Kelly Gulch from “Parks and Recreation”Apr 26th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Right next door to Pat’s Topanga Grill, which I blogged about on Tuesday, is an oft-filmed-at residence known as Kelly Gulch. Fellow stalker Mike, from MovieShotsLA, had mentioned the property to me back in early December while the two of us were in the midst of our hunt for the Topanga Canyon house where Paula (Sissy Spacek) lived in Four Christmases (which I blogged about here). Because Kelly Gulch has been featured in countless productions over the years (far more than I could ever chronicle in a single blog post), including fave show Parks and Recreation, he thought it might be a good location for me to stalk. So I did just that, late last December, right after the Grim Cheaper and I grabbed breakfast at Pat’s.
Kelly Gulch was constructed by Michelene (who goes by Mike) and Frank Kelly in 1978. The couple had moved from Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon with their two young children in 1970. Quickly realizing that their 750-square-foot bungalow was not large enough for a family of four, they wound up purchasing an 8.5-acre plot of oak-shaded, creek-side land, that Frank had found in the classified ads, for $20,000 in 1976. Two years later, Frank started building a picturesque three-bedroom log cabin, from a “Real Log Homes” kit, on the site. The residence, which they dubbed “Kelly Gulch”, took a year to complete. A detached one-room writer’s studio and a large, two-story, 1,152-square-foot, standalone barn that doubled as a workshop/studio apartment soon followed.
Fate took a hand in 1984 when a location scout stopped by a Topanga Canyon real estate office looking for a log cabin in which to shoot Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. The real estate agent pointed him in the direction of Kelly Gulch and the rest is history. According to a Topanga Messenger article, a whopping two hundred productions have since been lensed at the remote residence! Its most famous appearance, though, remains in Friday the 13th. In fact, due to that appearance, in which it stood in for the Jarvis family home, the property has become a landmark of sorts to horror film buffs.
Both the interior and the exterior of the cabin were used extensively in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and, according to the same Topanga Messenger article, filming on the premises took a full three months to complete!
The large Victorian house located next to the Jarvis home in the movie was just a prop building that was constructed for the shoot.
In mid-2012, the Kellys decided that they needed to move to a place with less upkeep and put their beloved Topanga cabin on the market for $1.675 million. They subsequently moved to the seaside city of Camarillo. According to Redfin (on which you can check out some fabulous interior photographs of the home), Kelly Gulch was sold on December 31st, 2012 for $1,515,000. When asked by the Messenger if she would miss being a part of regular filmings, Mike said, “Not really. There were 14- to 16-hour days and Frank and I could never leave the property during a shoot. As we’ve gotten older, we couldn’t do it anymore.” And even though hundreds of celebrities have set foot inside her home over the years, she stated, “The only thing that ever impressed me was the check.” LOL
The property seems so incredibly rural and remote, it is hard to believe it is located on a bustling canyon road right next door to a restaurant.
Sadly though, as you can see below, not much of it is visible from the street.
The gate, which looks like something from a movie set (and who knows – it might be! ), was pretty darn cool to see, though.
In 1986, the cabin popped up in Murphy’s Law as the home of Ben Wilcove (Bill Henderson), where Jack Murphy (Charles Bronson) and Arabella McGee (Kathleen Wilhoite) sought refuge.
The interior was also utilized in the filming.
The Friday the 13th franchise returned to Kelly Gulch to film a few brief scenes for the 1998 sequel titled Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood. Although the majority of the flick was lensed in Alabama, the scene in which Robin (Elizabeth Kaitan) is killed was filmed at the Topanga residence. You can check out a photograph of the room that segment was shot in here.
According to the Camp Blood website, Kelly Gulch was also used in the scene in which Jason is shown looking up at the house. You can see a photograph of that particular angle of the house here.
Kelly Gulch was where the group of teenaged campers hid out after accidentally killing Billy Harley (Matthew Hurley) in 1989’s Pumpkinhead.
The interior of the cabin was used in the filming, as well.
In 1994’s My Girl 2, the residence is where Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) tracked down her mom’s first husband, Jeffrey Pommeroy (JD Souther).
A different interior was used in the filming, though.
In the 1996 movie Eraser, the cabin was where a federal witness named Allison hid out and was later murdered.
The interior of the residence was used in the filming of that movie, as well.
In the 2000 thriller Ed Gein (a true story that inspired the movie Psycho), the cabin was where the Anderson family lived.
The interior was also used in the movie.
Kelly Gulch was where the body of Jessica Garner (Elena Fabri) was found in the Season 2 episode of Medium titled “Judge, Jury and Executioner”, which aired in 2005.
In 2008, the cabin was where Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly), Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase (Kevin Dillon), and Turtle (cutie Jerry Ferrara – sigh!) were put up during the filming of Vince’s new movie Smokejumpers in the Season 5 episode of Entourage titled “Pie”.
The interior also appeared in the episode.
In the Season 2 episode of Parks and Recreation titled “Hunting Trip”, which aired in 2009, Kelly Gulch stood in for the Slippery Elm Park ranger station where Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) hosted his annual hunting trip – and got shot in the head.
The interior of the house was also used in the episode.
Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for telling me about this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Kelly Gulch, from the “Hunting Trip” episode of Parks and Recreation, is located at 1801 North Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Topanga Canyon.