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy, filmmakers are drawn to the versatile landscapes in and around Gold Coast, a city that offers robust filming infrastructure and experienced crews. Some films shot in its forested regions include ‘Thirteen Lives,’ ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold,’ and the Chris Hemsworth starrer, ‘Spiderhead.’

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