Usually, New York and Los Angeles are Hollywood’s first choices when a major U.S. city needs to be destroyed (Los Angeles has been destroyed on film at least two dozen times). Even though Las Vegas is more popular as a vacation destination than apocalyptic setting in movies, there’s still a good amount of destruction that’s gone on in Sin City.
Here are 9 examples; let us know in the comments if we missed any.
“The Amazing Colossal Man” (1957, unrated)
An Army officer suffers serious burns during an atomic accident. He miraculously heals, but the atomic blast causes him to grow into a 60-foot mutant. He wreaks havoc in Las Vegas before ultimately being caught near Hoover Dam. He’s ultimately shot and falls to his death in the Colorado River.
“Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” (1992, PG)
A sequel to 1989’s “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” the 1992 film follows the Szalinski family as their 2-year-old son grows to a massive size after being exposed to his dad’s industrial-sized growth machine. The toddler heads to Las Vegas and roams the streets terrifying the tourists and residents before his family finally catches up to him and shrinks him down to his normal size.
“Mars Attacks!” (1996, PG-13)
The 1996 science fiction comedy about a group of Martians who invade Earth shows a plethora of the world’s most famous places being destroyed, starting with Las Vegas. A couple of survivors of the attacks ultimately discover Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call” causes the Martians’ heads to explode, and the song is used to kill most of the Martians and send the few survivors back where they came from.
“Con Air” (1997, R)
A former U.S. Ranger and newly released ex-con finds himself on a prisoner transport plane when a prisoner incites a riot and takes control of the plane. The plane is headed to Carson City, but a disabled engine and a lack of fuel cause it to crash-land on the Strip, where all the convicts but one are captured.
“10.5 Apocalypse” (2006, TV movie)
The 2006 TV movie follows a series of disasters triggered by an apocalyptic earthquake. The Hoover Dam collapses when Lake Mead heats up and expands beyond the spillway’s capacity. Acidic water then undermines underground limestone, creating a massive sinkhole and causing Las Vegas to sink into the ground. There’s ultimately not much that can be done about the disasters, and a fault creates a new ocean that splits the U.S. and Canada in half.
“Resident Evil: Extinction” (2007, R)
The third installment in the “Resident Evil” series follows a group of survivors from Raccoon City as they find their way across the Mojave Desert to Alaska to escape a zombie apocalypse. The group ends up in Las Vegas to search for supplies, which is where we see the post-apocalyptic Sin City.
“2012” (2009, PG-13)
A family tries to survive a series of apocalyptic disasters that come about in 2012, taking advantage of the long-standing idea that the Mayans had predicted the world would end that year. The group ends up in Las Vegas on its way to China, and manages to escape just as a cloud of volcanic ash from Yellowstone National Park engulfs the city.
“Blast Vegas” (2013, TV movie)
Some fraternity brothers head to Las Vegas for spring break and steal a sword from an Egyptian-themed hotel that isn’t the Luxor. An ancient curse is unleashed on the city and a giant sandstorm threatens to destroy it. They have to find a sacred urn before the city is completely wiped out.
The world’s most famous monster is pitted against creatures who threaten humanity’s very existence. In the trailer released last month, much of the Strip is shown destroyed, including The Quad, Paris, Flamingo, Treasure Island and New York-New York.
Contact Stephanie Grimes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter: @stephgrimes