In Jekyll's Lair
report from the set...
echoes thunder through the cavernous boiler room as a haggard
Dr. Henry Jekyll desperately runs for his assistant, Ziggy
Poole. Pounding down a steel staircase, he bursts into his
shadowy lair (though it's still limned by neon blues and greens
- the shortcut color scheme for cyberpunk). Instead of Poole,
Jekyll finds someone else poking around his secret lab.
early draft of the script, this lab isn't quite so secret,
just your average hospital basement headquarters for an average
mad scientist. But what the crew at Creative Light found on
location changed things a bit. Even if production designer
Mark Teague had not
built a kicking and vaguely creepy lab (which he did), this
place constantly cries out for dark deeds to be happening.
you wouldn't necessarily think so. Across the street in this
East L.A. neighborhood, children play in the beautifully landscaped
Hollenbeck Park, many no doubt spilling out of the nearby
elementary school. And then, Linda Vista Community Hospital
looms on the left.
glance, all you would notice is its older architecture, definitely
a building from the forties. Look closer at the edifice. A
few windows are broken, the paint is peeling, and the sign
out front has been tagged. Though the parking lot has spaces
still earmarked for "doctors only," it's been a while since
any real medicine has been practiced here.
production companies, including Creative Light, use the site
as a film location. Though walking its long dark halls may
make a person a bit on edge, half-expecting a ghost to pop
out, it isn't only horror films that have taken advantage
of the place. Because of its classic look, Pearl Harbor
filmed some sequences here. But let's face it - it's ideal
for a horror film, because it looks like it should
be haunted. In an antechamber to the boiler room, in fact,
sits a discarded patient privacy screen spattered with blood.
Okay, maybe it's red paint, but why spoil the mood?
yet the dead cry out!
little research online, it turns out that Linda Vista actually
is a Los Angeles haunting hot spot. According to TheShadowlands.net,
this abandoned hospital (and just why was it abandoned in the
first place, hmm?) has had quite a bit of spectral activity.
who go there have reported seeing lights and hearing
a little girl laughing and playing around in there.
Screams, cold spots, noises, cries, moaning, lights
coming on and off, noises could even be heard from the
street at night with no one inside.
A doctor has been seen on the main building, corner
window, top floor looking out through the window …wearing
a doctor's suit and a tie. There is a room full of cages
and a group of people claimed seeing a mentally ill
patient (ghost) roaming inside a cage in that room."
ghostly mental patient --
director Scott Zakarin scouting locations.
the parking lot is an administrative office with a french-doored
balcony. Creative Light commandeered it as the production
office during their time there, situating the make-up room
two doors down. Though a direct staircase leads cast and crew
to the basement set, most choose to take a route through the
open air of the parking lot.
be to escape mold, or maybe …something else?
all, in the production office restroom, somebody has scrawled
a telling slogan on the wall: "The dead are watching you."
It's a sobering thought, and certainly enough to make one
never urinate again.
could just attach a plot to the atmosphere, Linda Vista could
have a movie unto itself.