The Chase Locations
Despite being set in Los Angeles, the entire movie was actually shot in and around Houston, Texas. Director Adam Rifkin explained that closing down whole sections of LA highways would not have been feasible and would’ve been way too expensive for the film’s budget, so they opted for a less busy, cheaper section of road.
Interestingly enough, they barely closed any roads and even had Charlie Sheen and Henry Rollins do all their own driving stunts during Houston’s rush hour. It was a bold move and one that paid off in spades as the chase looks super authentic. Props to The Chase production team for pulling that off!
The production opted for a couple of different Houston highways to try and give variety, but a couple of eagle-eyed Houstonians on Reddit noticed Jack and Natalie passing the same oval shaped building again and again throughout the film, proving that they were making laps around the ring road that encompasses Houston. Obviously easier for filming, but not super convincing if you’re trying to get further and further away, down towards Mexico.
So, where was The Chase actually filmed and can you visit these iconic locations? Jump in your car and get yourself ready for a road trip - just don’t kidnap anyone any time soon.
Jack takes Natalie hostage scene in The Chase
In one of the opening scenes of the film, we see Jack make the impulsive decision to kidnap and take Natalie hostage in a convenience store. When the police officers arrive, they are of course carrying guns, pointing them at Jack. When he grabs Natalie he instructs them to put their guns on the ground and kick them over to him.
The kick goes awry to which Jack says, “I said kick them over to me, Pele”. Safe to say these cops didn’t play soccer at school.
The filming location for this particular Chase scene can be found in the city of Kemah, Texas. Located on Galveston Bay, it’s a popular tourist spot known for its great fishing and beaches. It’s also where the final scene of the movie was shot, so if you want to visit for a day or longer, you can hit up a few Chase filming locations in one go.
You’ll probably need to drive to Kemah, but there are plenty of parking lots, especially around the boardwalk area.
Fleeing the convenience store scene in The Chase
Sam Houston Tollway
After fleeing the convenience store with Natalie, Jack hits the freeway with a whole gaggle of police cars in tow. Honestly, he doesn’t have a plan at this point - kidnapping was definitely not a part of his prison break planning process, so we see Jack starting to wig out and spiral a bit.
During his rant he says, “I go in for some cigarettes and I wind up kidnapping the daughter of Dalton Voss, what are the odds?” Some people just have no luck whatsoever.
A lot of the action and car chases happen along three key Houston highways. This section of the film has been identified as Beltway 8, otherwise known as the Sam Houston Tollway. This ring road wraps around Houston in a loop and has some specific buildings along the edge, which locals on Reddit have identified.
As it’s a highway, the best way to visit is to drive it yourself. Grab a friend - with consent of course - and hit the road.
A truck tries to slam Jack and Natalie scene in The Chase
Hardy Toll Road
After the news channels get a hold of the story, it spreads like wildfire. There are choppers in the sky circling the car, there are ride-alongs being organized, and people are placing banners across freeway bridges offering support for Natalie. It’s mad.
What’s even crazier is that a pair of guys in a monster truck (played by Flea and Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers) take it upon themselves to put a stop to Jack’s reign of terror.
Dale, played by Flea, shouts “Time to be heroes!”
They decide to try and slam into them, but Jack swerves and the monster truck ends up rolling, getting hit by a semi-truck and explodes, but not before the pair get out and are interviewed by police and the media.
This particular scene, and the majority of the car chase scenes, was filmed along the Hardy Toll Road which is located north of Houston and leads into the Sam Houston Tollway. Again, to visit, you’re going to have to drive it yourself and live The Chase fantasy.
The cadaver scene in The Chase
Highway 290 between Austin and Houston
As the chase intensifies, the eyes in the skies continue to give live coverage of the story to the masses. Leading the charge is traffic reporter Byron Wilder (Rocky Carroll), in his traffic helicopter, tailing the red BMW that Jack and Natalie are in.
During the chase, there’s a lot of swerving and evading going on. Jack is fleeing just about everyone and the police, the public and the reporters are all trying to keep up without crashing into any civilians.
One such driver on the road is a medical school van, filled with some precious cargo that starts to spill out due to all the swerving.
Byron exclaims, “Holy mackerel, that medical school truck is spilling out cadavers all along the freeway!” Not what you want to see under any circumstances, but especially in the middle of a high speed pursuit!
The final stretch of road that The Chase production team utilized for the titular chase is Highway 290, connecting Houston with the Texas state capitol, Austin. If you’re wanting to enjoy a dual-stop vacation while also checking out The Chase filming locations, this is a great way to tick both boxes.
Austin and Houston are both great cities with their own distinct vibe. Of course, to visit Highway 290, you’ll need to drive down it - why not visit some awesome cities along the way?
Dalton Voss comes to the station scene in The Chase
Houston Police Headquarters
When a millionaire’s daughter gets kidnapped, you know it’s going to be a big story with all eyes on the police department. So the pressure is well and truly on the cops to find Jack and bring him to justice quickly and safely. This pressure intensifies when car titan Dalton Voss, Natalie’s father, arrives at the station.
When the Chief of Police (Wayne Grace) informs him that they believe Natalie is perfectly safe, Dalton replies: “Perfectly safe? If she was perfectly safe she’d be locked up at home where she belongs!” Not exactly parent of the year right here.
Located in central Houston, all the police department scenes were actually filmed in the real-life operating Houston Police Headquarters which is at 61 Reisner Street. Why create a set or use a studio if you can get access to the real thing, right?
You can access the Houston Police Headquarters really easily as it’s just around the corner from the Houston Amtrak station. With it being a functioning police building, you can just wander in as a film fan and take photos, but if you’re in need of help, or want to stand outside this Chase filming location, you certainly can.
Natalie vomits on the cop car scene in The Chase
It’s safe to say that when you’re the passenger in a car chase, it’s not always smooth sailing, and the driving can get bumpy and questionable.
While trying to evade Officer Dobbs (Henry Rollins) and Officer Figus (Josh Mostel) and the camera crew that is riding along in their back seat, Jack decides to take to the streets of LA, driving erratically, twisting and turning. Suddenly Natalie’s stomach doesn’t feel so well.
Luckily for Natalie and Jack, she manages to throw up out of the car window. Unluckily for the cops and camera crew behind them, what she does throw up hits their windshield, coating it, leaving them driving blind.
Jack: “Oh she’s puking”
Officer Figus: “Oh god, gross!”
This particular Chase scene is one of the few that takes place on city roads rather than on Highways. Eagle-eyed viewers and Houston locals will recognize the elaborate water fountain that can be seen out of the car window during this scene.
The Mecom Fountain can be found at Main Street & Montrose Boulevard in Houston. On the border of the Museum District, the fountain itself is a major Houston tourist attraction. As such, there are plenty of buses that stop in this area.
If you’re looking for a weekend away in Houston to check off the majority of these Chase filming locations, make time to wander around this popular area of Houston - it’s right in between the Museum of Fine Arts and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
If you’re a fan of car chases, haphazard cops, or films that generally poke fun at the media, then you’re going to love The Chase.
With excellent comic timing from Charlie Sheen and some standout one liners, it’s a fun couple of hours for any adult. Maybe you’ll find yourself wanting to jump in the car and flee to Mexico yourself - but don’t go committing any crimes beforehand, it’s not a prerequisite!
As all the filming locations are in Houston or a day trip’s distance away, you can easily hit up all these locations during a weekend getaway. So, grab your car keys, and let’s go!