It’s a well-known fact that Hollywood just loves to destroy famous places and landmarks. Whether it’s a superhero movie or just a plain old apocalypse brought about by global warming/asteroids/monsters/zombies/earthquakes/volcanoes (delete as appropriate), it seems that nothing hits home more than watching a beloved monument or landmark get destroyed.
And some places are more prone to movie destruction than others. The Statue of Liberty seems to be a particular favourite, having been destroyed in at least [number here] films (see Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield, Independence Day, among others). Big Ben is another one (V for Vendetta, Independence Day (again), The Day After Tomorrow), as is the Tokyo Tower (countless Japanese superhero and anime films). Here’s a compilation of some of the favourites that, well, pretty much sums it up:
Most of these well-known landmarks are also tourist traps. But how likely would tourists be to visit them once the movie monsters have done their work? We decided to put that to the test and created vintage-style travel posters showing these devastated destinations post-monster attack. And despite the destruction, they’re still quite beautiful… if possibly a bit more dangerous.
The Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California – Terminator: Salvation (2009)
Destroyed by: Skynet
Hollywood apparently loves to destroy its own most iconic symbol. Terminator: Salvation is only one in a long line of movies which features the demise of the famous sign. Others include San Andreas (earthquake), The Day After Tomorrow (tornado) and Sharknado (also a tornado. Now with added sharks!). In this case, the famed sign is destroyed by Skynet, which has started a nuclear holocaust to wipe out humans.
The Statue of Liberty, New York City, New York – Cloverfield (2008)
Destroyed by: “Clover” (monster)
The Statue of Liberty is without doubt an iconic, instantly recognisable image. So, what better landmark to show the destruction of New York than Lady Liberty herself. In fact, this was put to good use in Planet of the Apes, where (spoiler!) Charlton Heston’s character realises that said Planet is, in fact, Earth, when he sees the remains of the statue. In Cloverfield, found footage shows the head of the statue being hurled into the street in front of the main characters.
The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California – Pacific Rim (2013)
Destroyed by: The Kaiju (sea monsters)
Poor old California. The Golden Gate Bridge marks the second destination on our list from the Golden State. This poster shows the twisted remains of the bridge following the opening scene of Pacific Rim. Like the Statue of Liberty and the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge is a definite favourite for destruction, with its demise being shown in at least nine movies in the past 10 years alone!
Bodega Bay, California – The Birds (1963)
Destroyed by: Birds. Murderous birds. Lots of them.
Yet another one from California, which really does not appear to have much luck when it comes to movie destruction. The quiet town of Bodega Bay is popular with weekenders and holiday home owners until its birds inexplicably start attacking the residents. No explanation is ever given, and the movie ends with the main characters making a hasty exit as the birds continue to swarm threateningly, so any visitors to Bodega Bay had better beware.
The Millennium Bridge, London – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Destroyed by: Death Eaters
Jumping across the pond now to London, proving that it’s not just the USA that comes in for its fair share of movie monster attacks. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Death Eaters attack London’s Millennium Bridge, sending it plummeting into the Thames and killing several muggles who are crossing it. In fact, when the events of the movie happen (1996), the Millennium Bridge was yet to be built!
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India – Mars Attacks (1996)
Destroyed by: Martians
Heading over to India now, here it’s the Taj Mahal that’s fallen victim to those pesky movie monsters. In this case, Martians. The Taj Mahal is one of many landmarks worldwide to be destroyed in the Tim Burton comedy, including Big Ben, the Easter Island Statues and Mount Rushmore (although this is not actually destroyed; instead the Martians replace the faces of the presidents with their own). Unlike the other movies here, this one’s played for comic value, with the Martians pausing to take a photo in front of the temple as they blow it up.