The Greatest Movie Disasters of All Time
There’s little more than 1,000 days until the end of the world. Or so say the conspiracy theorists who predict global annihilation on December 21, 2012, the day the Mayan calendar ends. That potential doomsday is the premise of Roland Emmerich’s new movie 2012, a cinematic wrecking ball that wallops landmarks across the globe (and has an aircraft carrier belly flop on the White House). Emmerich, who also directed Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, isn’t the only filmmaker to traffc in megadestruction. Since a tidal wave swallowed New York whole in 1933’s Deluge, obliterating iconic landmarks has become a movie cliché. We’ve put together a map of cinema’s most memorable tourist attraction takedowns.
1 Sayonara La La Land, hello Lava Land. The streets of L.A. flow molten when an underground volcano erupts in Volcano. 2 L.A. gets scorched by nuclear fire in Terminator Salvation. Enjoy a stroll down the radioactive Hollywood Walk of Flame. 3 Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen) uproots San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and reattaches it to Alcatraz in X-Men: The Last Stand. 4 The Titanic splits in two after chipping an iceberg in the North Atlantic. 1,517 may have died, but Leomania was born. 5 Cillian Murphy wakes up from a coma in 28 Days Later to find London deserted a er a virus has zombie- ed its population. 6 Big Ben ticks his final tock in Mars Attacks! when Tim Burton’s bug-eyed aliens vaporize London’s fabled clock tower. 7 Nanomites add iron to their diet when they eat away at the Eiffel Tower, collapsing the Grande Dame in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. 8 They don’t come in peace, and in Independence Day, aliens leave the Empire State Building, the White House, the Sydney Opera House, the Pyramids and their own spaceships in pieces. 9 A lightning storm lays ruin to ruins when Rome’s Coliseum gets electrocuted in The Core. 10 Armageddon shows the Chrysler Building some hate by plunging an asteroid into its heart. 11 A second ice age razes the Hollywood sign and swamps the Statue of Liberty in the eco-lover’s catastrophe film The Day After Tomorrow. 12 Deluge, once considered a lost film, invents the disaster flick by flooding New York City for the first, but certainly not the last, time (see: #11). 13 Not even a Will Smith sighting can repopulate the streets of New York in I Am Legend. 14 Head off, heads up. Lady Liberty’s cranium lands in Manhattan after being torn off by the Cloverfield monster. 15 The Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel gets rocked when Nicolas Cage smashes into its neon guitar while crash landing on the Strip in Con Air. 16 If you thought the Internet shook up the music industry, check out the damage shifting tectonic plates do to L.A.’s Capitol Records building in 1974’s Earthquake.