This is part two of an article. Click here for part one!
This is a lot like a reading list for gamers. I’m not saying anything “ripped off” anything else here, I’m just making a nice list of movies that are relevant or related to games in some way. Some were definitely sources of inspiration, others just have some parallels.
Vampire Hunter D / Bloodlust – Castlevania Series
In VHD we have a long haired, mysterious, cloaked vampire hunter who also happens to be the son of Dracula. Sounds a lot like Alucard. Looks a lot like Alucard. Acts a lot like Alucard. We have a lot of similar monster and scenery designs.. Even a whip-weilding woman in the 1985 movie!
The newer anime (Vampire hunter D: Bloodlust) is incredible and well worth your time. The original is also great if a little hokey. There have been 22 novels in the original series, with illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano (of Final Fantasy fame). Recommended!
I’ve included this for one simple reason. “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubblegum”. Duke is an amalgamation of various characters and lines. Hell, in his early titles Apogee blatently stole graphics from a litany of Amiga games. Including Turrican. You don’t mess with Turrican! Anyway, the bubblegum line is one of Duke’s most iconic and it was said better first by Roddy Piper in this movie. This is the second time a John Carpenter film has appeared in this list, and this one’s another cult classic. It shows a comical, vaguely scary take on the aliens among us/body-snatchers formula. It also has one of the longest (possibly THE longest) fist-fight scene in cinema history. Oh, and it has sun-glasses that let you see who is and isn’t a grotesque alien – if you were unfortunate enough to play Bart Simpson vs The Space Mutants (1991) you’ll recognise those.
Dagon – Resident Evil 4
One of the more obscure films on this list. Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon have done a whole load of H.P. Lovecraft inspired movies, and this is among the best. From IMDb – “A boating accident off the coast of Spain sends Paul and his girlfriend Barbara to the decrepit fishing village of Imboca looking for help. As night falls, people start to disappear and things not quite human start to appear. Paul finds himself pursued by the entire town. Running for his life, he uncovers Imboca’s dark secret: that they pray to Dagon, a monstrous god of the sea.” When the angry mob start chasing the characters around mumbling and screaming broken Spanish it’s really remeniscent of the Ganados village levels in RE4. I’d not be at all surprised if the designers at Capcom had seen this movie before they wrote RE4.
The Mist – Half Life, Silent Hill & a crapload of other games.
I. Love. This. Film. Based on the Stephen King story of the same name. Directed by Frank Darabony (Shawshank Redemption, The Walking Dead) Military experiment gone awry opens up a gateway to another world. Creatures (and the mist) spill out into our world, seemingly taking over the whole planet. Humanity has lost. Sounds a lot like Half Life 2.. And Doom 2.. And probably a ton of other games I forget about. Apparently the book has a much more open ending, but he movie has one of the most brutally depressing endings you could imagine so I don’t recommend it to anyone who’s likely to get upset.
There is a lot of interesting religious undertones, and the atmosphere and terrible fog also make it a must see movie for anyone into Silent Hill. It really has no direct parallel to any single game but you’ll see lots of little elements that have a game-y vibe to them. It would make a brilliant survival horror game in it’s own right.
Event Horizon – Dead Space, Doom
A ship that disappeared on it’s maiden voyage reappears years later and a crew is sent in to check it out. Sam Neil and Laurence Fishburne star in W.S.Anderson’s twisted sci-fi action horror. Notable for the fact that it’s a W.S.Anderson movie that’s actually pretty good. Much like in The Mist an experiment (in this case a faster than light drive capable of bridging two points in space) accidentally opens a gate to Hell. Oops! Cue horrible hallucinations, body shock imagery, self mutilation and so on. The atmosphere, story and designs though hardly original in of themselves are all quite similar to Dead Space. This is a ballsy movie and worth checking out, though it hasn’t aged too well. Personally I think Sam Neill is great here and that he’s best in his creepier roles. (see also Omen3, Possession)
Mad max (1-3) – Borderlands, Fallout, RAGE
This one is obvious. You can’t have a post apocalyptic desert setting without evoking the screwed up Australia of the Mad Max series. The influence these films has had on gaming is notable. Since the first movie came out in 1979 there have been many games with similar backgrounds and lone gunmen. In the 80s and early 90s there was a bit of a post-apocalyptic game kick, but now we have a whole new generation of them. Watch this great (if spoilerific) trailer for Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.
I think the list (for now) is coming to an end. There are a lot of obvious additions I haven’t bothered with. Lord Of The Rings trilogy – Dragon Age, and so on. There are even some TV series I’d recommend to fans of certain games. I’ll leave that for another article though, as I’ve got a lot to say about one game in particular..
Any more games you would add to the list? What are your choices? Any games that tread too close to a film or TV series? Do you love it when games do this or are there examples where you think it’s totally disrespectful?