With the video release of Hollywood’s biggest movie about a prepper, Paratus Business News wanted to know what leading manufacturers thought of the shelter in “10 Cloverfield Lane.”
In the movie, Howard (played by actor John Goodman) built the shelter himself. And though he makes no mention of having experience in construction, excavating, mechanical or civil engineering (he did work with satellites in the U.S. Navy), he claims the homemade bunker will last for years in the event of a nuclear, biological of chemical attack, or an attack by “the Martians.”
In response to the PBN request, two of the three leading bunker company leaders had significant issues with the design and materials used for the fictitious shelter.
Only one manufacturer, Ron Hubbard, CEO of Atlas Survival Shelters, thought the movie bunker that he saw were acceptable.
“Since I have not seen the movie, just clips of it, I have not seen the whole bunker. But anything underground is better than nothing,” Hubbard said. “Parts of that shelter is a Quonset hut like farmers use and is just like the JFK shelter in Palm Beach.”
The John F. Kennedy bomb shelter, Hubbard refers to, was built in 1961 after Kennedy’s inauguration at a Coast Guard base on Peanut Island in Palm Beach, Florida, to house the president in the event the Soviet Union used nuclear weapons to attack the United States.
According to the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, the shelter was built in ten days by Navy Seabees. The Spartan, 1,600-square-foot bunker, which now serves as a museum, “wouldn’t have survived a direct or nearby hit, (but) it would have provided protection from fallout blown in from elsewhere.”
For Hubbard, that section of the “10 Cloverfield Lane” movie bunker is “like my shelter so its fine,” he said.
But executives at two other bunker manufacturing companies disagree with that assessment and while they recognize the movie shelter is make believe, the flaws are worth noting so that some unsuspecting moviegoer doesn’t “try this at home.”
Brad Roberson, marketing director for the Rising S Bunkers, took issue with much of the movie design, particularly the use of corrugated metal piping and cinder blocks that make up much of the structure’s walls.
“The movie’s bunker is constructed with cinder block walls, concrete floors and sheet rock in the ceilings and walls. Common problems with materials like these are cracks and susceptibility to water damage,” said Roberson. “Lots of areas in his bunker appear to have been re-plastered or repaired which would be expected with these materials. The shifting earth and fluctuating ground temperatures create cracks and subsequent leaks in the structure.”
Hubbard’s designs don’t include cinder block.
Paul Seyfried, co-founder and co-owner of Utah Shelter Systems, also disagreed with the use of the unnecessary appliances that make the bunker feel like “an underground condo” because it actually wastes resources and endangers the occupants.
“We don’t make shelters that look like motor homes on the inside. We build combat shelters. So they are rather utilitarian and unattractive,” he said. “Like being in a HUMVEE owned by the 1st Marine Division, compared to an H2 sold to Bill Gates, with DVD player, entertainment center, beautiful mahogany trim package. Fluff wastes money, takes up valuable space for critical supplies.”
For insight into the producer’s design of the movie bunker, the “10 Cloverfield Lane” DVD includes a short video about the making of the bunker. In it, movie producers show a bank of photos that were used to inspire the set designers.
Clearly marked on the inspirational photos are several taken from the Rising S Company website. Yet, none of the design features in the movie bunker appear to resemble any Rising S Bunker models.
As part of this project, Paratus Business News is proud to offer readers the fascinating, and educational (lightly edited) analysis from two of the leading underground shelter and bunker manufacturers.
To read the entire Rising S Company response, click here.
To read the entire Utah Shelter Systems response, click here.
All photos from the movie by Paramount Pictures