Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still More Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them)

Welcome back to another edition of me not wanting to risk watching another movie today as bad as The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, otherwise known as Videogames I'd Like To See Made Into Movies (And How I'd Make Them). Last time, we talked about classic Sega Genesis/Master System games and the movie ideas they inspired, and since I've arbitrarily decided to go through this series in order of the consoles I owned as a kid, next up is a leap ahead to the original Playstation.

1: Tecmo's Deceptions: Invitation To Darkness

The story of a man who sells his soul to Satan to escape death and becomes the unseen master of a demonically powered mansion filled with traps and assorted horrors. I never got too far into this game, but played it enough to want to see it played out in a feature film. The cool part about the game from what I remember is that it was the first game I ever played that had what we now think of as morality systems. Before Bioshock and Infamous, this was a game where the victims who entered the house may be criminals or murderers themselves, or just as easily could be innocent people, and you had the choice whether to kill them or let them go. I never got far enough into it to know this, but evidently you could also turn the corpses of your victims into Frankenmonsters to do your bidding. I'd see it as a standard haunted house movie, but with the murderous caretaker as the protagonist, a sympathetic villain who we explore psychologically as he struggles with the decision of whether to take the souls of those who come to his door, each death chipping away at his humanity even as he tries to shed the yoke of the Devil's hold on him. The main guests would be your typical horror movie backpacking teenagers just looking for a place to stay for the night, who invariably must avoid deadly traps and an army of monsters created from the previous guests.

2: Thrill Kill

A game supposedly so controversial that it was never officially released, only playable via bootlegged disc. A fighting game taking the anything goes mentality of Mortal Kombat and taking it to its furthest extreme, going out of their way to offend as much as possible. The basic plot is that a group of dead sinners, the souls of murderers and maniacs given new monstrous forms that reflect their depravity in life, fight a tournament in Hell for the chance to be reincarnated on Earth. I'd switch it up a bit and have the tournament take place on Earth, with the participants in human form but manifesting demonic powers as they fight to the death, the last man standing getting to stay alive and out of Hell. We'd follow the two least villainous characters as our protagonists, Oddball, a serial killer profiler struggling with his own psychopathy, and Violet Boregard, a contortionist and rape victim turned revenge killer. The villains would eventually unite under the dominance of the most visible bad guy from the game, the dominatrix Belladonna. Do it as gritty and stylish as possible, a cross between Mortal Kombat and Se7en. Maybe even get David Fincher to direct. Incedently, now that I see the word, I'm surprised Mortal Kombat never used Mentality along with Fatality and Babality. They could have been really witty or subtle death scenes that you'd have to think about for a while.

3: Oddworld Abe's Oddesey/Heart Of Darkness

Two cinematic platformers with the same whimsical dark fantasy tone that were probably too similar to have as separate entries, and from which I couldn't choose between. Oddworld follows an alien slave on a mission of salvation for his people against an oppressor that wants to turn his kind into food, and Heart of Darkness follows a boy trying to rescue his dog from an army of demonic shadow creatures. Both were hard as balls and I could never beat either of them, but from what I understand about their plots, Oddworld is obviously the most complex. Naturally you'd have to go the CG route with both of them, and since we have two big studios for these kinds of releases in Pixar and Dreamworks, its just a question of which one should handle which property. Last year I think the answer would have been obvious, to give the more weighty material to Pixar, and the more cartoonish lighter fair to Dreamworks, but after this year with the lackluster Brave and the steller Rise of the Guardians, I'd say exactly the opposite now.

4: Incredible Crisis

The first mini-game compilation with an interconnected story, at least that I ever played, and sort of the Katamari Damacy of its day in terms of essential Japanese weirdness. Incredible Crisis follows the various, increasingly bizarre exploits of a family trying to go about their day and get home safe for their matriarch's birthday party, running from boulders, bank robbers, and giant teddy bears if I remember correctly. Other than Americanizing it, I'd say do it as a mad cap farce as the different threads constantly interweve until coming together at the end in an anti-climax that belies the hectic tone of what came before it. My suggestion: make it the next Charlie Kaufman - Spike Jonze collaboration.

5: Dino Crisis

Yes, a completely different crisis, though no less incredible, considering it involves freaking dinosaurs. A spiritual contemporary to Resident Evil, this "survival panic" game always appealed to me more than the more established Capcom survival horror series, if only because the enemies chasing you were more consistent than in Resident Evil, which goes from zombies to giant plants and snakes, and just all over the place to the point where now, the nature of the evil you're fighting is different from game to game. The recurring villain in the T-Rex would later become a motif in my favorite Resident Evil game, Nemesis, with the titular unkillable bad guy stalking you throughout the game. Dino Crisis was simple and effective, and it tapped into a primal kid love of Prehistoric Predators. Also a plus, thanks to the ongoing and increasingly worsening Resident Evil movie series, we already have the blue print for the movie. Paul W.S. Anderson's shallow kinetic action horror style would actually work here, without as much need for subtlety, and even casting his wife Milla would make more sense here than it does in the other movies. As long as he quits at two like the game series did before it gets stale, I think it could work. Think Jurassic Park, if the humans got their shit together and fought back.

6: Wild 9

Another entry from Shiny entertainment, the makers of Earthworm Jim, though evidently not created by Doug TenNepal as I always thought it was. The story follows an oddball crew of alien/cybernetic/mutant misfits led by human Wex Major, currently in possession of the Rig, a powerful telekinetic weapon sought after by an alien tyrant. Like Earthworm Jim, playing this game always evoked a sense that there was so much more to the world of Wild 9 than could or was being conveyed in the game itself. Lighthearted sci-fi action comedy, if you're going live action, I'd almost say make it a series instead of a movie considering the ensemble cast and the vast potential for a weekly plot. Weirdly, I always saw the designs of these characters as in many ways adult versions of the Bratz of the Lost Nebula. On that note, with all the aliens and mayhem, you couldn't go wrong with Jim Henson for the production work. Hell, might as well give it to Rockne S. O'Bannon and get the Farscape crew back together for it. Or just bring back Farscape, cause that show was awesome.

Yeah, that'll do nicely.

So that's it for now. Next up, the next system I owned and the first system I ever bought with my own money (which I suppose makes it the first system I really owned, the others being gifts from my very generous parents) - The Sega Dreamcast!
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