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Movie Travel Guide


The 10 greatest destinations you'll never go to. Why? 'Cause they're imaginary, stupid!

Out of ideas on how to spend your annual leave? Does the thought of three weeks on the sofa playing FIFA genuinely depress you? Then why not jet off to a completely fictitious land, as seen in the realm of cinema?

OK, so you can't *actually* go - we're a website, not a wizard - but you can spend the next few minutes reading about filmland's greatest imaginary destinations, as found by us. Anyway, let's face it, you didn't really want to visit Jurassic Park did you? Dinosaurs be crazy, after all.


1. Hill Valley (Back to the Future trilogy)

If you can get past its oxymoronic name, California's Hill Valley is quite the cultural hotbed, and is always evolving and reinventing itself. Providing you stop by once every three decades or so, that is.

Things to do

Hang out with your teenage elders, endeavour to avoid Oedipal incest, take full credit for a raft of inventions, songs and adrenaline sports you had nothing to do with but don't yet exist - the list of activities on offer is long and plentiful (if a bit gross).

Must see sights

Twin Pines Mall, which has been known to stage impromptu drag races/optical illusions with car-driving canines.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

A Delorean (preferably one capable of transcending space and time)

A frizzy-haired science-loving companion

A red gilet


2. Venusville (Total Recall)

An unruly Mars metropolis where fresh air is scarce but sin and sleaze is in abundance. Think Las Vegas, but with even more freaks.

Things to do

Live out your wildest dreams that may or may not be figments of your (implanted) imagination, receive free cosmetic surgery from potent radiation, start a human rights lobby group to campaign for free oxygen.

Must see sights

The Sleaze Bar - Venusville's premier haunt, filled with outlaws, villains and all manner of disfigured patrons. And yes, you may bump into the occasional three-breasted space whore.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

An oxygen tank

A hazmat suit


3. Cloud City (Star Wars)

A plush gas planet resort with panoramic views, this 392-floored monolith may not be advisable for vertigo sufferers, but with everything from casinos and upscale accommodation to gas refineries and tractor-beam generators on board, there really is something for everyone.

Things to do

Cool off in the carbon freezing chamber, play lightsabers on narrow platforms, work through some issues with estranged family members.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

A thick coat

Protective gloves

Your latent, unresolved daddy issues


4. The Island (Lord of the Flies)

Looking for some peace and quiet? Some respite from the trappings of the modern world? Keen to escape impending nuclear war? Then, here - have your own uninhabited, palm tree-lined tropical paradise.

Things to do

Break free of 21st century shackles by discarding your out-of-service iProducts, and embark on a neanderthal quest for your own dinner and shelter, while also topping up your tan. Oh, and inevitably descend into savagery and bloody murder.


The Official Island Tourist Board accepts no liability for any injury, harm or death suffered by any guests during their stay. Any damages will be taken directly from your deposit.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

SPF 30 sun lotion

A lighter

24 pack of Monster Munch


5. Pandora (Avatar)

The fifth moon of gas planet Polyphemus, Pandora is a treasure trove of natural resources and home to magnificent flora and fauna. Perfect for keen hikers and those at one with weird-coloured nature.

Things to see

Strapped for cash? Several areas of the moon's surface contain the rare, highly lucrative mineral, unobtanium. With a street value of $20m per kilogram when unrefined and the price doubled in its refined state, pop a couple of kg in with your hand luggage and you'll be able to afford plenty of supersize Toblerones on your way home.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

Blue paint (to fit in with the locals)

A bucket-wheel excavator


6. Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park)

With all due respect to Alton Towers, give even the most ardent rollercoaster fan the chance to visit a theme park with actual, real life dinosaurs - and Oblivion suddenly seems a bit small fry.

Things to see

Um, you're kidding, right? DINOSAURS. The creators of this prehistoric theme park didn't go to the rather sizeable effort of cloning and reanimating long extinct creatures just so you'd check out the gift shop.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

A camera

Some good quality running shoes


7. Gotham City (Batman)

Enjoy the film Kick-Ass? Well did you know that there's a US metropolis that's spawned its own copy-cat caped crusader? Calling himself 'The Bat Man', fans of comic books and vigilantism alike flock to the city of Gotham, in hope of catching a glimpse of this masked superhero fanboy.

Things to do

Frequent one of local entrepreneur/philanthropist Bruce Wayne's many bars, stores or media enterprises, or simply keep an eye on the skies, in hope of spotting a mythical light symbol that locals say is beamed into the sky when crime is unfolding.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

A bumbag for all your essentials - Gotham City is known for its high crime rate.


8. Castle Rock (several Stephen King films, including Stand By Me, Cujo and Needful Things)

A small town in Maine housing just under 2,000 residents, but so steeped in history you could well write numerous books, novellas and indeed movies about it. Ahem.

Things to see

Though local culture does err on that of rehabilitation, Shawshank State Prison and Juniper Hill Asylum are both essential stops on the cultural tour of Castle Rock. Also, if you happen to come across a shop selling exactly what you've always wanted, walk away very fast.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

A good book (there's a decent local writer called Stephen King you may want to check out) in order to work out just what the hell is going on.


9. Sin City (Sin City)

A particularly dark, rainy city (sunshine is understood to be mythical, as does daylight), Sin City is infamously known for its gun crime and high levels or murder, prostitution and violence. However, it's also renowned for being overtly stylish and easy on the eye.

Things to see

Though particularly treacherous due to its history of gang warfare, Old Town is the prostitute-run red light district of Sin City, and a must-see. Befriend these vastly powerful vixens and your time in Sin City will be a safe one. Get on the wrong side of them, or indeed their Mob enemies, however, and expect to see some brightly coloured blood. Yours.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

Protection, in every sense of the word

Waterproof clothing

A sunbed - to tackle seasonal affective disorder


10. The Matrix (Matrix trilogy)

Put simply, the Matrix is less a holiday destination, more a computer generated universe created by a malevolent artificial intelligence, used to control humanity and siphon of its energy like battery hens. Still, anything to take your mind off the 9-5, eh?

Things to do

Ever wanted to learn jiu-jitsu, boxing, taekwondo, kung fu? Then simply download all of the above in seconds, and enjoy your newly acquired life skills for the rest of your vacation and/or life. Also popular is an amended version of limbo, using automatic gunfire and bullet-time.

ShortList recommends you travel with...

An open mind

Dark sunglasses and a long trenchcoat

The red pill (not the blue pill)

(Images: All Star, Rex Features)



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