Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Callaghan.

Follow the dusty B roads from Almeria towards Granada and head for a small town marked on the map called, Tabernas. This route will start to feel a little bit familiar and almost like you’ve taken a wrong turning off of Mullholland drive, even though you’re in the south of Spain. From here you’ll notice signs towards some delightful places such as Texas Hollywood and Mini Hollywood A.K.A. The Holly grail of the Spaghetti Western film sets.

I paid a visit to Mini Hollywood, this was originally built in 1966 and designed by Carlo Simi; Serge Leone’s set designer. This particular set has featured in a whole array of classic Westerns such as Django, Fistful Of Dollars and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly need I go on? I was quite chuffed to find that some of it was still standing, even though most of it has amalgamated into a tacky cowboy theme park, but I guess this place has to survive and I have no idea what the Spanish heritage budget is like. Unfortunately I missed the showdown that is performed everyday at around high noon, strangely enough. So I had to settle for a Ennio Morricone sound track that was being piped through the speaker system. Once I set my eyes on the bank with the Morricone soundtrack playing, I’ll have to admit my mind was elsewhere. Step inside the bank and there’s a museum of old film cameras and vintage film posters. Looking at the film cameras it makes you wonder how they actually produced such shots as these cameras looked quite hefty and must have weighed a good few tons. The film posters from various countries are spectacular and I was a little bit disappointed that none of these were reciprocated in the gift shop.

If you happen to be in the area then pay a visit, but don’t expect a magnificently preserved film set. However, do relish in the fact that somebody must have scouted out the area to be used as a film set. Serge Leone must have had a good walk around the place working out scenes and also the likes of Clint Eastwood and
Lee Van Cleef would have hung around the place too.
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