The comedy that launched a million “Vote for Pedro” t-shirts, “Napoleon Dynamite” was certainly a strange movie to become a massive cult hit phenomenon in 2004. After all, Jared Hess’ low-budget feature film directorial debut starred an unknown actor, Jon Heder, as the title character, an awkward, listless teen in a small town seemingly stuck in the ’80s. Much of the film’s humor came from the lameness of the character’s surroundings juxtaposed with absurd, highly memorable dialogue (“Do the chickens come with large talons?”).
“Dynamite” was in fact so polarizing, with its arch jokes and vintage whitebread aesthetic, that movie recommendation algorithm builders circa 2008 couldn’t determine whether or not a person would like it, even with hard data about personal preferences (via The New York Times). But the comedy’s mix of mockery and genuine adoration of the characters won many people over, and according to Box Office Mojo, the film eventually grossed over $46 million worldwide — many, many times over the very small budget of $400,000.
Why exactly is the film’s locale so memorable, though, and where was it filmed? This is everything we know about where “Napoleon Dynamite” was made.