Bullets (and bombs) over Broadway For the Record

May 24, 1998|By Tamara Ikenberg

The attitude. The dirt. The incomprehensible cabbies.

Many things about New York place it high on the list of cities we'd most like to see destroyed. Maybe that's why it's been decimated on the big screen so many times.

"New Yorkers have traditionally dismissed the rest of the world as inconsequential and unimportant in an annoying, condescending manner," says Tom Kiefaber, owner of Baltimore's Senator Theatre. "As a result, witnessing the destruction of New York fulfills many people's revenge fantasies."

Currently, that's happening again in two blockbusters: "Deep Impact," in which a meteor-induced tidal wave smushes Manhattan (if the land of Saks and stylish neuroses has to be sacrificed in order to put Tea Leoni in peril, so be it), and the new "Godzilla" (from the makers of "Independence Day"; New York got crushed in that, too), in which the scaly troublemaker stomps his way through town.

Here are a few other films that have left the Big Apple bruised - or worse:

"Mimic" (1997): Mira Sorvino meets giant subway-dwelling cockroaches. Able to take human form, the huge bugs threaten New York with an epidemic.

"Escape From New York" (1981): A post-apocalyptic Manhattan is a huge prison for America's Most Wanted. Bored, they decide to kidnap the president.

"Meteor" (1979): A "Deep Impact" prequel? American and Russian scientists battle the cosmic New York-bashing nasties in this sci-fi loser.

"Planet of the Apes" (1968): Charlton Heston and his astronaut buddies crash on a planet ruled by simian dictators. In a shocking conclusion, the planet is revealed to be Earth when the Statue of Liberty is spotted poking out of the beach.

"Atomic Attack" (1950): Talk about your odd couples. Walter Matthau and a nuclear bomb do battle in this nuclear waste of a film.

"King Kong" (1933): The consummate big ape smashes subway cars and leaves footprints on the Empire State Building in pursuit of femme fatale Fay Wray.

Pub Date: 5/24/98

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