Every single movie made since 1981 has had a videogame tie in. It’s in the contract studio heads make with Satan when they’re hired: (quoting) “Thou must marketize every product unto its synergistic utmost or be pierced through thine hearte by a thousand shards of glass ad eterneum.” But a few among us know that the history of cinema goes back even further than that of the home gaming console, back even to the days before electricity.
As far back as the 1800s, Neolithic man was projecting crude images onto cave walls using nothing more than a whale oil lantern and his own sense of self-esteem. But it wasn’t until the dinosaurs became extinct in 1915 that cinema really took off, when DW Griffith released his racist agitprop musical “Land of the Lost.” Since then, dozens of so-called “talkies” have been produced in as many as 7 different languages. But since they were produced before the advent of home gaming consoles, videogame adaptations were never made. We’ve selected 10 movies we remember from film school that deserve to be made into videogames despite mostly being black and white (too old to be in color) and sometimes not even in English (made in another country).
1. THE BIRDS
The film: A tranquil Northern California fishing town is attacked by a horde of relentless, bloodthirsty birds. A horrific take on the timeless theme of Man vs Nature, as only Hitch could have done it.
Above: Punishment for transgressions!
How to spin it into a game: The Birds: Aviary Empire is an RTS where you build and command legions of birds against human defenses. Use your seagulls as shock troops while your ravens flank and your special forces owl units launch surprise attacks on human leaders. Once you’ve conquered Bodega Bay, keep going till you’ve conquered the world! Or, maybe just a simple Duck Hunt mod would suffice.
Above: F***ing dog had it coming
2. NORTH BY NORTHWEST
The film: A case of mistaken identity plunges a regular guy into a web of international intrigue in Hitchcock’s magnificent spy thriller. North by Northwest is laden with romance, intrigue and some of the most memorable scenes ever committed to film.
Above: You could carve a national monument into Cary Grant's chin, if you were so inclined
How to spin it into a game: A NxNW game should have a cel shaded look and Heavy Rainy gameplay while maintaining its gripping plot that actually, you know, makes sense. Based on a tried and true story from the master of suspense himself, what could go wrong?
Above: Press X to live!
The film: Sexploitation flick Barbarella captured the zeitgeist of the late sixties in a way few films could. From the shagadelic sets to the LSD-laced costumes, Barbarella featured space vixen Jane Fonda at the pinnacle of her voracious nubility.
Above: Proto-hentai promotional poster for Barbarella
How to spin it into a game: Any idiot with a half a boner can see that Barbarella is the template upon which all female videogame characters are based. So why not have BioWare craft a sexy RPG with loads of titillating dialog sprinkled with pithy post-feminist zingers? In Barbarella: Shattered Inhibitions, everyone (and everything) is a romance option!
Above: An idea whose time has come
The film: One of the greatest blaxploitation films of all time, Blacula tells the tale of an African prince who is turned into a vampire by the nefarious Count Dracula and then 200 years later is set loose on the streets of Los Angeles by a couple of campy gay stereotypes. In spite of critical disdain, the film was a commercial success and spawned the sequel Scream, Blacula, Scream.
Above: Yes, you can get a ticket for Driving While Blacula
How to spin it into a game: Palette swap Castlevania and you’re done.
Above: See, Blacula is just like Dracula except… oh, forget it. I’m going for a lie-down, see you on the next page
Next page: Arty European cinema!