Val Verde (fictional country)


Val Verde (fictional country)

Val Verde is a fictional country used by Hollywood filmmakers when they require a South/Central American country without getting into legal or diplomatic disputes. In general it is a Spanish-speaking country resembling Cuba or Nicaragua.

Appearances

It has appeared in a number of films and television programs:

*"Commando" (1985), Arius (Dan Hedaya) is the former ruler of Val Verde and sends John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to kill the current president but he escapes en route. [ [http://www.fast-rewind.com/commando.htm Commando (fast-rewind.com)] ]
*"Predator" (1987), the majority of the film takes place inside Val Verder, after a Guatemalan helicopter crashes across the border, and a retrieval team is sent to retrieve the passengers.
*"Supercarrier" (1988) the "USS Georgetown" commanded by Capt. Henry K. 'Hank' Madigan (Dale Dye) docks in Val Verde just as civil war breaks out.
*"Die Hard 2" (1990), General Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) is from Val Verde.
*"Adventure Inc." (2003), Episode 10 of Season 1 was titled "Plague Ship of Val Verde". [imdb episode|0505574|Plague Ship of Val Verde]

Shared personnel link all appearances. "Commando", "Die Hard 2" and "Adventure Inc." were written by Steven E. de Souza, "Commando" and "Predator" star Schwarzenegger, and all three films were produced by Joel Silver; de Souza produced the ABC TV series "Supercarrier".

Steven de Souza has also set the Devil's Due comic book "Sheena" in Val Verde and described his reason for using it: [ [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=12268 Return of the Queen: de Souza Talks "Sheena"] , Comic Book Resources, January 7, 2008]

"It's something like Guyana, a country which encompasses lush Caribbean resorts popular with tourists, an unexplored mysterious rainforest, and a mix of Anglo, Spanish, African, Creole and indigenous cultures. This is a country of the imagination I've used in several films and TV programs, which I thought was my little inside baseball joke, but Eric Lichtenfield, the author of 'Actions Speak Louder,' recently sent me a Wikipedia page on it! Seriously, my Dad's family is from that part of the world and it's something I can write about with some familiarity."

Portrayal

Val Verde has principally been used as a plot device or location in place of real Latin American countries in action and adventure movies, as a particular result of America's rocky relations with many nations in the region during the 1980s.

When glimpsed in "Commando", it appears to be a poor nation, where subsistence agriculture (ie. livestock) is side-by-side with military propaganda and constant military presence. Inhabitants appear poor but happy, and there is evidence of a trade embargo reminiscent of that placed on Cuba in the presence of battered but functional vintage 1950s cars.

Politics

In "Commando", Val Verde is presided over by President Velázquez, an apparently capitalist leader installed by an American-backed revolution assisted by Colonel John Matrix and Captain Bennett, during which the nefarious General Arius was deposed. Arius intends to force Matrix to help him reinstate his dictatorship, but is thwarted.

In "Die Hard 2", General Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) is a General in exile, awaiting trial in the United States. He is aided by former special forces members to escape from his prison plane. Esperanza is wanted by the U.S. government for drug trafficking, but the leader of the rogue special forces, Colonel Stuart, wishes to free Esperanza because he "stands up to communist aggression."

In "Predator", apart from the presence of jungle guerillas, there is no reference to the country's political state. The presence of Soviet military advisors at the guerrilla camp would seem to indicate an alignment towards the Second World.

In "Supercarrier" a US Navy carrier is present in Val Verde when civil war breaks out and is forced to step in; this violation of Pentagon protocol, though entirely fictional, precipitated the withdrawal of Navy participation from the series.

Locations

As well as studio shots, other locations have been used to portray Val Verde on film:

*Long Beach Airport was used for the main airport in "Commando"
*San Pedro, California was used for the port of Val Verde on "Supercarrier", while Valencia, California stood in for the countryside.
*San Simeon, California stood in for the beaches in "Commando"
*Puerto Vallarta had previous appeared in "The Night of the Iguana" and was used as the principal filming location for "Predator", despite the objections of John McTiernan and Donald McAlpine. The early beach shots were taken at Puerto Vallarta and jungle scenes were shot slightly further inland. When more money was released by Fox, McTiernan was able to shoot in his preferred location around Palenque (including the Misol-Ha waterfall) and about half of the final film came from this round of shooting.

Notes

References

*"Beautiful Monsters: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Alien and Predator Films" (footnote 34, page 148, by David A. McIntee, Telos, 272 pages, 2005, ISBN 1903889944)

ee also

*List of fictional countries
*Banana republic


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Val Verde — may mean: *Val Verde, California *Val Verde, Texas *Val Verde Park, Texas *Val Verde County, Texas *Battle of Valverde or Val Verde, an American Civil War battle *Val Verde (fictional country), Spanish speaking country resembling Panama that… …   Wikipedia

  • Fictional American countries — This is a list of fictional countries supposedly located in North, Central, or South America.North America*Aztlan: country formed out of the American states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico after a nuclear war in the novel Warday . *Bible Belt:… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fictional countries — is a list of fictional countries from published works of fiction (books, films, television series, etc.). Fictional works describe all the countries in the following list as located somewhere on the surface of the Earth as we know it mdash; as… …   Wikipedia

  • Крепкий орешек (фильм — Крепкий орешек (фильм, 1988) У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Крепкий орешек (фильм). Крепкий орешек Die Hard …   Википедия

  • Commando (film) — Commando Theatrical release poster Directed by Mark L. Lester Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Covina — City of Covina   City   Seal Motto: One Square Mile and Al …   Wikipedia

  • Die Hard 2 — Theatrical release poster Directed by Renny Harlin Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Malibu, California — Malibu Beach redirects here. For the beach in Boston, Massachusetts, see Savin Hill. Malibu Aerial view of Downtown Malibu and surrounding neighorhoods …   Wikipedia

  • Torrance, California — City of Torrance   City   View of Torrance Beach with neighboring Palos Verdes in the background …   Wikipedia

  • Langtry, Texas — This article refers to Langtry, Texas. For other uses, see Langtry (disambiguation). Infobox Settlement official name = Langtry, Texas settlement type = nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = Main Street in Langtry image mapsize = 250px… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.