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Dirt (2001) Filming Locations
In Dirt, co-directors Michael Covert and Trace Fraim star as Junior and Scooter, two hapless brothers wrestling with the death of their mother and the realization that they can’t take care of themselves. When an attempt at hiring a hooker (Jennifer Tilly) to be their new mother fails, will kidnapping a woman turn out to be a better option?
Dirt is of that type of well-made, underappreciated independent film invariably described as “quirky,” and said to have “never gotten the attention that it deserved,” and both apply to this relatively unknown movie. According to IMDb data, it was first shown at the April 2001 Los Angeles Film Festival, earning a laudatory review from Variety. After a few other film festival showings, it finally made it to DVD in January 2006 as Dumber Than Dirt, and it’s since received positive reviews from viewers. The film plays on-screen much better than a plot synopsis might indicate, and it features some terrific performances, along with a surprisingly good soundtrack, so it’s certainly worth watching for fans of low-budget comedy films.
Dirt was filmed primarily in and around Alpine and Sanderson, Texas.
If you have any tips on locations that I missed, please contact me on the Grahm's Guide Facebook page.
SPOILER ALERT: The descriptions below include plot points of the film. If you haven't seen the movie, you can buy the DVD on Amazon.
The brothers contemplate their situation at the Jackrabbit Fats bar, but crass comments from a local named Bill (Jack Kehler) get Junior riled up and he delivers a beating on the street outside.
According to the DVD commentary, the Jackrabbit Fats bar closed shortly after filming, but the building is still at 210 W Murphy Street, Alpine, TX 79830.
Reference: I stumbled across this location while researching other films in the area.
Baeza’s Thriftway - Demolished
To find a substitute mother, the brothers kidnap a lovely blonde in a Thriftway parking lot. The kidnapped woman, DeDe (Tara Chocol), is a grocery clerk, and we later see her in a Baeza’s Thriftway apron.
The Baeza’s Thriftway once stood at N 5th St at E Lockhart Ave, Alpine, TX 79830, but the building was destroyed by fire in 2000, shortly after filming, according to the audio commentary.
Reference: I found information about the location, and the fire, on the website of Morrison True Value, which now has a garden center on the spot.
DeDe’s vindictive husband Vincent (Patrick Warburton) consults with his attorney (Luke Perry) in the hallway of the local courthouse. Later, Junior and Scooter spend time in the courtroom.
Courthouse scenes were filmed in the Presidio County Courthouse, 300 Highland St, Marfa, TX 79843.
Reference: I was already familiar with the interior of the building from previous visits. The Big Bend Sentinel featured an article about filming at the courthouse in December 1999.
As Junior and Scooter sit in their truck across the street from the Cantina, Scooter discusses his new squeeze, Margaret (Olivia Rosewood).
The Cantina was a real bar that once stood at 209 E Oak St, Sanderson, TX 79848, but it has since been demolished, and all that remains are the front steps and the sign pole.
Reference: The credits thank the "Cantina Bar,” and an Internet search turned up a blog post about the Cantina, including a photo that allowed me to triangulate the spot. I later found a Facebook post that mentions the demise of the bar.
Riggins Jewels - Gifts - Flowers
After discussing Margaret with Scooter, Junior is forced to realize his affection for DeDe, inspiring him to get out of the truck, walk into the jewelry store where they’re parked, and walk out of the store with alarms ringing behind him.
On-screen, the shop appears to be directly across from the Cantina, where the truck is parked, but it’s actually a block away at approximately 108 E Oak St, Sanderson, TX 79848.
Reference: I located this building in the Google StreetView by assuming that it had to be near the Cantina.
The couples participate in a wedding ceremony in the middle of a football field.
That football field is located on Mansfield Street at Wilson Street, Sanderson, TX 79848, where they play six-man football.
Reference: I located the field via Google Maps, based on assuming that it had to be the football field in Sanderson.
Be sure to spend some time in the Terrell County Heritage Garden, which is nestled between the Riggins Jewels filming location and the Terrell County Visitors Center at E Oak St at 2nd St, Sanderson, TX 79848.
The garden was dedicated on July 4, 2015 as a place of reflection and commemoration for a devastating 1965 flash flood that killed 26 people, injured many more, and destroyed multiple homes and businesses.