Yesterday I roamed off on my own to see Godzilla. There are many reasons I wanted to see the movies, but mostly it’s due to remembering seeing the first movie as a kid and completely digging the idea there were gigantic reptiles living in the ocean that would come up and smash your cities into dust just for the hell of it–and if you have radiation breath, that’s a plus, too. I wanted to see it to scrub my brain forever of something that was released in 1998 that showed the role of the King of Kaijus performed by a mutated iguana.
It was like watching Pacific Rim, only there weren’t gigantic mecha beating the hell out of monsters, it was monster-on-monster action, and a lot of property damage left in the wake of such throwdowns. It also drove home the point that Godzilla does not like Goggle Hipster Buses, so suck on that.
But . . . I gotta quibble.
I know you’re rolling your eyes right about now: “Cassie, it’s a movie about giant monsters, and you’re written articles about how that’s impossible because of the square-cube law, so of course you’re gonna quibble.” No, you’ve got me wrong. If I’m digging something, I can suspend my disbelief enough that I know what I’m seeing is in no way possible, but I’m still gonna enjoy the movie. That’s why I like Pacific Rim: I know you can’t build those mecha, but that doesn’t keep me from cheering for Gypsy Dagger from kicking kaiju ass.
No, I gotta quibble about something else, and that is . . . geography.
There is a scene in the movie–and you can stop reading right now if you don’t want this spoiled for you, but if you’re like the majority of my friends you’ve either seen the movie already, or you won’t case, because it’s a minor point–where Las Vegas gets its whomping (as seen in the trailers shown everywhere) because the American kept a monster egg somewhere they should: namely the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. That’s a doubleplusungood idea, folks, but the part that made me go, “Why did you do that?” is showing the monster walking towards Vegas, presumably to try the lobster and champagne Sunday brunch at Caesars Palace, from the point of view of the section of Yucca Mountain it just busted out from.
Ugh–why did you just spoil my monster madness with something so wrong?
Most people will see this and go, “Nuke crap is being stored that close to Vegas? Horrors of horrors! What the hell is wrong with those people?” That’s because they don’t know where Yucca Mountain is. I do. Why? Because I’m strange. And I love exploring by map.
So allow me to explain:
This is the Yucca Mountain Repository. It’s not hidden from sight–hell, little is these days.
Pretty desolate place, right? That tends to happen in the desert.
According to the movie Vegas has to be right over the next panel, right? I mean, you can see the monster walking there . . .
In case you’re wondering. the distance between those points is 86 miles, or 140 kilometers, with the point in Vegas sitting in the middle of the street between Caesars and Bellagio, which we see getting smacked around in the movie. Those must be good cameras to be able to see that far, you know what I mean?
And to pick a few more nits, the monster is suppose to be going to San Francisco–presumably with flowers in its hair–and if that’s the case, you’re going the wrong way! You’re not going to find anything interesting in Las Vegas save for a lot of people crying over lost mortgage money when they doubled down on 18, so why visit? You know what would have been an even better place to visit? Here:
That’s the Nevada Test Range, aka Where We Used to Make Atom Bombs go Boom. Each one of those craters is the aftermath of a nuclear detonation, particularly the one top and center: that’s Sedan Crater in Area 10 of the Nevada Test Range, produced by the Sedan Nuclear Test on 6 July, 1962. The crater is big enough to be seen from the ISS with the unaided eyes, which is another way of saying it’s big. It’s 30 miles northeast of Yucca, and monsters who just busted out from an underground storage area would probably enjoy hanging there for a bit.
But wait! Why stop there? Because if you go just a little further to the east you hit this place:
There’s Sedan Crater in the lower left corner, but what’s this airport in the upper right corner? That, my friends, is officially known as the Groom Lake Test Facility (Groom Lake is that extremely shinny salt flat to the north of the runway), but we all know and love this joint as Area 51. Only another 13 miles, or 21 kilometers, hike from the crater, and the monster could of hung out with some alien buds from Independence Day! What a missed opportunity for a great crossover.
What does this all mean? Nothing, really. I get to rant for the morning, and you get a bit of a geography lesson brought about because Gareth Edwards wanted to set up a scene of Monster Apocalypse in Sin City. Don’t make it wrong or bad, but Gareth, please: next time call me and I’ll do your research for ya. And I’m cheep, too. Just call, bud.
I still love you, Big G. You’ll always be King of the Monsters to me.
See you at the squeal.