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9 Cities Hollywood Made Look Like Hell

Hey, our hometowns ain't this bad, H-town!

By Joe Oesterle     December 02, 2009

 

Whether you hail from the most murderous community in America, (Camden, New Jersey) or your region just happens to produce folks with wider buttocks than anywhere else in America (New Orleans), we’re all fascinated as to where our place of residence falls on any given list of negativity.
  
Hollywood has helped color the nation’s perceptions of specific cities. Let’s take a look at the 9 Cities That Hollywood Made Look Like Hell.
 


9. Detroit

Hey there, it’s Detroit. First off, let me just say, we don’t need any help from Hollywood to make the Motor City look like ass. We just sold off the Silverdome–a professional football stadium that was one time worth over $55 million. You know what we got for it? $580,000.. You can’t get a shitty two bedroom in a bad part of Hollywood for that kind of scratch.
  
MoTown submits the following films to indicate our hellish existence.
RoboCop: In the future Detroit is so scary even the robot police are corrupt.
The Crow: Beatings, stabbings and rape. Oh and the star of the movie actually gets killed on the set.
Roger and Me: Yeah, that’s actually Flint, Michigan, but we here in Detroit have to aspire to something.
 

8. San Francisco

 We feel your pain, Detroit. We really do, but between Dirty Harry and Bullitt swerving muscle cars and shooting live ammo all over our famed hilly (and densely populated) streets, we have enough to worry about.
 
By the way, have you guys ever had The Hulk rampage through your fair city? That guy took out a lot of great bistros and snazzy vintage shops–which as it turns out is fine because many of those places were simply fronts for the 1978 Body Snatcher remake.. Luckily many of them were devoured by Ray Harryhausen’s gigantic octopus from, It Came from Beneath the Sea, which itself was destroyed by either the monsters or the aliens from Monsters Vs. Aliens.
 
Oh and who was the genius who thought of building a Towering Inferno in a city known for its earthquake problem? We’d like to go home and just get away from everyone, but there’s a decent chance Sharon Stone is boiling rabbits in our kitchen, and/or Michael Keaton has legally squatted and is planning our murder.
  

7. Las Vegas

Aww, the good people of San Fran have traffic problems. You know what a traffic problem is here in Sin City? Nicolas Cage landing a planeload of reprobates in the middle of the Las Vegas strip. That’s right. A PLANELOAD. ON THE STRIP!
 
By the way, we do know what it’s like to have a huge monster go wild in your city. It’s called, The Amazing Colossal Man and it predates your puny Hulk guy by about 40 years and 40 feet.
 
Or maybe you’d prefer it if your city was suddenly overrun by Doodle Ghouls from Cool World, or a bloodthirsty sprite from the Emerald Isle? (Leprechaun 3) Perhaps a zombie apocalypse is more your style–in that case we give you, Resident Evil: Extinction.
 
Now of course, maybe you don’t scare too easily. No problem, tough guy. We’ll just throw you in a back room with Joe Pesci and the boys. Oh yeah, and a head sized vice.
 
 

6. New Orleans

Now ‘course we in da Big Easy don’t frighten easily. It ain’t all Creole cookin’ and Fais do-do’s down here, ‘cause when you a member of the City that Care Forgot, you learn to deal wit da voodoo dat we do best.
 
One of our most prominent citizens is the one and only Louis Cyphre from Angel Heart. (That’s “Lucifer” for those of you who didn’t catch the subtle name play.) Folks shoot folks in the vagina in these parts. Da-yum!
 
Folks also turn into Cat People in da bayous too. Sexy, deadly Cat People that is. An’ if y’all want sexy, it’s hard to beat Anne Rice’s, immortal and deadly Gothic pleasure seekers.
 
Please don’t think everything in ‘Nawlins is dreadful though. The ghosts at Eddie Murphy’s Haunted Mansion are kind of funny, and the food here is always Gustoso–even if it often times has a hint of human blood for flavoring.
 

5. Dallas

Here in Big D we like to keep our hellishness rooted in reality. Makes it all the more hellish in our opinion. Example: Texas Chainsaw Massacre–real and horrifying.
 
Frightening as it is though, it doesn’t compare of course to the well-orchestrated plot to actually kill a sitting president of the most powerful nation in the world, and then subsequently and systematically terrify, ruin end in some cases terminate the lives of anyone who questions the “official findings” of that day.
 
If government conspiracies really do it for you though, you might want to check out, The X-Files: Fight the Future. It’s all true too, sure as I’m shootin’… and if I’m Dallas, I’m shootin’. The truth is out there pardner.
 
But hell, we like monsters too–as long as they’re big poisonous monsters–like The Giant Gila Monster.
 

4. Philadelphia

Yo Dallas, that’s some weak ass Hell you guys got down there. Just like we normally do to your football team, we’re about to kick your ass--Philly style.
 
Check this out. We got a whole city full of dead people. A whole damn city, and the only person who can see them is some freaky looking eight-year-old kid with The Sixth Sense. Even Bruce Wills can’t help us, and he has single handedly protected New York City, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles–with a vengeance.
 
Oh by the way, Bruce got his butt beat twice in Philly. He didn’t fare that well in the City of Brotherly Love in 12 Monkeys either. The guy gets himself killed right in front of his own little kid self. That’s a hellish pattern that is bound to repeat for all eternity.
 
We also got zombies a plenty. They started out here in Philly before they meandered over to Monroeville, which is just outside of the real Hell–Pittsburgh, in George Romero’s, Night of the Living Dead and Day of the Dead. And if it’s classics you like, a mere 20 minutes down the road to Downington, PA., and you’ve got the king of all drive-in matinee monsters; The Blob thank you very much.
 

3. Chicago

Hey dere, Philadelphia, you guys want more movie hell? Give us another Rocky movie if you’d be so kind, would ya? Cheesus! That guy’s got to qualify as a zombie by now. Am I wrong?
Look, we’re Chicago, and we know a thing or two about political corruption, ghosts, monsters and hellish heartbreak. Perhaps you’ve heard of a little baseball organization known lovingly by locals: Da Cubbies.
 
Anyway, we got a big pizza to eat so we’ll make this ever so brief, but suffice it to say, Candyman, I,Robot, Child’s Play, (and Child’s Play 2) and Damien: Omen II are a decent list right off the top of our head. Oh yeah, Bugsy Malone. A 12-year-old Scott Baio is our best bet against organized crime.
 
And while we realize it’s just a television show, we dare any city to come close to the tortured comedy stylings of Chi-town’s own, Jim Belushi in, According to Jim. Don’t tell us about Hell.
 

2. New York

Well, well, well, if it’s not the Second City. Get used to the moniker, mooks, ‘cause the Big Apple is about to drop on you and your fake pizza-eatin’ ways.
 
This is gonna get messy, so if you can turn your heads, and read this at the same time, it might be wise. Here we go:
 
King Kong: A freaking 70-foot-tall gorilla, and we had three of ‘em loose in dis city.
Escape From New York: The entire freaking city is a freaking penal colony.
Cloverfield: A freaking giant alien destroys our landmarks and eats everyone.
Planet of the Apes: He was here all the freaking time.
The Warriors: You try to bop your way back to Coney with the Turnbull AC’s, the Baseball Furies and the Gramercy Riffs all up in your ass.
Rosemary’s Baby: Do I really need to explain this one to you?
C.H.U.D.: Could someone please explain this one to me?
  
And just to top it all off, Jason took Manhattan.
 

1. Los Angeles

Dudes. Why even bother? We’re Hollywood, and we invented Hollywood Hell.
It may have started in earnest in 1953 with a little picture we like to call, The War of the Worlds. It didn’t end there however, because very quickly giant ants invaded in Them!Think we can’t compete with other cities in zombies per capita? Omega Man features some of the first nocturnal homicidal mutants, and Zombieland is one of the latest. Both L.A. products.
 
Hellraiser: Inferno was the first Hellraiser movie to go straight to DVD and it took place here in the City of Angels. How hellish does a Hellraiser movie have to be to go straight to DVD? Huh?
 
We’ve also welcomed Terminator and Leprechaun sequels into our municipality; future Los Angeles is no bargain either. Just ask possible repilcant, Rick Deckard.
 
By the way, in all the hellish revelry, let’s not forget a few of the most notable hellish characters in all of filmdom; The sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo, John Creese, and his violent teenage lackeys. This guy is a serious douche. He warns an old man that both he 15-year-old kid will get gang-jumped by his hormonally imbalanced band of muscle-bound idiots every day if Daniel son fails to show up for a tournament.
 
You think that’s douchey? Wait till you meet the people who actually make these movies. Now we’re talking pure satanic douchery.
 
L.A. wins this thing going away.
 
 
 

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Joe Oesterle is an award-winning writer and illustrator, but what he often fails to mention is that many of those awards were won on a New Jersey boardwalk. And if you’re curious about the time Joe had dinner with a bunch of transvestites in Las Vegas, please click here for a bonus story that was left out of his book, “Weird Las Vegas.” http://joeartistwriter.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/lucky-chengs-joe-oesterle/
 
 

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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JarrodSarafin 12/2/2009 2:08:32 AM

The Dallas X-Files bit grabs me everytime I watch the film. Dallas is the eighth-largest city in the United States and I'm sorry Chris Carter and Co. but there is no desert near the Dallas skyline. Nor is there a road nearby that goes 100 miles either direction...to nowhere.

Really, it's Hollywood's fascination with portraying most of Texas with the same stereotypical behavior. For example, Houston is even larger than Dallas. I believe its the fourth or fifth largest US city but it seems like every movie or TV show I see take on the city continues with the whole country music and cowboy hat routine. Right...

In a melting pot like Houston, we don't have horses in our back yards, we don't have southern accents for the most part since our citizens are from across the globe and we don't dig country music as well as Hollywood would have the world believe. Sure, there's a two or three Country stations but there's also 10 Rap stations and 8 or so Rock stations.

I'll give No Country for Old Men a pass though since it was mainly West Texas. But Hollywood (and Monday Night Football since they're guilty too), take notice next time you shoot a movie in Houston, Dallas or Austin. Enough with the cowboy hats.

karas1 12/2/2009 3:04:18 AM

I don't know Jarrod, don't you watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet?  They have horses in the back yard in every city in the country.  Just ask those animal control officers.  The Animal Cops in Houston deal with that stuff every day.

Joe, you forgot to mention that Las Vegas got pretty thoroughly destroyed in Mars Attacks.

But forget LA, New York City gets trashed in just about evey movie in which it appears.  In Watchmen, the cities in the rest of the world that got anialated were capital cities.  In the USA, Veidt had to pick on New York.

EagleManiac 12/2/2009 5:48:47 AM

Sorry Karas1, but I LIVE in Houston, drive its streets everyday, and I never see horses except on the outskirts of the city, and usually only in the small towns around Houston. Houston itself is a modern city that is HUGE in size(4th largest), and is spread out like crazy! I too hate the typical way Hollywood portrays Houston as though it's some small hickville town instead of this huge modern city! For the most part, Houston is a great city, with  one of the most impressive and beautiful downtown skylines in the country. We just can't seem to have very good sports teams, though!! LOL!!!

Also, Houston has the MOST restaurants per capita than any other city in the country! No wonder we're considered a "fat city"!!

And YES, enough with the cowboy hats!!!

DarthDuck 12/2/2009 6:34:23 AM

"Houston is the south with a college education."  (wish I could remember who I heard say that)

How is Detroit not number 1?  I live in Michigan and about an hour from Detroit.  I know full well how Hollywood and anyone else loves to dump on Detroit. 

I guess I missed the point of the article, it seems you start off talking about which cities are potrayed negatively by Hollywood and the list shifts to whcih cities have all the bad luck when it comes to alien invasions etc.

So if your list is meant to show which cities are negatively and unfairly potrayed on screen it has to be Detroit, and if your list is about hardluck cities then how can it not be New York?

Final nitpick - Texas Chainsaw is based on actually events, actually events that took place in Wisconsin.  That's right, Wisconsin, home of Happy Days and psycho serial killers.

isgrimner 12/2/2009 7:07:37 AM

I've really got no imput to this article.  I've been to a few of the cities on the list.  When in the militarty was based not far from New Orleans so I spent a lot of time there. 

However since the Cubbies got mentioned, I would just like to say, Go Cards!

 

hanso 12/2/2009 7:37:43 AM

I know a lot of films aren't set in DC but a shout out is at least warranted.  Not only are those poor bastards dealing with taxation without representation but Roland Emmerich loves blowing it up to pieces.  Plus the villain from Live Free or Die Hard messes up the city a bit.

Wiseguy 12/2/2009 7:51:32 AM

I don't think Detrit belongs in this list. If anything Hollywood glamorizes that city by making it look only half as bad as it actually is. Detroit wishes it was like it is in RoboCop

I can say the same thing about New Orleans, even without taking the Katrina aftermath into account. Katrina is now an excuse, where before there was none

Btw, NYC should be first and hanso's right DC should be up there somewhere

karas1 12/2/2009 8:18:35 AM

EagleManiac, I don't live in NYC but I'm in the suburbs and the company I work for sends repair people all over the city.  You would be astonished by the critters who live in the city, cats, dogs, giant rats, cockroaches, attack chickens, the works.  And if you've never seen any of the animal cop shows on Animal Planet you should check it out sometime.  If you love animals it'll break your heart, the cruel way some people treat them.  But if people would keep horses in the back yard in NYC, someone, somewhere, in Houston does it too.  Because everywhere there are people stupid enough to do that.

therockdltj 12/2/2009 8:31:18 AM

I live in Reno NV and just this last summer someone cut off a hoarses brand so nobody would know who abandoned it. Thats like someone going up to a person with a tattoo and cutting it off with a knife. http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2009/07/070.shtml

monkeyfoot 12/2/2009 8:45:58 AM

Damn straight Detroit should be on the top of this list.

Every other city on this list also gets shown in movies, on TV( shows and the news) in postive ways besides the occasional negative use in a movie. Except for a reference to Motown, Detroit is NEVER mention in any of those mediums except in a negative way.

You also forgot Detroit in Beverly Hills Cop. It is shown as that slummy blue collar city that Axel Foley comes from in contrast to the clean and beautiful Bevery Hills he arrives in. Even Eastwoods's Gran Torino it is the city full of gang violence.

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