Who doesn’t love a good science fiction movie – especially if it’s filmed or based in Vegas? From oversized toddlers and gigantic robots to super creepy aliens and zombies, you name it – they’ve visited Vegas. It’s time to fasten your seatbelts and check out our top Vegas sci-fi action movie list. Enjoy this action-packed ride, in chronological order:
The Amazing Colossal Man, 1957
What better way to kick off the Vegas sci-fi movie list than this classic? Sure, the special effects weren’t exactly up to par to today’s standards (Come on, it was almost 60 years ago!), and the movie trailer is more funny than it is scary (“I don’t want to grow anymore!”), but our list wouldn’t be complete without it. It would have been a hoot to see this 60-foot-giant came stomping down the Strip the same time as baby Adam from “Honey I Blew Up The Kid” (mentioned later in this blog). Need more convincing to watch this flick? We promise there’s a love story included… and scenes of Hoover Dam.
Diamonds Are Forever, 1971
Bond, James Bond. Bring out the popcorn: These old-school James Bond flicks are wildly entertaining. We had to add this movie, even though it’s technically not sci-fi. It’s cheesy and fun, and the special effects and multiple action scenes are enough for us. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see a young, dashing Sean Connery?
Honey, I Blew Up The Kid, 1992
Talk about taking Huggie’s tagline, “Mommy, wow! I’m a big kid now!” to extreme heights. If you want to be technical, the kid would be in his late 20s by now. In this oldie-but-goodie flick, a scientist (played by Rick Moranis) accidently zaps his toddler Adam into a towering 50-foot-tall giant. (As if terrible twos weren’t stressful enough.) The jumbo tot sees the Vegas lights and mistakes it for playtime, thus destroying everything in sight. We can’t help but giggle when Adam stands next to the kid-friendly Circus-Circus hotel. This “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is both scary and hilarious, from having his big bro stashed in his front overall pocket to the giant bunny flown over to help calm him down.
Star Trek Generations, 1994
We’re sure this movie takes Trekkies and “Next Generation” fans down memory lane. In this movie, Captain Picard (played by Sir Patrick Stewart) and a supposedly dead Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) try and stop a maniac from destroying the entire planet. We can definitely appreciate Valley of Fire’s death-defying cliff scenes. We also love the fact this natural wonder is only 40 or so minutes away from Vegas. However, if you’re trying to “trek” up to this particular cliff, be prepared; it’s a 160-foot vertical climb. Good luck with that!
Independence Day, 1996
A group of survivors venture to the Nevada desert after a destructive alien takeover. These folks come up with a plan to fight back against these bad boys on July 4th. The date is fitting because it’s also the anniversary of our country’s freedom. Here’s the scene where Will Smith’s character Captain Steve Hiller has his first alien encounter. By the way, fighting aliens in 100-plus degree weather is no joke. We’re not getting jiggy with it any time soon.
Mars Attacks!, 1996
Directed by Tim Burton (the genius behind “Nightmare Before Christmas”), this 1996 film is actually a parody of science fiction movies and stars big name actors like Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Benning, Pierce Bronson, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Jack Black and Natalie Portman, among others. The Vegas element comes into play when the Martians try and invade. Let’s just say it’s best-looking hotel implosion ever. The running question is, are Martians really the bad guys, or just misunderstood?
More than meets the eye! If you were a kid in the ’80s, you love “Transformers” on a whole other level. But even if you weren’t, we all can appreciate the 2007 blockbuster hit, where we witnessed the battle between Autobots, led by Optimus Prime and the Decepticons, led by evil Megatron. Wasn’t Bumblebee the coolest car/buddy ever? (Side note: If you’re lucky, you can see a costumed Bumblebee at Fremont Street Experience.) We always knew Hoover Dam was more than just a great Depression-era public works project.
Resident Evil: Extinction, 2007
Nowadays, zombies in film and TV seem more common than a lasting Hollywood relationship (oooh, burn!). But it’s true — zombies are everywhere. In this flick, Milla Jovovich’s character Alice and her crew leave Raccoon City travel to Sin City, in hopes to eventually make it to Alaska to avoid the zombie apocalypse. (But honestly, what’s up with fighting bad guys in the desert? First, “Independence Day,” then this. You’re battling both the heat and your survival… not the most glorious combo.) After watching this clip, we secretly hope that Jovovich joins the cast of “The Walking Dead.”
Surprise! It’s 2016 and we’re still here (thanks for the scare, Mayan calendar). But in the movie, it’s one volcanic eruption that sends the entire planet into destruction. John Cusack plays a writer who tries to save his family from the world’s apocalyptic effects. The movie includes a frighteningly realistic scene of Wynn Las Vegas and its sister property Encore collapsing right before our eyes.
Godzilla has a throw down with some LARGE creatures called MUTOs, which sounds more like a mean cuss word you’d call someone. MUTO actually stood for Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms and they looked a lot like pterodactyls. During the movie, you’ll see these bird-like creatures soaring into Vegas and destroying New York-New York’s Statue of Liberty replica, as well as other notable Las Vegas hotels. We also loved seeing Brian Cranston star in a role shortly after his successful run of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”
San Andreas, 2015
This movie stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Paul Giamatti. The mother of all earthquakes hits the Hoover Dam, shattering and breaking it into pieces. It’s so scary and surreal to see landmarks we see all the time get pulverized by Mother Nature, especially because there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. The special effects in this movie are out of this world.
Have a favorite movie we haven’t added to the list? Share it with us, catch up with our Vegas drama movie list and stay tuned for our best comedies in Vegas. And for all of you inspiring movie makers, book your trip to Vegas and we’ll happily be your extras.
(Additional editorial contribution by Ashley Oñoz-Wright.)