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Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: ‘American Psycho’!

This weekend we posted the brand new edition of Sean Clark’s Horror’s Hallowed Grounds, where Sean heads to check out the filming locations of Mary Harron’s classic American Psycho! If you click here you can check out pictures from the infamous 2000 film, alongside the locations as they stand now in New York! You’ll find links to all of Clark’s previously articles by clicking here. Read on for American Psycho!

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis’ book American Psycho has a long history trying to be adapted from the page to screen. At one point Johnny Depp was attached to play Patrick Bateman with Stuart Gordon directing. Then Brad Pitt was attached to play Bateman with David Cronenberg directing. Then Mary Harron was hired to direct. First the part of Bateman was offered to Edward Norton who turned it down. She then offered the role to Christian Bale who accepted. Lions Gate then announced that Leonardo DiCaprio would be playing the role of Patrick Bateman and Harron resigned in protest. Oliver Stone signed on as director with DiCaprio as Bateman, James Woods in the role of Donald Kimball and Cameron Diaz as Evelyn Williams.

DiCaprio passed after pressure about possibly ruining his teen star status after the mega hit Titanic. Re-enter Mary Harron and her choice for the part of Patrick Bateman, Christian Bale.

The film was shot in 1999 for a budget of 7 million dollars. The film is supposed to take place in New York City in 1987 but was for the most part filming in downtown Toronto Canada.

Our first location is Patrick Bateman’s apartment located on the 11th floor of the fictitious American Gardens Building on West 81st Street in Manhattan.

The immaculate cold white apartment with the stainless steal kitchen was a set built in Toronto Canada. The same goes for Paul Allen’s apartment.

The locations in this film are mostly bars and restaurants, so lets start there.
When Patrick fails to score a reservation at the legendary Dorsia, (the fictitious location we actually never see in the film) he takes his doped-up date to Barcadia instead.

Barcadia is actually the Pacific Rim restaurant Monsoon located at 100 Simcoe Street in downtown Toronto. Sadly the day I visited this location there was a notice of eviction posted on the door stating it had closed down just two days before.

Later, Bateman picks up a model at a hip dance club which is actually the Phoenix Concert Theatre located at 410 Sherbourne Street in Toronto. Upstairs at the Phoenix is the balcony lounge where Bateman and friends talk to the models.

Texarkana the Mexican style restaurant where Bateman meets Paul Allen for diner is actually Montana located at 145 John Street in downtown Toronto.

The restaurant in which Patrick dumps his fiancée, played by Reese Witherspoon at the time of filming was called Shark City until it closed down in 2004. Shark City was located at 117 Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto.

Later, Mr. Bateman takes a not-quite-casual lunch with detective Donald Kimball played by Willem Dafoe. Kimball has some further questions about Bateman’s whereabouts on the night of Paul Allen’s disappearance. They dine at the French restaurant the Savoy located at 253 Victoria Street in downtown Toronto. When I visited this location it was closed for remodeling.

Bateman and the boys lounge around drinking expensive cognac having a good ol’ time until Luis Carruthers played by Matt Ross breaks up the fun by presenting them with his brand new near perfect business card. This was filmed at Le Méridien King Edward Hotel’s Consort Bar located at 37 King Street West in downtown Toronto.

There are a few scenes shot in New York besides some of the basic stock coverage you see in the film from time to time. The corner where Bateman picks up the prostitute he calls Christy was shot in New York’s Meat Packing District.

Another important iconic New York shot is one of Bateman crossing the street in front of the Twin Towers in Manhattan.

After Bateman shoots the woman for disagreeing with his trying to feed the ATM machine a kitten he is first running through the streets on New York City near the Rector Street Station located at the corner of Rector Street and Trinity Place in lower Manhattan.

He then runs around the corner and is in downtown Toronto. This is where the police shoot out took place on Pearl Street between Simcoe and Duncan just around the corner from the previously mentioned Monsoon.

Next Batman heads into to what he thinks is his office building. Once he enters he realizes that he has run into an almost identical building next door to his. This upsets him so he shoots the front desk security guard.

The buildings in reality are the Toronto-Dominion Centre located in the heart of the Central Business District of Toronto, at the southwest corner of King and Bay Streets. The area occupies an entire city block, from King to Bay to Wellington to York Streets, as well as a section to the south of King Street between Wellington and Piper Streets (between Bay and York Streets). Another unique thing about this location is that its architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe also built the nearly-identical Seagram Building in Manhattan which makes this Toronto location the perfect stand-in for New York City.

These two buildings are by far my favorite locations from the film because they rare exactly as they appear in the film both physically and geographically. Once he shoots the janitor he exits the first building and runs across the courtyard into the correct building.

Bateman heads up the elevator and to his office that we see several times in the film. The office was a set built in a studio in Toronto.

Lastly we end where the film ends, Harry’s Bar. This is where Patrick confesses to his lawyer. In reality this upper crust bar is called Biff’s located at 4 Front Street East in downtown Toronto. Sadly it was closed when I got there but as you can see from the pictures below the front door is right behind Bateman with it’s very recognizable window above it.

Well I hope you enjoyed this look inside the decadent world of Patrick Bateman. I’m off to return some videotapes. – Sean Clark

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