Four Valley venues are featured in the new locally made film Teenage Badass.
For some Phoenicians, watching the new comedy movie Teenage Badass might feel like running into a long-lost drinking buddy at a familiar haunt. Set in 2006 and shot around the Valley, the film follows a local rock band’s adventures as they try to land a spot on a local TV show and struggle with their egocentric frontman.
The movie was produced by local real estate entrepreneur and musician Chuckie Duff, who capitalized on his connections to cool locations. Here are four metro Phoenix settings that make the scenes in Teenage Badass.
Flying Blanket Recording
All the music in the movie was recorded at producer/engineer/musician Bob Hoag’s Flying Blanket Recording facility in Mesa. Hoag also did the movie score and served as production consultant, making sure all the gear on set was authentic to the period.
Gracie’s Tax Bar
Director and co-writer Grant McCord calls himself “a Gracie’s rat,” and has spent countless hours in the Central Phoenix tax office turned neighborhood bar. “We had an office right next door, so I wrote multiple times at Gracie’s,” McCord says. “I just get good vibes from the energy there.”
The Rebel Lounge
McCord grew up going to shows at this club near 23rd Street and Indian School Road when it was called The Mason Jar. The legendary venue hosted numerous next big things before their national breakouts, including Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses. So, he thought the site would be a perfect setting for the band’s first show in Teenage Badass.
The Van Buren
The band’s climactic performance scene was shot at this Downtown Phoenix venue in front of a built-in audience – paid ticket holders who came to see The Maine, real-life Tempe rockers who allowed McCord to film a song at the beginning of their show.
Now Showing… at Last
Teenage Badass was slated to debut at the South by Southwest festival in Texas this past March, but the pandemic postponed the premiere until September 18, when Freestyle Digital Media released it nationwide through video on demand at freestyledigitalmedia.tv.