Saturday, 10 February 2018
The Freshman At Woodbine Centre
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 500 Rexdale Blvd.
Date: Nov 2014
In the movie The Freshman, Matthew Broderick plays Clark Kellog (like the cereal) a college student who ends up working for a local mobster. Marlon Brando plays almost the exact same role he played in The Godfather, but this time for comedic effect. The first job for Clark is to pick up a package from the airport. He brings his roommate (Frank Whaley) to help him out.
It turns out that the package is actually an endangered komodo dragon. The komodo dragon is the largest lizard in the world and is known for its strength and saliva. The dragon in the picture (bottom above) is from the Toronto Zoo. The other lizard above is a Malayan water monitor also from the Toronto Zoo. As everything in Hollywood is not as it seems, this is the lizard type that played the role of the komodo dragon. It is smaller and safer for actors and crew to handle, but according to interviews it was still a handful. Actually it took several monitors to play the role.
After securing the lizard in the car, it throws up and the smell is so bad that they decide to stop at a gas station to clean up. The filming location is a gas station at the corner of the Woodbine Centre parking lot in Toronto.
The mall is located across the street from Woodbine race track which is a popular location for its casino and horse races.
The lizard gets out of the car and runs from the gas station and into the parking lot. Clark and his roommate are in hot pursuit as they look for the lizard under the parked cars.
The lizard makes its way into the mall and causes a panic. The mall entrance is easily identifiable by its curved design with circles that still remains today.
The reptile gets itself into the elevator and goes up to the second level. By this point crowds are running around in a panic.
Clark and his roommate see the panicked people fleeing the mall and realize where their komodo has gone. Woodbine Centre has an amusement park inside it called Fantasy Fair. They enter the mall near the ferris wheel.
They also run right over the Woodbine Centre logo making it fairly obvious where these scenes were filmed.
The lizard meanwhile has taken a swim near the bumper boats as terrified parents grab their children. Clark and his roommate finally recapture the lizard right next to the "Big Chute" sign hanging from the train tracks. They manage to sneak it back out of the mall and continue with their delivery.
You can visit Woodbine Centre and Fantasy Fair and have a fun afternoon. While you are there remember that once upon a time Ferris Bueller ran around the mall with a monitor lizard pretending it was a komodo dragon.
Map of Our World
Woodbine Centre , Fantasy Fair
Post # 206