MaXXXine: Where Was the Movie Filmed?

In the Ti West-directorial ‘MaXXXine,’ a young starlet becomes the target of a serial killer in 1980s Los Angeles, California. The narrative revolves around the titular star actress, who gets her first breakthrough role in a new horror film titled ‘The Puritan II’ despite her association with the adult film industry. Maxine’s life becomes complicated when a serial killer named the Night Stalker sets his sights on her, looking to make her pay for her sins.

Exploring the sparkling visions of stardom, fame, and popularity through the eyes of Maxine, the horror film chronicles her journey as a legitimate actor free from the shackles of her adulterous past. However, the waters of a grungy Los Angeles are difficult to navigate for the protagonist, who is striving to achieve her single-minded ambitions while also contending with the threat of a murderer on the loose. Thus, the film’s glitzy and glamorous backdrop becomes essential in highlighting those themes, prompting questions regarding the filming locations used by the production team.

MaXXXine Filming Locations

‘MaXXXine’ was brought to life in the state of California, primarily on location in Los Angeles, while some scenes were also shot in Santa Clarita and Universal City. Principal photography began in April 2023 and was completed on May 20 of the same year. The world of danger, suspense, behind-the-scenes movie magic, and murder mystery could not have a better backdrop than the City of Angels, where flashy neon billboards and grimy exteriors come together in a blend of slasher horror meets crime thriller.

Los Angeles, California

The sprawling city of Los Angeles in Southern California is the main shooting location for the production of ‘MaXXXine.’ The city is well-renowned as an entertainment metropolis, where the scenic Hollywood Hills grace the vibrant and blazing urban locales. It serves as the backdrop for the gritty reality of Maxine Minx’s rise to fame from an adult film star to a horror movie debutant with a point to prove. Many landmark avenues and establishments double up as places within Maxine’s 80s-infused romp through serial killer woods.

As viewers will note, several scenes within the film take place on the busy road of Hollywood Boulevard. During filming, the street was shut down from Cahuenga Boulevard to Wilcox Avenue to accommodate the production. With time being the most precious resource, every shot on the major east-west street was wrapped up in four days. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, director Ti West disclosed how the crew went about the process of transforming the thoroughfare to match the period of Maxine’s adventure. “To turn this all into an X-rated area was a very big project, lots of neon,” he said. “We had to be out here in the chaos of it all. It shows in the movie.”

The red carpet walk where Maxine blows kisses to the paparazzi was filmed outside the TCL Chinese Theatre, also known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard. Reportedly, a car crash in one of the blocks interrupted the filming for a while. The barricades set up by the crew were destroyed by a driver who slammed into a car that was parked nearby. While the guards working on the film ran off to pursue the man, the production team went back to shooting. “From making a movie here, I realize it’s difficult to get permits because the neighborhoods just don’t want movies shooting,” West said. 

The director added, “But it’s Hollywood. If there’s ever a reason to be in traffic, it should be because Will Smith is flipping a car in the middle of the street. Every other reason to be stuck in traffic sucks.”The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites at 404 South Figueroa Street was used for some scenes within the film. The luxurious establishment has hosted prominent personalities like US Presidents, film and TV show stars, and other luminaries, which in the case of ‘MaXXXine,’ also extends to the feisty and ferocious titular protagonist. Set in downtown Los Angeles, it strikes the visual splendor worthy of Maxine’s meteoric rise in the entertainment industry.

Scenes were also recorded at a cemetery where the film’s detectives – Williams and Torres – unearth a gruesome finding, the taping of which took place at Hollywood Forever Cemetery at 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard. The graveyard is only one part of several services provided by the establishment founded in 1899. From funeral homes, memorial services, and crematoriums to live concerts, film screenings, and cultural events, the cemetery is equipped with all manner of facilities, including a lush green lawn and ample leisure space for visitors.

Universal City, California

The famous Bates Motel house from the horror thriller ‘Psycho’ makes an appearance in one of the pivotal chase scenes where Maxine is running through the studio backlot of her debut horror feature ‘The Puritan II.’ Filming transpired on the Universal Studios backlot at 100 Universal City Plaza, where the chilling Bates Motel house provided an apt backdrop to the slasher roots of ‘MaXXXine.’ The entire chase is littered with a sense of breaking the fourth wall as the aspiring movie star finds herself locked in the set of another older horror classic with a dark twist.

Santa Clarita, California

While most of the film was shot in Los Angeles, some additional scenes were filmed in Santa Clarita. The city’s prehistoric rock formations have hosted several productions in the past. TV shows like ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy‘ and feature films like ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘ have brought their settings to life in the city just north of Los Angeles. Due to a series of technical reasons, the production crew was forced to build the MaXXXine sign under which a fight takes place in Santa Clarita, although they were working on a tight schedule owing to the lack of time and money.

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