Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vintage Slasher Games!

Vintage Slasher Games!
Nothing cements your icon status into pop culture like having your own video game, and only in the 80’s would it be possible that games based on R-rated horror film franchises would have made their way to the market place aimed at children. As we all know most of the video games based on popular franchises were indeed awful (Total Recall NES anyone?) but occasionally these games would be surprisingly fun.


Freddy has the distinction of having not only two vintage video games based on his character, but also two board games and his very own pinball machine (along with his own candy, toys, yo-yos, etc.).
 NES released the Nightmare On Elm Street video game in 1989, combining elements from both Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and 4,  in which the player fights his way through different parts of Elm Street (houses, junk yard, etc.). Along the way you fight Frankenstein, skeletons, ghosts and spiders, until you reach the end of the level and battle Freddy.
The NES game is actually pretty fun and was one of the few NES games with a four player mode. An interesting side note, is that there was a prototype for this game on the NES system, that was far different from the version released. As seen in this vintage NES flyer the game was originally intended for you to be Freddy killing off all the kids in the neighborhood.
This would have made for a much better game (who wouldn't want to play AS Freddy?) but I guess someone at Nintendo thought it would cause parents to go ballistic.
Then there’s the Commadore 64 game based on Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and like most Commodore games is insanely boring to play. It sticks close to the storyline of the third film, as you can choose Kincaid, Taryn, Kristen, Will, or Nancy as your player.

The player must locate keys to open doors and weapons are scattered about the levels or can be purchased from vending machines. Enemies are varied, from skeletons to wheelchairs that shoot grenades at you. The game has a faint reminiscence of the Oregon Trail, only with Freddy Krueger jumping out at you randomly. Freddy has made a recent appearance as a downloadable character for the 2011 Mortal Kombat video game.
Jason also has the distinction of having two vintage games under his belt, unfortunately, both are pretty atrocious. The Friday the 13th game for NES is interesting at first, but after awhile the music and repetition of game play grates on ones nerves. All you do is wonder around Crystal Lake trying to save kids from being slaughtered by Jason. Over and over and over again, until Jason finally kills you. Also without a game genie, you’ll likely never beat this game (or have the patience to finish it) and see this infamous final frame:
Why the game designers decided to give him a purple jumpsuit is beyond me. The version for the Commodore 64 however, is a thousand times worse. You run around Crystal Lake for hours trying to figure out who in the hell is Jason, and why he’s so hard to find. The problem is that Jason is a normal player moving around until he attacks or is attacked, so one can imagine the confusion and utter banality a game like this can induce in a person's psyche.
In 2008 a PC Friday the 13th 3D game was released to mixed reviews.

In the 80’s Wizard Home Video (a VHS exploitation company) decided to get in on the exploding game market and release horror themed games for the Atari 2600. What seemed like a good idea, drew outrage from parental groups and stores that carried the games were forced to hide them in the back and the items were sold on request only.
The Halloween game is actually pretty decent for an Atari outing. Jamie Lee Curtis’ character runs around protecting the children from the evil Myers as the theme songs repeats itself adnauseam. Fun for a good five minutes (10 if you're drunk).

Another release from Wizard was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre game, where you get to be chainsaw-wielding psychopath Leatherface! A great concept until you actually play the game, which becomes so tedious that after you’ve chainsawed through six or seven kids you simply stop caring about how high your score is. As a curiosity piece it kind of reminds me of the infamous Custard's Revenge game (a pornographic video game made for the Atari 2600).

What? I don't remember a Hellraiser video game for NES? Well, that’s because it was never released. A British company called Color Dreams was in the process of creating a Hellraiser game using an improved version of the Wolfenstein 3D engine and a Z80 CPU for the NES. Because of the bigger chip for the cartridge the production costs went through the roof and the game was shelved.
It was going to be a first person shooter where you travel through the Hellraiser puzzle box . The goal was to solve the puzzle box and escape before the cenobites destroyed you. Seemed like it would have been a great game, and I think all us horror fans would have loved to have played it.
The age of the 8-bit slasher game is gone now, but it's interesting to look back on how fun it was while it lasted. Luckily for us 80's horror fans, an awesome new fan made game is in the process of being created for us to enjoy. It's called Terrordrome, and in it you get to pit your favorite horror icons against one another! It's due for release sometime in 2012. On that note - have a Happy New Year!

New DVD from Razorwire Pictures now available!

It's been a busy year for me and Razorwire Pictures. In between shooting various animated short films, I managed to sell two screenplays to the Gospel Music Network, win two Empixx awards, and worked on the sequel to The Toolbox Murders. So I've decided to release a new DVD of the various shorts that have been produced by Razorwire Pictures this past year-Enjoy!

Razorwire Pictures brings you the most innovative and creative collection of avant-garde animated shorts; using such techniques as stop motion animation, traditional 2d animation and CGI. This set includes:

A scientist and a Nazi drag queen explore the world of crawfish through a microscope.
* Winner 2011 Empixx Awards

An insomniac dreams of becoming a super-hero built out of trash.

Two drunkards discuss the meaning of life, while the world catches on fire around them.

Two extra-terrestrial aliens working at a lightbulb factory embark on many misadventures throughout the day.
*Winner 2011 Empixx Awards

A day in the life of a creature working inside of a circuit board.

Five stop motion tales revolving around; a gargoyle, a duck on a bike, Pinocchio's resurrection, a dancing elephant, and a sea of worms round out the third and final chapter in the award winning SUSHI series.

Bonus Features:
Frankenstein Goes To Camp
Fantastic Explorations: The Journey To Mongo Planet
electroFiend's Music Video
Krzysztof Muller Music Video

Available exclusively at