Los Angeles has been destroyed and laid to waste in more movies than any city other than Tokyo. But unlike New York and Rome and London, when L.A. gets wrecked, nobody feels that twinge in the heart that comes with losing a beloved landmark. When Los Angeles gets the post-apocalyptic treatment, it usually gets better. Why is that?
I know what you’re thinking. Better to wipe L.A. off the map and be done with it. Well, I don’t feel that way. I love Los Angeles, for all its faults. I find it a vibrant city, full of life and infinite variety.
When London or New York get destroyed, there are the great fragments of landmarks to weep over – Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty. But Los Angeles? It usually looks just like Los Angeles. But with less traffic.
Look at THE OMEGA MAN? A few crumpled newspapers blowing down the street. Other than that, it’s what you dream of during a busy commute.
And the L.A. of BLADE RUNNER? In my opinion, a nightmare dystopia has seldom looked like such a fun place to be. And the rain? Who would love Los Angeles if it rained like that?
Of course, Los Angeles got blown up real good too, on occasion. That beautiful City Hall, symbol of law and order in L.A. immortalized in DRAGNET got pulverized by the Martian war machines in George Pal’s WAR OF THE WORLDS.
I work on DEFIANCE for the SyFy Channel, a show that had it’s own post-apocalyptic vision of Los Angeles. The bad news; the ocean had moved up to Sunset Boulevard. The good news; everything was a lot greener. I call that a draw.