6 Movie Locations You Can Visit (But Probably Shouldn't)
Some movies are so amazing that their greatness can't be contained on a simple movie screen. It's why the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is a multi-billion-dollar venture and Disney continues to insert employees into permanently smiling horror-beasts. But not every tie-in attraction can be a runaway success -- or attract throngs of rabid superfans who will trash your property (see: Breaking Bad) -- especially these ones.
The Thrills Of Indiana Jones ... As A Bed-And-Breakfast
There are an endless number of things an Indy-themed attraction could involve -- rolling boulders, snake pits, or melting Nazis come to mind. And the Indiana Jones Bed & Breakfast provides none of them. It's just got beds. Also breakfast.
Indy presumably enjoyed breakfast in several unfilmed scenes.
Admittedly, this isn't just any house; it was featured in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, where you'll recall it as the least memorable location in the film. Venice, Nazi castles, a city carved into a cliff, and this:
Petra this ain't.
It gets maybe 20 seconds of film time, during which it communicates all the glamour you might expect to find in any old house. Glamour it carries to this day.
Walls. A VCR. Sconces even!
There's really not much Indiana Jones in it at all. The room names are cute (The Cortez and Coronado rooms sound interesting; the Holy Grail room sounds better), and there are a few other plausibly Indy-related thingamabobs strewn about the house as well. But, honestly, if you've ever been camping or ever met a German person, you've probably had a more authentic Indiana Jones experience than this.
Twist: All the whips could be S&M-related.
The Twilight Tour That Doesn't Show Anything From Twilight
Despite the best efforts of internet snark-merchants, Twilight ended up being a pretty big deal. The books and the movies were incredibly popular, which has inspired throngs of fans to descend on the small town of Forks, Washington, where the franchise was set, to meet their own ancient, powerfully sexual vampires.
As a result, the town of 3,500 has slapped a thick coat of Twilight on everything in it. "Twilight" now clings to the name of many of the town's establishments, to help remind everyone why they're there. You know. Just in case someone drove to Forks, Washington, by accident.
This was definitely worth looking at damp trees for 12 straight days of driving.
There are Twilight-themed coffee shops, and mailboxes, and quilts, and while that certainly is an impressive collection of Twilight, uh, physical matter, it's lacking something, isn't it? Like authenticity. Where are the actual shooting locations?
Well, there aren't any. Because it turns out none of the movies were actually shot in Forks. Which means the Twilight tour must be at least a little disappointing. Although the tour guides are up front about it, at least a few fans have realized sadly that the only thing this place has in common with the Twilight franchise is a name and a preponderance of pale teenagers. The tour apparently consists of places in town that, shrug, might have been places from the books. ("There's a house! It might have been Bella's house!") Evidently, the only thing there that looks remotely like something from the movie is a replica of Bella's pick-up truck, and you'd better believe the town knows this. This is from the Forks chamber of commerce's website:
The sparkling is from magic, not a cheap GIF, for those asking.
The Zombie Museum That Will Not Die
The Living Dead Museum has seen better days. It was originally located in Pennsylvania's Monroeville Mall, which is a fantastic place for a zombie museum, being the shooting location of George Romero's 1978 zombie classic Dawn Of The Dead. Sadly, though, it was forced to relocate after the mall succumbed to the bloodthirsty menace known as gentrification.
That said, it does look nice with all the blood and limbs cleaned up.
The museum is now housed in Evans City, a small town an hour away. This was, admittedly, the place where Night Of The Living Dead was filmed. But that was a substantially less iconic location, and, well, it kind of shows.
That's the museum there next to the Subway.
Inside, it's not that bad. It's got photos, and posters, and a bunch of creepy mannequins, as you'd hope. It's also got a wall covered in bloody hand prints for some reason.
Kind of puts us in the mood for Subway, actually.
But like every museum in the world ever, the real point here seems to be the gift shop, which is where it gets a little sad. Remember that mall the museum got kicked out of? Well they're selling tiny pieces of the J.C. Penney escalator. Which seems a little clingy. The mall's just not that into you, dude. Let it go. (Follow-up reaction: Also, what the hell is anyone going to do with a piece of an escalator?)
"If you have a better way to repair my escalator, I'd like to hear it."
The Twister Museum Is Located In The Thirstiest Town Ever
Somewhere in the tiny Oklahoma town of Wakita, an elderly local is telling a hapless visitor about the time Helen Hunt and a cow were attacked by a tornado. That time was 20 years ago now, but to Wakita, that time was everything.
Imagine a one-horse town if that horse got bored and left 20 years ago.
In the mid '90s, Wakita welcomed the Twister production into town with open arms. And why wouldn't they? The producers promised to upgrade the town's facade, knock down some old unwanted buildings, and clean up a bunch of debris. Which they did! On top of that, the locals hoped the film would revitalize the town's economy, provide a steady tourism income for years, and make Wakita the go-to destination for Hollywood productions. Which it didn't.
Hollywood may have had trouble finding it again, actually.
But for two decades now, the town has steadfastly refused to see the uninterested writing on the wall. It's even erected a Twister museum to pay homage to the 1996 blockbuster. Which is, uh, not exactly a big-budget affair. From the models depicting tornado ravaged dollhouses:
To the "Twister debris" that's really just a bunch of random detritus haphazardly scattered in a corner:
"See the genuine pile of garbage!"
It's all very, very quaint. The museum's success has been so limited that residents are willing to drop literally anything they're doing for the opportunity to guide someone around piles of Hollywood rubble and spend hours chatting about their close encounter with film-industry elite. This museum is quite literally their only form of entertainment in town:
So if you're a die-hard Twister fan who also happens to be in the middle of nowhere, maybe check it out? The locals seem like nice people, at least. They could maybe use someone to talk to, as well. Also, maybe try showing up and talking about how much you love Armageddon, as a goof. Let us know how that goes.
Kevin Costner's Kevin Costner-Themed Restaurant Is A Little Kevin Costner Heavy
Back in the '90s, if you wanted to make a baseball movie or post-apocalyptic piece of crap, Kevin Costner was your guy.
Also if you wanted your Robin Hood to have an American accent.
But Kevin Costner hasn't been in too many movies recently, possibly because of all those jokes we made, but also because he's been busy with his restaurant and casino! Located in Deadwood -- which is an actual real-life town in South Dakota, apparently -- it's called the Midnight Star, and according to Kevin Costner, it's the highlight of Deadwood.
Which is huge if true.
With the bare walls of the establishment -- of all establishments, really -- just begging to be Costner-ized, Costner hasn't sat idle and has filled the place with memorabilia from his life. Props and costumes from classics like Field Of Dreams and Dances With Wolves line the walls, while a Bull Durham poster sexily watches people eat their baskets of calamari.
"Could someone turn that thing around?"
But the downside of an extensive collection of Costner-bilia is that it reveals just how many turds he's been in. What is The Guardian? Or Mr. Brooks? Up on the wall is some kind of doctor costume from the movie Dragonfly, which was about ... dragons? Dragons that need doctors? To help fly again? Also there must be some Waterworld stuff there too, just haunting the place, making all the drinks taste a little bit like urine. (OK, that's probably not true. But it should be.)
The Official Cheers Bars Had Dead-Eyed Robot Versions Of The Cast
Cheers taught us that all it takes to make your crippling substance-abuse problem tolerable is for everyone to know your name. Which is a fine premise to base an actual bar on as well, once you remove that pesky need for knowing or even caring about your customers' names. Which is how Cheers-branded bars began popping up in airports and hotels across the world in the 1990s. Not only were these bars called Cheers, perched at the end of the bar in many of them were horrific Chuck E. Cheese's automaton versions of Norm and Cliff.
Fated to get hammered for their entire miserable existence.
As you can probably tell, the replicas were less than perfect. Cliff had no mustache, Norm had aged a good 20 years, and both looked quite a bit less like human beings than they did the embalmed corpses of political cartoons. These discrepancies may not have been an accident, perhaps done to avoid paying likeness rights to the actors; the robots' names were also changed to "Hank" and "Bob." If you think that seems like bullshit, you're not alone: John Ratzenberger and George Wendt, the actors who played Cliff and Norm, thought so too and ended up suing Paramount over it, in a case that almost made it to the Supreme Court.
Where everybody knows your name because it's written down on several important pieces of paper.
Yup, the United States Supreme Court had to decide whether shitty robot doppelgangers of sitcom characters swilling beer in airport bars were worth their time. Their eventual decision -- "Nah, not really" -- left it in the hands of a lower court, where the actors eventually settled with Paramount. We don't know what the terms of that settlement were, but seeing as there don't seem to be too many of those robots around anymore, we kind of hope they all ended up in George Wendt's basement, where they've become his best friends.
You can check out Carolyn's depressing Twitter account here.
What's The Best Fictional School To Attend? In the muggle world, we're not given the opportunity for a magical hat to tell us which school we should go to. Usually we just have to go to the high school closest to where we live or whatever college accepts our SAT scores and personal essay. This month, our goal is to determine what would be the best fictional school to go to. Join Jack, Daniel, and the rest of the Cracked staff, along with comedians Brandie Posey and Steven Wilber, as they figure out if it's a realistic school like Degrassi or West Beverly High, or an institution from a fantasy world like Hogwarts with its ghosts and dementors, or Bayside High, haunted by a monster known only to humans as Screech. Get your tickets here!
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