The New York Daily News is steamed today about Hollywood's repeated destruction of our city in film. We're not altogether sure what they're so upset over, since we think movies like I Am Legend and Cloverfield provide a nice reality check on Gotham–glorifying entertainment like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. (Take heed, prospective Manhattanites: It's not all promiscuous sex and debutante balls for us New Yorkers — sometimes we have zombie plagues and deadly monster attacks.) Still, the Daily News is asking filmmakers to consider trashing another city for once, and that we can definitely get behind. After the jump, our list of the ten American cities we'd most like to see reduced to an on-screen crater.
10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
As the United States' first capital and the birthplace of the American Revolution, the City That Loves You Back has a rich history and lots of landmarks that would look great in the middle of explosions. Plus, they kind of deserve it for putting a statue of Sylvester Stallone outside of their art museum.
9. Baltimore, Maryland
Actually, we bet this has been filmed already, as the complete destruction of Baltimore — whether by gang warfare, urban blight, or a tidal wave sweeping in from the harbor — seems the logical end point of The Wire's grim worldview.
8. Las Vegas, Nevada
For filmmakers with visual pizzazz, Las Vegas offers a dizzying array of neon signs, flashing lights, landmark hotels, and dramatic interiors. For filmmakers without visual pizzazz, Las Vegas offers scores of leggy showgirls ready to be crushed and/or eaten.
7. Orlando, Florida
As home to Disney World, the United States' single most annoying vacation spot, this cultureless mecca would supply any interested monster with the maximum amount of obnoxious picture-snapping, kneesock-wearing tourists to decapitate. Also, the small size of Epcot Center's World Showcase would allow miniature versions of all the world's landmarks to be destroyed in one awesome extended tracking shot.
6. Chicago, Illinois
The Second City is perfectly situated for cinematic destruction: In Lake Michigan, it's got a nearby body of water from which a monster can rise, draped in slime; in the Sears Tower, it's got a famous, photogenic skyscraper a comet from space could gloriously slice right through. Isn't it time for Hollywood to crush some of those so-called broad shoulders? And best of all, if Chicago is destroyed, every single one of those bastard Chicago Bears would meet his doom.
5. Santa Barbara, California
Unlike the nine other cities on this list, beautiful, bucolic Santa Barbara is not objectionable in any way — we'd simply enjoy seeing it annihilated for aesthetic purposes.
4. Williamsburg, Virginia
God, watching a thousand Colonial–era reenactors and 10,000 sunburned tourists crammed into Godzilla's gaping maw would be sweet, sweet payback for endless childhood hours spent at the Cooper's Shoppe or whatever-the-fuck when we were 11.
3. Rochester, New York
This one's personal, as one half of Vulture's masthead grew up in the Flour City. Despite a proud cultural heritage — we have white hot dogs! — we'd sort of like to see it get nuked (on-screen, of course). The metropolitan downtown area and the outlying suburbs would provide a varied terrain on which the resultant mutants could raise heck, and an attack in a midsize, nondescript town like this would give the eerie feeling that it could truly happen anywhere. Also, we've always wondered how much worse a nuclear winter would be than the average Rochester one.
2. Topeka, Kansas
Idea for a movie: As government scientists work around the clock to slow the evolution of a zombie-creating, population-depleting virus, the people of Topeka (even the school board), would at last be forced to admit that evolution is not a hoax — just before they're eaten by zombies.
1. Daytona, Florida
Here's our pitch for Cloverfield III in 3-D: spring break in Daytona. A Girls Gone Wild–esque camera crew paces the parties and beaches, their cameras capturing the wet T-shirts, sculpted chests, and general revelry. One well-placed burst of dragon flame later, the seedy, fun-loving impresario who runs the company is propelled, undershorts burning, into the sea.