Movies That Tourist Boards Dread

July 16, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

The nation of Austria awaited Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno with bated breath.

What could be in store? Would it follow in the bigot footsteps of Borat? Would the reputation of Austrians be tainted by the film?

Honestly, after Hitler and Fritzl, a camp 19-year-old in spandex doesn’t appear to be much to worry about. Austria has proved pretty resilient, even managing to install their wunderkind Schwarzenegger into the US Government.

One must remember however that not every nation has been treated nicely by Hollywood. So with Bruno amusing and outraging many from last Friday, now seems a good time to run down five films the tourist boards dread.


Come to North Korea (5946 miles West of United States of America)! It’s everything you expect it to be! One faithful nation under one charming powerful leader! Admire the Chinese-food container architecture and many red drapes!

Team America offered a fascinating insight into the way nations around the world live (see children singing Frère Jacques in Paris, street markets and banana bearers along the Panama Canal, and very apparent pyramids in Cairo).

Obviously, fundamentally Team America is an attack at America’s obsession with policing the world, though it had another obvious target – tiny tyrant Kim Jong-Il. A marionette likeness of the North Korean leader featured largely in the film, needless to say making him most dispreased.

He said the movie “harms the image of our country”, continuing: “such behaviour is not part of our country’s culture” in Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny. He unsuccessfully campaigned for the banning of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s parody from the Czech Republic.

Having said all this, it’s not likely North Korea relies heavily on tourism for financial buoyancy.


Nothing sucks in Forks, WA! Don’t forget to bring a brolly, as our town enjoys 120 inches of rain every year! Better wear a scarf too…

A little town in Washington State is enjoying a few moments in the sun following the success of teen vampire flick Twilight.

Its residents are currently enduring an influx of Twilight fans who are, well, sucking Forks dry. 8,000 visitors came in June, the same number that used to come in a year.

The author of the series of books that spawned the 2008 hit movie, Stephenie Meyer, settled on the small logging town (population 3,221) as the setting of her stories after Googling after the rainiest place in the US.

While business is booming for many Forks-based shops and restaurants that offer Twilight-themed fares (Bellasagne, anyone?) some residents aren’t happy with the extra attention.

Local evangelist Hallelujah Bill has begun to preach the dangers of being a cult follower. A sign outside the Three Rivers forest camping ground reads “No Vampires Past This Point”, and the school’s principal was recently mobbed by a crazed teenager at the airport who had clocked his Forks Spartan Jacket.


Ride the rail up to Edinburgh! Do some trainspotting at the derelict Leith Central Railway Station! Marvel at the world’s most disgusting toilet! Dogs are more than welcome to our sprawling parks – air rifles will be provided!

The film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name doesn’t exactly paint ‘city of culture’ Edinburgh in the most flattering light.

Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its stunning architecture, was the setting for a group of smack addicts’ cold turkey, drunken brawls and misadventures with suppositories. Nowhere was safe, everything had a filthy veneer. Who would want to go there?

It would appear quite a few. A little gander on Google reveals that Trainspotting walking tours do actually exist. People pay good money to walk in the footsteps of Renton, Spud, Sick Boy et al, and these tours are proving more popular than the city’s more traditional literary walks. And yes, they do drop in on that bog en route.


Row on down to rural Georgia! Enjoy the local music and beautiful natural scenery! Come climb the Chattooga River and partake in our extreme water sports!

In fact, don’t. A year following the release of 1973’s Deliverance 31 people were killed attempting to travel the stretch of river where the movie was set.

Deliverance offered an absolutely terrifying look at the back end of America. Shot largely on the Chattooga River that divides Georgia and South Carolina, our heroes are put through a series of trials that will put you off canoeing for life.

If the Texas Chainsaw Massacre has taught us anything, it’s that the American countryside is not to be trusted (see also The Hills Have Eyes, Blue Velvet etc.)

Thank heavens for Sat Nav.


Live it up in Kazakhstan! Meet the friendly locals and village rapist! What we may lack in running water and electricity we make up with our many animals happy to receive you! Book in time for our famous annual ‘Running of the Jew’!

Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 mockumentary Borat depicted Kazakhs as incestuous, ignorant and anti-Semitic, and was deemed so offensive it was banned in almost all Arab countries.

Pretty much everyone Borat encountered in the movie took legal action, notably the villagers of the town in Georgia where the Kazakhstan sequence was shot who claimed they were misled and underpaid.

The Kazakh President was so concerned about the damage Borat had done to his country’s image that he discussed how things could be rectified in a meeting with the then-US President George W. Bush.

Many did seem to get the joke however and Borat DVD sales in Kazakhstan are soaring.

Leonie Mercedes

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