Angelino Heights Wants New ‘Fast and Furious’ Out of the Neighborhood

It’s not just the noise and annoyance from the car fetish franchise residents reject, but the reckless motorhead tourists that come with it
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Not so fast but plenty furious, residents of historic Angelino Heights are protesting the return of a Hollywood scourge they feel has threatened their streets for 20 years: the ‘roids-and-rubber street-race franchise Fast and Furious, whose tenth installment Universal plans to begin shooting in the neighborhood on Friday, in the face of local threats to shut it down.

“If this film shoot is allowed to go forward in Angelino Heights, or any part of it from F10 Productions (Universal),” an email from a resident to the City Council obtained by Variety states, “we will stage a huge protest and will invite many reporters and news cameras to film us protesting this film shoot all day and night.”

The note continues, “We will hold this protest to honor the 178 people who have been killed by street racers in Los Angeles, and to shame Universal for their callous disregard for this deadly epidemic of street racing their films started and continue to promote.”

Since the first Fast and Furious debuted in 2001, fans have made pilgrimages to its settings, driving up to gawk at Bob’s Market (which doubles as Vin Diesel’s character’s family business, Toretto’s Market & Café) and other film landmarks in a neighborhood rich in preserved Art Deco and Victorian monuments. Many stick around to emulate the film’s engine-revving, rubber-burning outlaws: doing donuts, drag racing, and staging street takeovers.

If the threatened disruption of the filming occurs, it would in a sense invert the L.A. phenomenon of street takeovers, which have grown increasingly dangerous over the summer, causing municipal damage, looting and some deaths, along with countless Instagram stories. Widespread fatigue with such mob actions—which the Los Angeles Police Department reports as increasing by 27 percent last year, plus a 21 percent jump in traffic deaths nationwide—all add momentum to the pushback from neighborhood residents, whose complaint with Fast and Furious is less about disruptions on shooting days but the effect the films have on real-life attitudes and behavior.

“There’s kids in the neighborhood right on that corner,” one local told Variety, referring to streets adjoining Bob’s Market, where street racers revel in unmuffled motors, screeching wheels, and burning tires throughout the night. Another asked a driver to stop his deafening midday performance and had a gun pointed at them.

“The fact that these people can find the actual spot and then just go torment the people living there is irresponsible,” this resident said.

Through organized by Angelino Heights residents, the protest has the support of the advocacy groups Street Racing Kills and Streets Are for Everyone. Lili Trujillo Puckett, founder of the former, points to recent street racing deaths, including a freeway crash, as evidence that Fast productions—the tenth one is cleverly titled Fast X—shouldn’t return to L.A.’s streets just yet.

“I feel like they should have waited maybe another year, especially with the problem being as big as it is right now,” Puckett says.

Damien Kevitt, founder of Streets Are for Everyone, worries that a Fast and Furious installment rumored to be “returning to its roots” will translate into mayhem on the streets.

“What’s happening in Angelino Heights is a result of an industry that doesn’t care about its potential consequences,” Kevitt told Variety. “That needs to change and Universal needs to step up and take responsibility for the consequences and billions of money that they’ve made off of this.”

As of now, the film’’s F10 Productions still plans to shoot this Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. in front of “the Toretto house” on Kensington Road, with FilmLA having notified residents to expect “simulated emergency services activity, aerial photography, wetting down of street and atmospheric smoke.”

While the disruption, noise, and ongoing danger please no one in the area, some residents recognize the Faustian bargain that Hollywood often offers locals.

“I don’t want filming to cease, I mean, it’s one of the most important economic things we have in Los Angeles,” Planaria Price, a longtime area homeowner, told the trade. She also said that she’d used stipends and annoyance fees paid by Universal to restore properties in the area.

Even those threatened by fans recognize the limits of a film company’s responsibility.

“Of course [Universal] didn’t know when they made the movie that it would be such a cultural phenomenon,” said one resident. Though he’d still prefer it if its fans stopped pointing guns at him in the future.


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