Welcome to theBad.net Lee Van Cleef Blog! Here you will find information, photos, videos, and some of my opinions of the badman himself.

Many thanks to the wonderful fans of theBad.net for their contributions and continued enthusiasm!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Location: Mini Hollywood - Saloon / Mortimer's Hotel

Within the theme park of Mini Hollywood, the town built for For a Few Dollars More, there are only a handful of original buildings still standing.  The town saloon is probably best know to LVC fans as the location of Col. Mortimer's hotel and the saloon when he lights the match on poor Wilds neck.  LVC would appear here again as Angel Eyes in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, where he gains information from the "half soldier". 

1965 vs 2013 
front of the saloon
The famous The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly publicity pose, and today 

The interior of the saloon has changed since the days of Leone.  Gone is the staircase that LVC descends in For a Few Dollars More, to make way for the can-can stage.  The bar is in the same location, but has been extended.

Additional interior pics below.  Click to enlarge.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

eBay Watch: French Picture Cards

From time to time I will post interesting items that I see on eBay that would be of interest to a LVC fan. These are not endorsements of the sellers, just merely my observations of interesting or rare items.

These are two photo cards in the Mr. Cinema picture cards series from France.  Pretty interesting as they showcase the life of LVC throughout pretty much his entire career.


Happy Hunting!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Remembering Lee Van Cleef

24 years ago, Lee Van Cleef left us on December 16, 1989, and while we can no longer interact with him, we can make sure the legend lives on through his films, television work, and our LVC online communities.

If you do wish to pay Lee Van Cleef your respects he is buried at:
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Courts of Remembrance (Front lawn, right side middle), Serenity Section, Lot 156
Los Angeles,  California, USA
The above photo was taken in 2005 when I visited.

RIP Lee.  You were the best of the bad!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Location: Los Albaricoques - The Road to Agua Caliente

"Here we are.  That's Agua Caliente.  Yes I have many friends here.  It looks just like a morgue... but look out, it could be one so easily"
Another instantly recognizable location from For a Few Dollars More is the road to Agua Caliente where Indio challenges Monco to ride into town alone.  I know LVC wasn't in this scene, but Gian Maria Volonte owns this scene, and I think his performance is on par with LVC throughout the film (sorry Clint!).
The scene was filmed just outside of Los Albaricoques, and it is truly a road that leads into the town, mind you the main road into the town is paved!

the road is a little rougher these days!
 As you can see, the road is unchanged, but there have been developments beyond
Below are some additional pics of the road and surrounding area.  Like many Spaghetti Western icons (including LVC!), Gian Maria Volonte gets this road named after him. 
Click to enlarge.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Location: Mini Hollywood - Town of El Paso

In 1965 Carlo Simi built the town of El Paso in the desert of Tabernas for Sergio Leone's For a Few Dollars More.  The town would be used again in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  After this, it became one of three western towns in Tabernas used consistently for Spaghetti Westerns into the mid 1970's.  LVC would also return here for The Stranger and The Gunfighter.

Monco rides into town

Indio's gang arrives

After the genre died out, the town fell into disrepair, until it was made into the theme park it is today.  Yes.  A theme park.

this is what is looks like now - a tourist trap!

Mini Hollywood, was one of the more disappointing locations I visited, as if you cannot tell, I am not a fan of theme parks.  One of the most magical things about going to the locations is that I would say 90% of the time, you are the only person there.  You can experience the place very organically, where as at Mini Hollywood, it's more about witnessing mothers trying to figure how to get a stroller down a sand street.

With that being said, it's quite possible that if this location never became a theme park, it would be in ruin, similar to the town of Flagstone from Once Upon a Time in The West (more on that in a later post).

Within the park you can expect to see a "western show" a few times a day, where actors stage a mock gunfight etc.  Many of the familiar sets are now functioning restaurants.  You can even dress up in western gear for photos (but not a damn poncho in the whole place!!!  WTF?).  At least this gave us the LVC dressing room!

LVC themed dressing room

The best part of the day was during the can-can show in the saloon.  Literally everyone who was visiting the town went into the saloon, leaving the town streets empty! 

Sheriff's Office in For a Few Dollars More

The steps Clint hid under are now gone (replaced by steps on the opposite wall)

This building was Monco's hotel in For a Few Dollars More (at least maybe a small part of it... aside from being in the same location and being roughly the same shape, both the outside and inside have been completly refinished.
Below are some additional random pictures of the town-

In the coming weeks I will do a spotlight on The Bank of El Paso, and Mortimer's Hotel/Saloon.  Stay tuned!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Location: El Condor

I love El Condor, and during my trip to Spain I was hoping to see the remains of the El Condor fortress built for the film.  Sadly that was not the case.  The area is locked and gated.

As I was not feeling adventurous enough to jump the gate, had already visited five other locations that day, and it was getting late, that is as far as I got.  Hopefully I can get in contact with whoever owns this location so I can visit it on a return trip next year.

On the plus side there was a great view of "Western Leone" from this location.  You will recognize the McBain house from Once Upon a Time in the West.  The rest of the town was built later for other westerns and to cash in on the tourists.

 Hopefully I can update this post next year!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Octagon Coming to Blu-ray (US)

With a release date of December 3rd, The Octagon comes to blu-ray in the US (region A).  LVC co-starred with Chuck Norris in this 1980 martial arts film.  The blu-ray will feature a 16x9 (1.78:1) anamorphic master in HD from the original interpositive, and a brand new 5.1 surround sound track.

Scott James is a man haunted by memories, eerie flashbacks that plague both his waking and sleeping hours. The first is a childhood memory relating to the intense and rigorous combat training he and his best friend endured under the guidance of a mysterious martial arts master. The second is a far more painful recollection of loss, and one that has turned Scott away from his former life. But when a wealthy heiress convinces him to enter the fray once more, Scott finds himself drawn into an international terrorist organisation consisting of deadly ninjas, at the head of which is a close acquaintance from his past. Now it is up to Scott to confront his worst fears and battle a former adversary in the ultimate ninja showdown.
  • Audio commentary with Director Eric Karson
  • Brand new interview with star Tadashi Yamashita featurette
  • Original trailer

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Location: Cortijo Del Fraile - Ramirez Mission

Instantly recognizable, Cortijo Del Fraile is only a few kilometers from Los Albaricoques, and was featured most prominently as Father Ramirez's Mission in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  The rear of the structure was also used as Indio and his men's base camp once they reached Agua Caliente in For a Few Dollars More.  This entry will focus on the Ramirez mission, and I will have another entry for Indio's camp later on.

1966 and 2013

Built by Dominican friars in the eighteenth century Cortijo del Fraile (the Friar’s Farmhouse), has a very interesting if not dark past.  The setting for these events were used by Federico Garçia Lorca in his chilling play ‘Blood Wedding’.

The structure is currently crumbling and in a terrible state of disrepair.  It is fenced off so it cannot be accessed.

Below are a few pictures of the front as featured in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (click to enlarge)


 The door that Tuco enters

In 2011 the location was declared a site of special cultural interest by the regional government, the Junta de Andalucía. Sadly nothing has yet been done to preserve this historic site.