In the movie “Kalifornia,” Brad Pitt plays a young man named Early Grayre, and Juliette Lewis plays his young girlfriend, Adele Corners. They have been invited to join a second couple on a trip west to California. The trip is to be planned by Grayre’s friend, Brian Kessler.
Kessler, played by David Duchovny, is a journalist. He has set two goals for himself. He plans to write a book about serial killers. He also wants to move to California. He decides to visit the site of several serial killings while driving to California.
Kessler plans to make the trip with his girlfriend Carrie Laughlin (played by Michelle Forbes). They invite Kessler and Corners to join them for their long journey west. The writer thus prepares the movie viewer for some thrills. The viewer knows that the characters will be visiting the scene of more than one serial murder during the trip.
The clever writer has found a way to add to the suspense even before the most thrilling scenes take place. The writer has studied the names of the lead actors and actresses. Using that information, the writer has then studied a map of the United States. The writer has found four different towns with names that bring to mind the stage name for each of the four main characters in “Kalifornia.”
At one point during their trip west, the foursome stops at Lewiston Ranch in Juliet, Texas. That stop is obviously meant to have an association with Juliette Lewis. The viewer might want to imagine what it was like for Juliette Lewis to carry out the performance demanded of her in that location. Did she experience any real sense of terror? Did she feel like she might become a true crime victim while at that ranch?
The city leaders in Culver City, CA should be glad that “Kalifornia” was not made at Sony Studios in Culver City. If the money from “Kalifornia” had gone into the coffers of Culver City, the city leaders in Juliet, Texas would have reason to bear some resentment against the city leaders in Culver City.
The film “Kalifornia” might have caused a decrease in the number of new families coming to Juliet. One can be fairly certain that no family with the last name of Lewis moved to Juliet soon after the release of “Kalifornia.”
Suppose the movie “Kalifornia” had been made at Sony Studios. Then, perhaps, Culver City might have experienced a strange absence of families with the last name of Lewis. Such families might have felt uncomfortable living close to the studio where Lewiston Ranch had acquired its tie to murder.
In fact, the small municipality known as Culver City has found that too many families seek a closer association with the town name. Some families in a neighboring town want their children going to Culver City Schools. Another small adjoining neighborhood wants to become part of Culver City.