Florida. Yes – that alligator lives in Everglades National Park (photo courtesy National Park Service). And yes – I chose an alligator instead of an orange grove, beach, or theme park. Why, you might ask? Because Florida movies are kind of like alligators:
Gator are Exciting!
Gators are exciting to watch when they get going after an unfortunate bird. So too are the many action movies and thrillers set in Florida. Bad Boys (1995), Miami Vice (2006), Scarface (1983) and Body Heat (1981) are some examples, but even James Bond got into the action with 1964’s classic Goldfinger.
Gators are Alien!
Are gators space aliens? No – but they are one of the most unique species on the planet. In this circular, tangential, and only slightly accurate way, they are like the many science fiction movies set in Florida. Armageddon (1998), Contact (1997), and Cocoon (1985) are some examples.
Gators are Sporty!
Well, there’s a notable college sports team called the Gators anyway. Florida is home to a lot of sports films including Any Given Sunday (1999), 42 (2013), and Foxcatcher (2014).
Gators are Reclusive!
Much like Charles Foster Kane towards the end of his life – gators are mysterious and hard to find. Citizen Kane (1941) often tops critics’ list as the top movie of all time. It is certainly among the most influential. A young Orson Welles invented several important editing techniques and film conventions that are still with us today. Next time you are wondering where the idea came from to use news reports to tell back story – look no further.
Gators are Dumb!
On the opposite end of the movie spectrum from Citizen Kane are the numerous B movies, ill-conceived sequels, and gross out teen films set in the Sunshine State. Porky’s (1981) and its unfortunate sequels, American Idol cash-in From Justin to Kelly (2003), the so very unnecessary Revenge of the Nerds II (1987), Earnest Saves Christmas (1988), and Mystery Science Theater favorite Revenge of the Creature (1955) are set here.
Next time – The Southeast!
(c) 2015 D.G. McCabe