Where was Hot Rod filmed?
Cloverdale, Surrey, British Columbia
House, Restaurant, American
Americana/Anywhere America, Diners, Restaurants, Foreign
About Hot Rod
Self-proclaimed an extraordinary stuntman, Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) does different stunts and sees it as a way of life. Unfortunately, he isn’t as remarkable as he thinks he is or advertises himself as, but more of an accident-prone individual performing daring acts. If you’re contemplating whether to stream it or give it a miss, this guide covers several funny scenes in Hot Rod (spoiler alert!) to provide you with a sneak peek of the movie, as well as the locations where it was filmed.
Hot Rod is an American comedy film released on August 3, 2007. It was written by Pam Brady and directed by Akiva Schaffer in his directorial debut. It met with a shrug and received a disappointing result at the box office upon its release. But it eventually attained its well-deserved cult classic status years later.
The movie revolves around Rod and his desire to be a successful stunt performer. He misses his birth father, who died an unknown stuntman, and seeks respect from his abusive stepfather, Frank (Ian McShane). The latter treats him like a punching bag and only cares about his biological son, Kevin (Jorma Taccone).
Determined to beat Frank as a healthy man and earn his respect, Rod, with his brother Kevin and two pals, Rico (Danny McBride) and Dave (Bill Hader), hatches a plan to raise money for Frank’s heart bypass operation. He seeks to do one big jump, which is “the biggest jump the town has ever seen,” as he describes. He has to do the impossible and jump fifteen buses on his moped, even more than Evil Knievel’s!
Together with his quirky yet loyal friends and love interest, Denise, will Rod be able to do the impossible and pull off the biggest stunts ever? Who knows, he might actually break Evil Knievel’s record.
Hot Rod Locations
Over a decade and a half ago, the Hot Rod production traveled to Vancouver to shoot a movie that would help put Cloverdale on the map. Most of the critical Hot Rod action scenes were filmed in Cloverdale, and it became the star of the show. It’s such a beautiful and versatile location, so it’s not surprising to find filmmakers here now and then.
Sure, many popular TV series and movies have already taken film shoots in and around this charming town. But Hot Rod might’ve featured more of the neighborhood than any of those shows.
Some of the recognizable sites you’ll see in the movie include the town center, public, a swimming pool, a rodeo fairground, a supermarket, and even a convenience store parking lot. Also, the main house, where Rod’s family lived, was only a few blocks from downtown. That’s why it’s probably safe to say that this comedy movie has been a significant part of the area’s filming history.
A lot of filming is now going on in the town and the neighboring areas, including Burnaby. Many movie fans never miss a chance to drop by some of the Hot Rod locations, which still look the same as how they were shown in the film.
While Andy plays the character of a stuntman, the real stuntman who tried to jump over the mail truck actually injured himself and broke a leg while filming the opening scene.
The pool scene in Hot Rod
Greenaway Outdoor Pool, Surrey BC
One of the major stunts Rod performs at the beginning of the movie is at a swimming pool, where his crew builds a ramp for his routine. After clearing out the pool area, Rod rides to the hillside to prepare for the stunt. But before performing his trick, he utters a silent prayer, asking God not to let him embarrass himself in front of Denise (Isla Fisher). Then off he jumps.
Unluckily, his prayer is not answered, but the good news is that he is not injured. Nevertheless, he did embarrass himself in front of Denise and a bunch of swimmers. Instead of landing on the ramp, he falls into the water with his moped.
The Historic Greenaway Outdoor Pool in Greenaway Park provided a setting for the Parkdale Public Pool, where our protagonist performs his failed swimming pool stunt. It is open for public swims in the summer. It is also used for swimming lessons from certified instructors.
The public pool is accessible through public transportation. You can take buses 320 and 370, with stops that are within a short walk from the historic outdoor swimming pool.
The dancing scene in Hot Rod
Food Folks, Surrey, BC
After one of Rod’s training sessions in preparation for the ‘Big Jump,’ everyone decided to chill outside Food Folks for some refreshments. While Denise and Rod are chatting in front of the convenience store while having their drinks, the trio, Dave, Rico, and Kevin, are dancing to the Two of Hearts music. Rod is seemingly starting to talk about him and Denise when Kevin interrupts, asking about “the song about the grandma getting run over by a reindeer."
This comedic scene was filmed in front of Food Folks in Cloverdale, Surrey. The filmmakers didn’t change the store’s name or exterior, which is why you wouldn’t struggle to find it around the town.
You wouldn’t have trouble commuting here because there are several bus stops near the store. Take buses 320 and 342, as they will pass by Food Folks.
The Burger Joint scene in Hot Rod
Lost In the 50’S Drive-In, Burnaby, BC
The Burger Joint has been featured multiple times in the movie, including the opening scene when Rod plays the guess-the-jelly-bean game with Kevin and Rico. You’ll often find the gang snacking here, but one of the interesting conversations between Denise and Rod also happens in this diner.
Our main character, who obviously likes Denise, asks about her lawyer boyfriend, Jonathan. When she has nothing but good things to say about him, Rod nonchalantly blurts out, “You guys should break up,” jealous that a successful man takes his love interest. It’s also where Rod says his great memorable quote, “You have only to believe if you wish to achieve.”
Also known as Lost In The 50’s Drive-In, 50’s Burgers is located in the city of Burnaby, British Columbia, just about 16 minutes from Surrey. It is open year-round, from Mondays through Fridays. It takes pride in its nutritious and delicious patties to make the healthiest and most flavorful burgers. They bake fresh buns in-house, cut fresh fries, and hand press sirloin patties to serve only the best for their customers.
Make sure to stop by if you’re in the area and order the same food that Rod and his crew ate in the film. It’s definitely a Hot Rod film set you don’t want to miss, especially if you’re craving some mouthwatering burgers. It is easily accessible by bus; just take buses 106 and N19 with stops within a short distance from the burger bar.
The mail truck jump scene in Hot Rod, Surrey, BC
Who would forget Rod's mail truck jump in the opening sequence of the movie? It’s probably one of the first Hot Rod action scenes you’ve seen, whether you have watched the film or not if you watch the movie trailer. He is fully equipped with a helmet, his legendary cape with his name printed in red, and a fake mustache.
Before doing the stunt, he seems to be taking in the power of one of the world’s most powerful birds as he imagines the “soul of an eagle.” And if you think he is successful this time, think again! He doesn’t even reach the second ramp because his bike hits the mail truck before making the jump.
It is pretty painful to watch, especially if you know the behind-the-scenes of this shot. As you watch this scene, pay attention to the yellow house on the left with greens and a high tree. That house is Rod’s family home, which appears numerous times throughout the movie. A private home in a neighborhood in Surrey provided a perfect space that serves as the main character’s house.
So if you want to visit, be sure not to disturb any occupants. Also, don’t go there expecting to find a yellow house, or you’ll be disappointed. What you’ll discover is a white house that perfectly blends in with the neighborhood. Perhaps, it was only painted yellow for the movie to add some character to the home, which suits Rod’s quirky personality.
The Tai Chi training scene in Hot Rod
Buntzen Lake, BC
After some intense physical training sessions and stunt shows, Rod takes a different approach to training. He and Denise go to the lake so she can teach him some Tai Chi movements. This allows him to focus his body and mind so he can “perform at the peak of his abilities,” as Denise emphasizes.
The lake featured in this scene is the BC Hydro’s Buntzen Lake Reservoir. It’s a 4.8-kilometer long lake located north of Port Moody, approximately 30 kilometers from Vancouver, Canada. It’s undoubtedly a nature lover’s paradise surrounded by hiking, mountain biking, and nature trails. It features picnic tables, a large gazebo with four picnic tables, a covered picnic spot, restroom facilities, and more.
Thanks to its fantastic setting and convenient features, the lake was used as an ideal backdrop for the movie. It’s a wonderful place to relax, escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, and be close to nature. That’s why it’s not surprising to know that the lake is a popular destination among locals and visitors, especially on sunny weekends.
Remember that you need to secure a parking pass when driving to Buntzen Lake. You must book one prior to your visit since there’s no internet or cellular service in the area. Be sure to have a printed copy of the parking pass or save it on your mobile device so you can present it upon your arrival.
The shopping scene in Hot Rod
Cloverdale Supermarket, Surrey, BC
Upset upon learning the real cause of his father’s death, as told by his mother, Rod goes out and heads to the grocery store. When asked by his friend what he’s doing, he casually responds, “grocery shopping,” while pushing his cart filled with bottles of liquor. He felt betrayed and let down, even telling his friends he’s not a stuntman and never was, causing confusion among his friends and a rift in their friendship.
This emotional and dramatic scene at the grocery store took place in Cloverdale Supermarket, a grocery store in Surrey, BC. It was a vibrant shopping space where residents and visitors could buy fresh produce and local products until it permanently closed several years ago. It was a popular place for grocery and a go-to destination for shopping, offering an array of products.
Although you can no longer shop in this corner supermarket, there are shopping places around the area where you can buy gifts and souvenirs. Or you can stroll around the downtown streets and explore the area.
A fantastic cast and a great script aren’t the only things that make a great show or movie. You need to pick the perfect setting that brings life to your story, turn your vision to life, and highlights the characters’ personalities, just like the Hot Rod filming locations. The quiet town of Cloverdale in Surrey is no less than perfect for the story, as well as the other film sites used in the movie, from the stores and supermarkets to the homes and the lake.
If you’re on a filming tour, you don’t have to travel to faraway places because most of the Hot Rod locations are within minutes from each other. You can even walk from one spot to another or take a quick bus ride, and you’ll get a glimpse of what happened behind the scenes in making this cult comedy classic.