2.18 Hollywood Babylon

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Promotional image for Hollywood Babylon.
Title Hollywood Babylon
Episode # Season 2, Episode 18
First aired April 19, 2007
Directed by Philip Sgriccia
Written by Ben Edlund
On IMDB Hollywood Babylon
Outline Sam and Dean investigate the haunting of the set of a horror movie.
Monster Vengeful Spirits
Timeline 5-7 days in March, 2007
Location(s) Los Angeles, California
[[{{{prevep}}}|« Previous Episode]] | [[{{{nextep}}}|Next Episode »]]


On the set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, being directed by McG, a stage hand is killed and the star of the movie, Tara Benchley, reports seeing an apparition near the body.

Dean has convinced Sam to come to Los Angeles for a break after the death of Madison, but Sam wants to throw himself into work. Dean, a movie buff, becomes enthusiastic as he discovers the movie is a horror movie starring one of his favorite actresses, Tara.

It doesn’t take the boys long on the set to discover that the stage hand’s death was faked by the studio executives to promote interest in the movie. But then a studio executive, Brad Redding, dies in the middle of the set after encountering a ghost. Dean goes undercover, joining the crew as a P.A., a job he embraces. The boys discover that a young actress killed herself in the 1920s after being wooed and then dumped and fired by a studio executive. They find her buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where they burn and salt her bones.

After another producer, Jay Wiley, is killed, Sam notices that the Latin in the movie script is a real summoning ritual. They confront the writer, Martin Flagg, who admits that any authentic rituals in the script are all that remained from the original script by writer Walter Dixon.

Dixon lures Flagg onto the set to kill him, but Sam and Dean arrive in time to save him. Walter admits that he was conjuring real ghosts and forcing them to kill those he saw as responsible for ruining his script. Before they can stop him, Walter destroys the talisman he was using. This frees the spirits who, enraged at being used, turns on Walter and kills him.

The production of the movie continues, with Martin incorporating his experiences with the ghosts into the script. Sam finds Dean emerging disheveled and with a post-coital glow from Tara’s trailer. Sam and Dean walk off into the sunset together - until it is wheeled away and revealed as just another Hollywood prop.




  • "I've Got the World on a String" by Frank Sinatra
(plays when Dean and Sam go to Gerard St. James' apartment)
  • "Green Peppers" by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
(plays at the end, when they ride into the sunset)


Sam: Does this feel like swimming weather to you? It's practically Canadian.
Brad: See, but if the ghosts are in hell, how do they hear the chanting?
Brad: Uh, excuse me, green-shirt guy? Yeah, yeah, you, come here. Could you get me a smoothie from craft?
Dean: You want a what from who?
Dean: What's a P.A.?
Sam: I think they're like slaves.
Tara: Salt. Doesn't that sound silly? I mean why would a ghost be afraid of salt?

McG: Marty, what do you think?
Marty: I'm not married to salt. Are we still sticking with condiments?
McG: Mmm, it just sounds different, not better. What else would a ghost be scared of?
Marty: Maybe shotguns.

McG: That makes even less sense than salt.
Sam: How’s it going in here?

Dean: (exicted) It’s going really good, man. Tara has really stepped up her performance. I think it’s probably from all the sense memory stuff she’s drawing on.
Sam: Sense memory?
Dean: Yeah.

Sam: Dean, you know when I ask how it’s going here I’m talking about the case, right? We don’t really work here.
Sam: You know, maybe the spirits are trying to shut down the movie because they think it sucks. Because, I mean, it kinda does.
Dean: We're digging tonight, aren't we?
Dean: Hey, we gotta go check out Johnny Ramone's grave when we're done here.

Sam: You want to dig him up too?

Dean: Bite your tongue heathen!
Walter: You know, the history, the lore in my draft was completely accurate. We could've got it right for the first time in this whorehouse of a town. But you tore it to shreds. You replaced it with cleavage and fart jokes. It was real.
Sam: You find out there is an afterlife and this is what you do with it?
Martin: I needed a little jazz on the page.

Trivia & References

The episode title is taken from a book by Kenneth Anger about Hollywood scandals from the 1920s to the 1950s. See The Meaning of Episode Titles.
The concept sketches for the CG monster the director shows Tara are reminiscent of the Marvel Comic character Ghost Rider who also has a flaming skull, but instead sports a fiery whip instead of a chainsaw.
Location is the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Los Angeles. The cemetery is Hollywood Forever on Santa Monica Boulevard. However it was actually filmed in Vancouver, BC.
McG is the producer of Supernatural, The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, The OC and Charlie's Angels and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. The real McG can be seen standing behind Sam and Dean in the scene where the crew is listening to faux McG.
Martin Flagg and Walter are both references to the character ultimately known as Maerlyn in the Dark Tower (or Gunslinger) series written by Stephen King. Walter is a master of magic and conjuration.
Tara's last name, Benchley, may be a reference to author Peter Benchley, who wrote Jaws.
The set of Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning may look familiar. The water tower is from 2.08 Crossroad Blues and the cabin is from 2.16 Roadkill. The deer's head on the wall has appeared in the boys' motel room in 1.14 Nightmare, John's room in 1.21 Salvation, and Steve Wandell's home in 2.14 Born Under a Bad Sign.
Before they start the shot with the actors in the cabin, the sound clapperboard says Roll 6, Scene 6, Take 6. The number 666 is a reference to the devil and considered to be a "bad" number. Has been used in countless horror novels and movies, including [Supernatural]. See 1.13 Route 666.
Marty: Dude, right on, that’s my thing. Color me guilty, but that is me. I’m a total detail buff.

Sam: No, I can tell. I mean, the way you worked in all those Enochian summoning rituals and all the authentic language.

Enochian is an angelic language.
Kripke, who has said that the show and he himself are able to laugh about themselves, throws in a little side blow at a past project of his. When Dean goes to talk to Tara, he says he loved her in Boogeyman and she says it had a terrible script. Boogeyman was written by Eric Kripke and he admitted at the 2006 Paley Festival that the movie wasn't very good because it missed substance and soul, unlike Supernatural, which has it all, thanks to Bob Singer.
Brad is complaining about why the movie is so dark and that it should be lighter and not "so depressing". At Comic Con Kripke said that all of Brad's complaints and advice about the movie were taken from similar things he'd been told by Network Executives about Supernatural.
In the beginning the boys are on a tour of the Warner Brothers lot. The tour guide says that they are passing the place where Gilmore Girls is filmed, and if they're lucky they might get to see one of the stars. Jared Padalecki had a recurring role on Gilmore Girls, as Dean Forester. At this point, Sam looks uncomfortable and quickly leaves the tour bus.
In the faux trailer for Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning, writer Martin Flagg is also credited as the writer of Cornfield Massacre and Monster Truck, which are illustrated with images from Supernatural episodes 1.11 Scarecrow and 1.13 Route 666. There's also a shot of the hook from 1.07 Hookman, of Claire's desiccated hands from 2.07 The Usual Suspects, Gordon and his bloody knife from 2.03 Bloodlust and the inside of Angela's coffin from 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things.
Dean: Yeah, for a vacation. I mean swimming pools and movie stars, not to work.
"Swimming pools and movie stars" is a line from the theme song of the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies.
Dean: Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs...
This is a line by John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Die Hard.
The dinner theater and pepper steak coupon mentioned when Dean and Sam were talking to Gerard St. James is a likely shout out to The Simpsons episode, "Mayored to the Mob", in which Mark Hamill stars in a local theater production of Guys and Dolls and the dinner special is the pepper steak.
Gerard St. James, the actor who played "dead" crew member Frank, tells Sam and Dean that he was brought in by the producers to stir up publicity and that he's being heralded as "the new lonely girl." This is in reference to the YouTube video blogger lonelygirl15, actually portrayed by an actress hoping to score a movie deal through the exposure.
R Nelson Brown who plays Frank/Gerard St. James previously appeared in the 2005 film Devour as a tattooist alongside Jensen Ackles.
Movies and TV shows referred to in this episode:
  1. Ghost Rider - The sketches shown to Tara are from Ghost Rider.
  2. Creepshow
  3. Gilmore Girls - the movie tour passes through the Star Hollows set. Jared Padalecki starred as Dean Forester in 65 episodes.
  4. Lois and Clark - forerunner to Smallville, also a previous credit of SPN producer & director Robert Singer.
  5. Poltergeist
  6. Feardotcom
  7. Ghost Ship
  8. Boogeyman - written by a Eric Kripke
  9. Metal Storm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn
  10. Critters 3
  11. Three Men and a Baby
  12. Lord of the Dead - Tag line: Who knew the Lord of the Dead had a son who wanted no part of the family business?
  13. The Evil Dead trilogy
Dean: Hey, we gotta go check out Johnny Ramone's grave when we're done here.

Sam: You want to dig him up too?
Dean: Bite your tongue heathen!

Johnny Ramone was the guitarist for the pioneering punk rock band The Ramones. He died in 2004 and was cremated, but a bronze statue of him was erected at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2005. His former bandmate Dee Dee Ramone is buried there.
During the course of the episode, Dean refers to several movies alleged to be haunted or cursed: Poltergeist and Three Men and a Baby.
Sam's line "Does this feel like swimming weather to you? It's practically Canadian" may be a reference to the fact that while the scene occurs in California, the filming of the episode really took place in Canada.
Gerard: I'm playing Willy in a dinner theater production of Salesman in Costa Mesa all next month.
A reference to the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman and its lead character Willy Loman.
In Martin’s office there is also a poster for Carnivore Carnival which has an image from 2.02 Everybody Loves a Clown.


The original screenplay by Walter Dixon appears to be titled Lord of the Dead, and features a sketch of a grave and tombstone on its cover.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts