Norman Bates The Original Psycho Slasher

I write a blog on here, and you’d be more than welcome to read it if you want f.o.c. of course..free of charge! This update before our big Halloween day update is all about the one and only Norman Bates and Innovation Comics’ three issue adaptation of the film that came out in 1992. If you remember last year I had a tough time choosing what to review between Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Psycho, and Leatherface ended up winning.  Well this year I decided that it’s for sure Psycho’s time in the jack-o-lantern candle spotlight. So while we wait for our room at the Bates Motel, we should talk about the 1959 novel Psycho written by Robert Bloch that was adapted into the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. The novel was about a son and mother that run a motel called the Bates Motel that’s off a stretch of highway.  When a young lady goes missing and we know she has been murdered, a plot of why and who killed her comes into play as her sister and a private detective come looking for answers. The novel was a hit and was loosely based off the killer Ed Gein who just two years before had been arrested for murder and grave robbing.  It’s said that Bloch didn’t do any research into Gein’s crimes and was shocked to see just how much the Norman Bates character and the real life killer Gein had in common. The novel proved to be such a hit that it was licensed to become a film directed by the master of thrills Alfred Hitchcock, and it also sparked two novel sequels called Psycho II in 1982 and Psycho House in 1990. For those wondering, Robert Bloch wrote 30 novels and hundreds of short stories.  Some of his novels include Night of The Ripper, The Dead Beat, The Jekyll Legacy and Twilight Zone: The Movie to name a few. In the 60’s Bloch also worked on Hollywood scripts that included 10 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents as well as William Castle directed films Straight Jacket and The Night Walker as well as British made horror film The Skull that starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Bloch was a protege and friend of writer H.P. Lovecraft the latter who even dedicated a story to marking the first and only time the writer dedicated one of his stories to someone else. Sadly Robert Bloch is no longer with us as he passed away in 1994 at the age of 77 from cancer. But if you enjoy a good horror chiller novel then check out some of Bloch’s work. I’m sure you will get a shiver or two from them.

psycho bookNow at this point I should get onto breaking down the films in the Psycho movie series as well as talk briefly about the TV inspired programs, and I guess about the awful and unwanted remake. So as always I am going to take the films descriptions from IMDB so that you can get a little taste of what these films are about.  Warning: I am sure these write ups will have spoilers I will also at the end of each give them a 1-4 star rating just for the fun of it! So with that let’s sit down have some peanut butter sandwiches and milk and learn all about Norman Bates and his Mother Norma. I should also say that Anthony Perkins will always be Norman Bates.  The way the actor brought the character to life will never be matched. Perkins played the character in the first 4 films and sadly passed away in 1992 at the age of 60 from AIDS-related pneumonia. But let’s get to those film write ups, shall we?

Psycho – Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam’s California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother. 4 stars for sure, a true classic in cinema as well as truly one of the first slasher films.

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Psycho II – Now declared legally sane, Norman Bates is released from a mental institution after spending 22 years in confinement over the protests of Marion Crane’s sister Lila Loomis, who insists that he’s still a killer and that the court’s indifference to his victims by releasing him is a gross miscarriage of justice. Norman returns to his motel and the old Victorian mansion where his troubles started, and history predictably begins to repeat itself. A solid 3 1/2 stars and a film I can remember watching a lot when I was younger!

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Psycho III – Norman Bates is still running his little motel, and he has kept the dressed skeleton he calls mother. One of his guests is a young girl who has left the convent where she lived. To get some help he employs a young man. One day a nosy journalist comes to see him to ask questions about his past. I really like this third film and while it’s more of a slasher film than a suspense one, I still would give this 3 stars!

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Psycho IV: The Beginning – Norman Bates returns for this “prequel”, once more having mommy trouble. This time around he is invited to share memories of mom with a radio talk show host, but the PYSCHO fears that he may kill again for his beloved is impregnated with his child and Norman cannot let another PYSCHO loose in the civilized world. This made for Showtime movie is pretty good and sadly marked the last time Anthony Perkins played Norman Bates. I would give this one as well 3 Stars.

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Bates Motel (1987) – This film is based on, but not in sequence with, the Psycho films. After the death of Norman Bates, a man who befriended him in the institution inherits the motel. In keeping with Norman’s wishes, he tries to fix up the place and make it a respectable motel. Made for TV film that was made to try and kick start a TV series.

Psycho (1998) – Marion Crane steals a lot of cash from a man whom her boss is in business with. On the way to see her boyfriend, she stops off by an old motel, run by the odd Norman Bates. She is murdered in the shower. Her sister, boyfriend, and a private investigator try to find out where she is, while we learn more about Norman Bates. This film is a waste and has Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates. Zero stars.

Bates Motel (2013) – “Bates Motel” is a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film “Psycho,” and gives a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ (Freddie Highmore) psyche unravels through his teenage years. Fans discover the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), truly is. Airs on A&E and is on it’s second season.

The Bates Haunting (2012) – One year ago, Agnes Rickover attended opening night at the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride to see her best friend Lily’s dramatic debut. A horrific accident resulted in Agnes witnessing Lily’s fiery death in a spectacle gone wrong. After a year of obsessing over a murder investigation everyone else thinks is open and shut, Agnes goes to work at the Haunt in an attempt confront her trauma. Horrific events begin to claim the lives of her coworkers and Agnes must figure out what is behind all of the “accidents” before more people die. Generic cash in on the Bates Motel name, has nothing to do with Norman Bates or hell even the Bates Motel!

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While Psycho started as a book, it was the films that made it a household name and allowed it to be marketed and even the original motel and house set to become a mainstay tourist attraction for all those who go to Universal Studios Hollywood. Psycho as well as Norman Bates and Mother have been turned into all types of products from t-shirts, dolls, night lights, posters, comics, toys, shower curtains, video games and Halloween costumes. One of my favorite piece of merchandise is the McFarlane Toys Movie Maniac Norman Bates action figure that is Norman in dress with removable wig…classic! I should also note that I would love for a 3 3/4” ReAction Figure line based on Psycho to come out complete with Norman and Mother. So if you’re a Psycho fan, there is plenty of great stuff out there for you to collect.

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In 1988, Box Office Games made a game for the Commodore 64 based on Psycho that was a cheesy 8-bit horror themed game. The game is about a curator with a bad heart and some priceless jewels that have been stolen from a museum.  All clues point that they are both at the infamous Bates Motel! No one will take the case besides you, a detective that decides to enter the famed house and Motel late at night. In the house is Norman Bates dressed up as his mother as well as skeletons, ghosts and bats all wanting to stop you from saving the day. It’s a race against time as you must find them before daybreak and must also fight off sleep! Find the clues, keys, gun, ammo, the curator and jewels before Norman Bates finds you! Do you have the nerves of steel to search the Bates House and Motel? Can you stand up to Norman Bates? The game is okay but the lack of Norman and Mother make it feel like an updated version of the Atari 2600 game Haunted House.The graphics are your standard Commodore style so while not ground breaking, they are very charming. But over all if you’re a fan of the film and still own a Commodore 64, then this is one you might want to check out.

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One thing that makes the Psycho films work is the score music that accompanies so many of the films’ iconic scenes. The first film’s score is done by Bernard Herrmann and is a very powerful and each bit of music fits the scene it accompanies.  Who can forget the the the shower scene music cue? The second film’s music is done by Jerry Goldsmith and once more is a very solid piece of work, filled with just enough touches of Herrmann’s score style but truly Godlsmith’s own. The third film has Carter Burwell doing the score, and the fourth film is Graeme Revell and both do outstanding jobs and like the composers before them, capture the mood and feel of the Psycho world. Each of these soundtracks are worth a listen with part four’s being the hardest to get your hands on. One thing that I love to do on Alpha Rhythms on WYSO is play some of the score done by Herrmann from time to time, and it’s always a must-play on the Halloween show.

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Janet Leigh was born Jeanette Helen Morrison on July 6th 1927, and by 1945 thanks to actress Norma Shearer, she became a signed on actress to MGM even though she had no acting experience.  She got the contract just simply by her smile. By 1947 she made her major big budget film debut in The Romance Of Rosy Ridge, and after this many roles would come her way like If Winter Comes, The Stratton Story, Hills Of Home, Little Women and Touch Of Evil to name a few. Her most popular role came in 1960 when she was casted as Marion Crane in Psycho. With the success of Psycho, she landed more major roles in such films as The Manchurian Candidate and Bye Bye Birdie. During this time she also took some roles on TV shows like Tales Of The Unexpected, Columbo, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and even an episode of the 1989 Twilight Zone. She also took roles alongside her actress daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in the films The Fog and Halloween H20. Leigh has been married a total of 4 times with her third husband being Tony Curtis with whom she had Jamie Lee. Leigh sadly died in 2004 at the age of 77 from vasculitis leaving behind a husband and two daughters. To me Janet Leigh could be one of the original Scream Queens of horror and only could be matched for the “original” title by Carolyn Jones of 1959’s House on Haunted Hill and of course Fay Wray from 1933’s King Kong. But what is for sure is Janet Leigh was a fantastic actress who starred in some great films and made her mark on the world of horror.

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Growing up I watched Psycho and its sequels a lot, and one fun past time I can remember doing in my teens was talking to my mom as if she was Mother.  She hated when I did this but I always got a good laugh acting as if she was crazy and such about girls I was dating or even dinner she had cooked for us. Fun times indeed and still to this day from time to time I still bust out the “Yes Mother” just to keep the joke alive. But I just got word that our room is ready and just our luck we got room # 1, the room right next door to the office so we are really lucky! But before we enter, I just want to remind you all that I grade these issues on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I also want to thank Bell Book and Comic and Lone Star Comics for having these issues in stock. So let’s go ahead and get comfy and enjoy our stay at the Bates Motel!

Psycho Comic 1

Psycho # 1   ***1/2
Released in 1992   Cover Price $2.50    Innovation   #1 of 3

At a hotel room Sam and Marion have just finished up a lunch break filled with making love, and the two talk of a “future” that they might have together once Sam can get back on his feet. Marion returns to work where she is a secretary for a real estate agent, and when a load mouth cowboy comes in with forty thousand dollar cash and she is asked to put it in the companies safety deposit box at the bank, she makes the decision to steal the money and go on the run. On her way out of town she catches the eye of a cop who follows her as she trades in her car and buys a new one.  She then makes her way to a motel called The Bates Motel during a rain storm and meets the owner Norman Bates, who invites her to dinner and while he goes to his home on the hill near the motel Marion can hear him arguing with his mother before returning with some sandwiches and milk. Marion eats in the office parlor as she and Norman talk about his Mother and running away from mistakes.  The talk makes her want to return home and return the money before things get way out of hand, and as she returns to her room Norman removes a picture in his office to show a peephole into her cabin next door!

Marion is a lovely woman who is just down and out in her love life as well are in her professional life. She decides to try and change her luck and commits a terrible crime to secure that new life, and while now she is on the path to make everything better she still feels rotten about what she has done. This sad and desperate situation she finds herself in is what draws you as a reader into really liking her character and hoping that she can make things right and find happiness another way. Norman Bates is an odd and awkward yet likeable man who really seems to care for his Mother even though she treats him poorly and rules every aspect of his life, plus his hobby is taxidermy, he likes to drink milk, he runs a motel with no guests and he’s a peeping tom…so he has to be a good guy right? Mother Bates, while we have not seen her, sounds very strong willed and not very friendly at all. It’s clear that Mother hates other women and thinks that they are all whores who want to corrupt Norman. The mood of the comic captures the mood of the film really well and for those of us who have seen the classic film, we know what awaits us but still the build up here is really well done. The art inside the comic is that painted style and is done by Felipe Echevarria who does a fantastic job with making Marion look like actress Janet Lee, but I will say his Norman Bates, while good, looks nothing like Anthony Perkins and that’s kind of a let down. The cover is fantastic and captures that noir and horror feel of the film perfect. Over all this is a perfect comic film adaptation and really sparks the mood of this Halloween season! So let’s get onto issue # 2 and see what Norman is up to.

Psycho Comic 2

Psycho # 2  ***
Released in 1992   Cover Price $2.50   Innovation   #2 of 3

Norman spies on Marion as she gets undressed and writes a letter she rips up and flushes.  As she gets into the shower Norman, walks back up to his house. As Marion’s in the shower, a shadowy figure with a dress on and white hair slings open the shower curtain and stabs the young woman to death. We cut back to the house as Norman yells at mother about all the blood and rushes to the room and cleans up the blood, and dumps Marion’s body in her car into a near by lake. Meanwhile the murdered woman’s sister Lila is visiting Sam to try and find her missing sister and the money, and they become aware that a private investigator named Arbogast has been hired to find her and get the money back. Arbogast travels the highways and stops at all the motels to see if anyone has seen Marion and when entering The Bates Motel, he and Norman exchange some words when he finds that Norman has lied about the woman being at his Motel after he finds her name on the guest registry. After questioning Norman and being refused to speak to Mother, Arbogast calls Lila and Sam to tell them that Marion was at The Bates Motel and that he plans on sneaking into the house to speak to Mother, and he will call them back in an hour. Arbogast sneaks into the house and becomes another victim to Mother and her knife, and when three hours pass Sam leaves Lila to go to Bates Motel and check on what’s going on.

The second issue is still very solid, but I will say it slips a little as many of the pages are filled with overly large art with no dialogue, and then other parts are filled with overly long dialogue! Marion in this issue is killed off and her character comes to an end, sad ’cause much like in the film you find yourself hoping she does the right thing for her own life. Norman Bates is shown to be spineless when it comes to standing up to mother as well as others who are come looking for those that mother’s actions affected. Arbogast tries his best to be Dick Tracy but falls short when he becomes too nosey and pays the price of entering another person’s house uninvited with his life. Sam and Lila are gearing up to be more of the focus of the final issue as they really want to know where their loved one is! The story in this issue is more noir than horror but this works for the middle issue and is really the set up for the big surprise and blow out of the end of the story. The cover is great and captures the horror of Marion’s shower death, and the art in this issue while good seems a slight more sloppy than issue # 1 and is done by Felipe Echevarria once more in the paint style. I must also say that while in the film the shower scene is the most iconic part, in the comic it don’t hold up as well and comes off solid but not great. The murder that does work is that of Arbogast, due to the dark shadows used and the perfect way the darkness hides Mother. Very good issue that once more holds the feel and mood of the film it’s based on showing that adaptations can be done right.  So with no more wait let’s move onto the conclusion of Psycho!

Psycho Comic 3

Psycho # 3   ***1/2
Released in 1992   Cover Price $2.50   Innovation   #3 of 3

Sam and Lila regroup after he went to the Bates Motel and never saw Norman, only Mother via her bedroom window. The pair visit the town sheriff and tell them about Marion, the money and Arbogast and that all these things tie into The Bates Motel! They tell him of the phone call from the now missing private detective about speaking with Mother as well as Sam’s eye witness of the old woman sitting in the window and watching him. The Sheriff informs them that Norman’s mother has been dead for over 10 years and that he thinks that Arbogast has left town on a lead of Marion so that he himself could steal the money from her. Norman in fear that they will be coming for Mother makes her hide in the fruit cellar and the next morning is able to pass that everything is okay when the Sheriff came to the motel looking for answers. Sam and Lila still don’t think things are right at Bates Motel and head there to stay under the fake guise that they are husband and wife looking for a good night’s rest. They are taken to cabin # 6, and when Norman goes back to his hous,e they sneak into cabin # 1 and find evidence that Marion was there at some point for sure. Sam distracts Norman while Lila sneaks inside and this leads to Norman knocking out Sam when he finds that his questions are about Mother and rushes to the house as Lila hides in the fruit cellar and finds Mother who is in fact a corpse as Norman busts in wearing a wig and dress! Norman is stopped by Sam and is arrested for the murders. In the end it’s shown that Norman Bates has been crazy his whole life and killed his own mother and her lover 10 years back and has took on a split personality that has him switch from Norman Bates to Mother Bates!

Norman Bates is mentally unstable, and this makes him a great bad guy in the comic world as he has layers to his craziness, making him super dangerous as he has this way about him that while you are creeped out you see him as no danger…the key thing to most serial killers is to make everyone believe they are normal. In this final issue we get to see multiple sides of Norman from worried and loyal son to cross dressing mama’s boy with murder on his mind. Norman Bates, while defeated by the end of the comic, lives to fight another day as it’s clear he will spend his days in an asylum. Lila and Sam are good characters who won’t give up on their missing loved one and put themselves into danger to try and find the truth, and are the ones who crack these missing person cases wide open by solving the mystery of the Bates Motel. The Sheriff is just a numbskull who half asses his look into what Norman knows and offers really no help to Lila and Sam for their quest for the truth. Mother….poor decomposed Mother.  While her body is a rotting shell, her spirit is alive and well in Norman. The Mother side of his personality is the domineering and evil side that makes him lash out at pretty women and any man who gets in the way. This final issue holds the shock of Mother being dead and Norman being crazy really well, and both these aspects work really well in this comic mini series. Felipe Echevarria does the art again, and the paint style looks great still but his Norman Bates is still a little off. I wish it would have looked more like Anthony Perkins! The cover is well done but is by far the weaker of the three issues. Over all I really enjoyed this comic series, and this was a perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit even more. If you’re a fan of the film, the novel and comics then check this one out for sure.

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Well it’s time to check out of the Bates Motel and wrap this update up. This was a very well done comic series that helped capture the thrills of suspense of the film it was based on, and makes me wish Innovation would have made a full comic series based on Norman Bates and the Motel he runs. So I am sure you’re wondering what is the next update, the one that will be going up on October 31st 2014 Halloween Day.  Well I am proud to say that it will be based on Universal’s Frankenstein Monster and special comics made on the films! So until then share some ghost stories with friends, watch a horror movie and read a horror comic and what ever you do, don’t stay at the Bates Motel!

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Welcome back boils and ghouls as we continue my look at horror films that should be made into video games for PS3, Xbox 360 and even the WII.  Yeah, I know that the next gen systems are coming very soon, but these titles could carry over onto, say, a PS4. Working at a second hand video game store has given me the chance to buy and play many different systems, and one that I have found to be a fun 8-bit experience that has many horror themed games is the Commodore 64 (C64).  While mostly known for being a computer and really is nothing more then a keyboard that you buy floppy disk and datasette drives for, it’s a surprise in the gaming department. This system has games based on the films Friday The 13th, A Nightmare of Elm Street, Psycho, Nightbreed, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Evil Dead and even cartoon vampire duck Count Duckula! It also had games based on Dracula, ghosts, Frankenstein, Bigfoot and Werewolves, not to mention horror hostess Elvira Mistress of the Dark had two games based around her.  While the NES also had games based on Friday and Nightmare, the C64 versions are way different giving gamers a little more to play, and best of all the controls for this gaming computer are just like the Atari 2600 joystick.  In fact you can plug in and use a 2600 joystick.  The wonders of classic gaming is something I hold near and dear. If you would like to read up on some of my thoughts on these video games, you should read my reviews over at www.bloodlinevideo.com for both games and movies.

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So without me blabbing on some more about my love of survival horror games, classic gaming and my website, let’s just get right into the list starting with number 10.

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# 10.) The Wolf Man

Larry Talbot is a man who comes from a well to do family.  When returning home, he falls in love with a shopkeeper’s daughter who is set to be married. Larry charms the young woman and gets her to go out with him to a local gypsy carnival of sorts.  While out on this date, he is attacked by a werewolf who passes the full moon curse onto him. Larry struggles with his new curse, and the fact he is responsible for the deaths of many locals.  This causes him to have a death wish and by the end of the original film, he meets his end by a silver cane wielded by the woman he loves. But you can’t keep a good monster down as Larry would return in many more films trying to find a way to be cured and also doing battles with Frankenstein’s Monster, crazy scientists, Count Dracula and even Bud Abbot and Lou Costello. Like the Phantom of the Opera, this is a perfect game for a company like TellTale Games to snatch up and turn into a solid, fun point and click spooky horror adventure. Imagine playing as Larry Talbot during the day trying to right the wrongs you have done the night before during the full moon as The Wolf Man! The ultimate goal is to find a cure or even find peace in death; all these decisions would be up to you the player and your actions would determine what course the game would take. Lon Chaney Jr. who played The Wolf Man’s son Ron Chaney should also do a voice in this game, adding to the over all feel. I for one would flip out for a game like this and would support a whole line based on Universal Monster Movies! And really this is one of my top five favorite movies of all time, and while the sequels don’t have as much impact as the first, they also are amazing watches during the cold month of October.

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While a company has made a free to play internet MMO of The Universal Monsters, the Wolf Man has had some what of a presence in the world of video games.  In 1988, a text based game was released for the Commodore 64 and while the name of the game is WolfMan, it’s not a Universal sponsored product and in no way ties into the Larry Talbot myth, but sure did try and cash in on it. The only other game I can think of is a Handheld game made by Tiger sometime in the mid to late 90’s. While the moon still gets full and the game systems around the world fire up, maybe one day we will all be able to howl with fear and play a true console game based on this iconic character.

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# 9.) Pumpkinhead

When you have felt that you have been wronged and what has happened is truly something you want unforgiven revenge for, there is an old witch that lives in a rundown cabin in the woods that can help, but her help comes with a price as Ed Harley found out when a group of city teens accidentally kill his son with a dirt bike. The revenge is a demon called Pumpkinhead who will murder all those who are on your hit list, and the price is your soul! Now imagine a game developer like Rock Steady getting to work on a game like this, and how epic and scary and deep the plot would be. I see this as a game that you play as two characters, one being the poor fool who summoned Pumkinhead and the other being one of the poor saps he’s after. In the end you must choose who is right in this situation and and this will effect the outcome of the game. All the while during this plot you are running for your life away from the revenge demon and watching as your friends are being brutally killed. Plus for the fun of it, you can add in the spirits of those who summoned this monster in the past to haunt and warn the player of the dangers, giving the game the freedom to tie it into the film series and a way to have Lance Hendricson (Ed Harley) in it.  To me once again this movie has all the right tools to become a video game series if done right.

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Pumpkinhead has had one shot at the video game market when the second film “Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings” was released in 1994, and it got the PC Game treatment with a game called “Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead’s Revenge” a year later. The game is a first person shooter that used clips from the film and was looked at as a rushed mess with no direction and no real scary moments by almost all gamers. But with this bomb of a game way in our past, I truly think Pumpkinhead should rise once more and show us all just how scary he can be!

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# 8.) Return of the Living Dead

Two medical supply workers accidentally open a military drum filled with a toxin that turns the dead into brain eating zombies.  A group of punk rock teens, a mortician, the two workers (who are now very ill) and the medical supply warehouse boss must fight to stay alive as the dead just keep on coming up from the nearby cemetery. Zombie video games are super popular, and while some would say they are flooding the market, they are still selling well and gamers seem to not get enough of the gut munchers. That’s why taking something like Return of the Living Dead and turning it into a gaming franchise is a no brainer. This could easily become a series of games that could give House of the Dead, Dead Island and even Resident Evil a run for their money by adding in the punk rock feel of the films and score music lifted straight from the movie. Imagine this as the plot of a Return of the Living Dead game that plays like a updated version of Resident Evil in which you play as a punk rocker teen who alongside friends have been caught in the acid rain.  You see, you are friends of the punk rockers from the first film and must fight to stay alive using what ever you can find to fight off the undead.  The game could be multiplayer so friends can join in the game of survival.  Add in cameos from characters from the first film and of course have the famous Tar Man Zombie be a boss fight, and you have the making of a great classic movie tie in game. This could then lead into games that tie in the second film and then onto the third and so on, even though parts 4 and 5 are terrible. Game companies that I would love to see tackle this game include Rock Star, Capcom, Konami and WB Games. Only time will tell if some game company decides to take the chance on this amazing IP. 

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# 7.) Creature From The Black Lagoon

The Creature is considered by many as Universal’s last great horror monster icon and has three solid films behind him making the video game world a perfect outlet to continue his legacy. A group of scientist go to the lagoons of the Amazon rain forest and come across a human like fish man dubbed “The Gill-Man” who has taken a liking to the female of the team.  When he kidnaps her, it’s up to the crew to get her back but not before our fiendish fish man kills as few humans off.  The creature in his film appearances has also been captured and put on display at an aquarium and last time we saw him, he had been turned more human like, wanted to set lots of fires and is believed to have drowned after his escape. This is where our game should begin and would show that the Creature has survived and in fact has hid out and healed to become his former scaly self.  The game would have a family lost on a fishing trip in the back waters of the Evergreens in Florida.  To the families, surprise they have also caught the eyes of Gill-Man who has set his eyes on their college aged daughter.  As the father, you must survive the horrors of the swamp and the terrors of the Creature in order to get your daughter back. This one again would and should be made by TellTale Games and showcase the Universal Monster in a great episodic survival horror adventure. I also feel that the character and his whole story could make for a very solid and fun game that would sure to please classic horror flick fans, kids and even most survival horror fans. This is another game I would order the moment it was announced! And with a re-make of the film in the works, we might just get this!

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The Gill-Man has made it to the video arcades back in 1993 when Bally made a pinball machine based on the Creature From The Black Lagoon that was complete with a hologram creature that would appear in the game’s lagoon.  This is one of my favorite pinball machines, and I can remember going to a local arcade called “Krazy Kats” and playing this machine a lot in my youth. This is truly a retro machine that I would love to own and put into my place of work to let a whole new generation enjoy. If you get the chance you should check it out and give it a play.  It combines a classic Universal Monster, Drive-In Theater and Pinball, what more could a horror kid ask for.

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# 6.) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface alongside his brothers W.E, Choptop and Hitchhiker Sawyer with their ancient Grandpa are a sick family that come from the slaughterhouse industry who are way to much into the meat business as they kill humans and use them for dinner. W.E is the brains of the family and not only does he run a small gas station, he also travels around selling the human meat products to hungry football fans. Leatherface is the dumb brute who acts as the butcher, Chop Top is a vet with a metal plate in his head who is as blood thirsty as a psycho gets as the Hitchhiker is just bat shit crazy. Many have died and only few have survived.  Now imagine a game where you must survive the Sawyer family’s attack as you are alone and stranded by their infamous farmhouse.  The plot would have you, a young man driving through Texas to get to Mexico to meet up with friends on vacation when you have an accident that leaves your car totaled and your spirt low.  Things get worse when Leatherface comes calling, and you must run and fight for your life. I see this playing like Clock Tower 3 but with more of a chance to fight back.  Another feature would be if Leatherface hits you with his chainsaw your injury stays with you through out the game.  So say he cuts one of your hands off, you are stuck with no hand for the rest of the game. Throw in some other characters for kills and you have yourself a video game bloodbath waiting to happen. The game would be filled with strong violence and be set in the late 70’s or early 80’s making room for follow up games. Not to mention this game could go many different routes, it could follow the 1974 series that had 4 films or even the 2003 reboot series that had 2 films.  This is just a rough idea for this game and with more sequels to this franchise in the works, it only makes sense that it should get the game treatment. Companies who should make this game include Konami, THQ, Activision and WB Games. Only time will tell if a game company ever will gas up the old chainsaw again and give us survival horror fans a real classic Texas treat.

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Sadly Leatherface has made it to home consoles thanks to Wizard Video Games.  In 1982 they brought a pixelated mess of a game to Atari 2600 that had you playing as Leatherface chasing girls down in a field and cutting them up with his chainsaw. The goal is to kill as many girls as you can before the gas that powers your saw runs out.  When your turn’s over, a woman runs up and kicks you in the butt! What a shameful only game for a horror icon to have.

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# 5.) Friday The 13th

Camp Crystal Lake has a death curse surrounding it that took hold when a young deformed boy named Jason Voorhees was thought to have drowned in the lake and a pair of counselors were murdered. Jason’s mother Pamela went crazy and killed some teens that were there to reopen the site many years later, and she met her end when she was beheaded by one of her would-be victims. But to everyone’s displeasure Jason didn’t drown, and now is an unstoppable killer who hacks and slashes his way to avenge his mother’s death and to keep all away from his home. Jason has had 11 films that followed each other and a 2009 remake of the original.  This lends itself to be made into a video game for this generation’s systems, and in fact lots of fans of both the films and video games have been waiting for some company to be a hero and make one. This one could take three routes and give the player the choice of playing as a camper who has become the target of Jason, play as Tommy Jarvis who has battled Jason in a total of three films or as Jason himself giving the game replay value.  All three would tie in at the end giving the game a closing. The camper story line would have you trying to get teens out of the camp before they become worm food thanks to Jason’s weapons of death.  Along the way, you must battle the wilds and traps the killer has set, not to mention a copycat killer who is also lurking in the woods. Tommy’s story line would have you tracking down Jason and coming across the government who is there to take Jason away as if he is some sort of super solider weapon. This gives you plenty of action as you must fight them off while Jason is attacking. And Jason’s story would simply be kill.  Kill all the teens, kills the agents, kill Tommy, Kill the camper and kill the fake you! In the end it all comes together for an epic end battle. Again, this is just an idea, and I am sure game makers could make an idea that is way better and give us all a good scary gore filled game. Companies that should tackle this one would be WB Games, RockStar, Konami or Capcom. It’s a shame that we have not gotten this game yet, and I hope one day a game company will listen to what the fans want.

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To be fair, Friday The 13th has made it to home consoles twice, but both game are considered bad.  The first is for the Commodore 64 made by Domark and came out in 1985.  It has Jason almost being a bodysnatcher who is hiding in the body of a fellow person, and you must find out by clues who it is and kill the one you think is the killer. Then in 1989, LJN made a game for the NES that had you playing as camp counselors trying to save kids from a rampaging Jason who would just appear and attack the kids in cabins and you on paths. While the Commodore 64 version is kind of lame and lackluster, the Nes one, while a bad game, is super fun and I kind of enjoy it. Not to mention a few Homebrew games have been made for the Atari 2600 by Salem Frost Games based on parts 2 and 3. With many years removed from these titles, one would hope the hockey mask killer will return to stalk home consoles soon.

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# 4.) A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger is a razor clawed glove wearing, child killing, dream stalking bastard son of a 1000 maniacs who has tormented and killed many teens. Freddy when human was killed by vigilantes for crimes against children and during this he was burned alive and making his spirit haunt and kill the children of those who killed him, making the youths pay for the sins of their parents. Many have tried to stop Freddy and all mostly have lost their lives.  The only one who has been able to beat him twice and live is Alice, a young woman who can bring people into her dreams and take the powers of friends who have passed. Now think about this, Freddy has a total of 8 films and 1 remake he has appeared in, and is one of the most well known horror icons of the slasher years. Now imagine a game where you must fight Freddy in our world and in the dream world and how mant crazy levels could be made, not to mention places from the films like the junkyard, high school and Nancy’s house all thrown in for a nice touch. I see you playing as a young woman who has lost most of her friends to Freddy Kruger while they sleep one night.  When he comes for you, it’s discovered that you have the power to fight him off, and now the war is own as Freddy uses your friends and fears as pawns in order to break you down and steal your soul. This is a film that lends itself to being a very visual game and the possibilities of levels and bad guys are endless, not to mention Freddy can take on many different forms. It makes no sense why WB Games, whose parent company owns the rights to Freddy, would not make a game based on the burnt dream slasher. Here’s hoping that WB finally opens their eyes and sees that this film series would make a perfect game series and that fans would love to step into a nightmare and battle Freddy. And of course Robert England would have to voice Freddy ’cause no one else should!

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Freddy Kruger is no stranger to the video game world and has made a few appearances in some such as 1989’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” by Monarch for the Commodore 64 that has characters from the third film and has you trying to save Joey from his evil clutches. A year later, LJN released a game of the same title that was a 4 player side scroller that had you fighting monsters and Freddy in order to gather Kruger’s bones to burn them and put him to rest. In 1994 a pinball machine based around Freddy was released to arcades. Then in 2011, Freddy Kruger based on the remake look was a downloadable fighter for the newest Mortal Kombat game. So as you can see, Freddy is ready for an all new full game!

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# 3.) Frankenstein

Henry Frankenstein and his assistant Fritz have built a “man” that is looked at as a monster who has super human strength, fears fire and has the hatred of all the villagers coming down on his patched together body. Henry at first stands by his creation but quickly turns when the monster gets loose and goes on a rampage. The Monster in this film series has been burned, blown up, sank in quicksand, fought the Wolf Man, had his brain switched, fallen in hot molten sulfur, been frozen and even had a Bride who wanted nothing to do with him! The Frankenstein Monster is the first classic horror monster to have a long running series that totals 8 films, and this is something Universal should be very proud of. Once more this is a great chance to get sequels made for these classic films in the way of a video game, and once more TellTale Games should be the ones to tackle it. In fact this is a game that I would love to make and have spoken to a few people about maybe getting this ball rolling on getting one made.  So if anyone at TellTale is reading this, contact me! The beauty of these classic monster games is that you can make the ratings E or T and make them scary and fun for all ages. Plus the Universal Frankenstein lore is so rich and has so many amazing characters that a company could turn out a few games based on this IP. Imagine a game where the player is in control of both Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster and some other familiar faces show up like the Bride and Ygor.  The plot I have in mind would be an epic spooky tale that would sure to please gaming and film fans!

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Frankenstein’s Monster sure is not a stranger to the video game world, and his image has been used in many games from NES’s “Castlevania” to Atari 2600’s “Frankenstein’s Monster” but very few have been based on the Universal Monster license. Once more a quick cash-in text-based game for the Commodore 64 called “Frankenstein” was released by CRL in 1987, but once more had no real ties to the Universal film. Some time in the 90’s Tiger Electronics released a handheld game based around The Monster, and in 1998 Williams released a pinball game called “Monster Bash” to arcades that featured all of the Universal Monsters in a rock band.  In 2012 a free to play online MMO called “Universal Monsters Online” was released, and while a cool concept, the character designs are generic. So here is hoping that some stormy night lightning strikes, and Frankenstein’s Monster comes alive on our PS3 systems.

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# 2.) Hellraiser

A puzzle box holds the secrets of both pleasure and pain but knowing this information comes with a terrible price if you solve the box’s riddle: the cenobites! Led by Pinhead, the cenobites will torture and kill you and damn your soul to a hell like limbo where you will forever face your own private hell. The cenobites’ world is a giant maze, and their god is Leviathan.  Only one man has ever escaped them and that was Frank Cotton who in turn brought this nightmare onto his brother’s family, specifically his niece Kristy who in turn is the first human to defeat the cenobites.  Like A Nightmare on Elm Street, this is a perfect fit for the video game world and has so many characters and possibilities that could make this game a creepy experience. Even though, I am not a full fan of this genre this would be a cool first person shooter and could tap into the creepy atmosphere of the maze-like Hell and deliver scares like the F.E.A.R. series or even Doom 3. The plot could have you opening the box by mistake and being sent to Hell.  You must use the Puzzle box to fight off Cenobites and other worldly creatures in order to get back to life as you once knew it. Pinhead would be the final boss, and it would be cool if through out the game he taunts and sets you up making you think you have won at many different moments. This could also be made into an amazing third person game and take all the great elements that make a game like Silent Hill work and add them into a game were you must travel to the Cenobites world in order to save your loved one from the hell they have made for themselves as they were dumb enough to open the box. Imagine creeping around the maze like world and running into Chatter. Once you save them and return to our world that game doesn’t end and Pinhead and his crew come to claim whats theirs in what could be an epic final boss battle in a game! The game makers should allow Clive Barker, the master mind behind this story, to write the script and of course have Doug Bradley voice Pinhead.  It should include all the classic Cenobites from the first two films (Female, Chatter and Butterball). Hellraiser has a total of 8 sequels and a remake is being planed showing this series does have a good following even if some of the sequels were direct to DVD stinkers. With the Weinstein Company opening TWC Games in 2011 this game could one day become a reality and while I don’t think it will make it for the PS3 life cycle I do have faith that the PS4 will. They make the game, and we would play!

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Hellraiser is no stranger to the video game world but almost seems to be a cursed IP with games based around it never seeming to see the light of day.  In 1990 Color Dreams (a unlicensed game maker) attempted to make a Hellraiser game for the NES, it was set to be you in a maze fighting monsters but sadly the plug was pulled when they realized Nintendo was on a rampage, running these rogue game companies out of store shelves and that the cost to make this game was becoming to high.  You see, they designed a better cart with better chips to make the game bigger and better. Even Color Dreams PC version was ditched and ended up at the pixel graveyard. Also sometime in the 90’s, a rumor was going around that Konami, the fine folks who brought us Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania and Saw, were developing a game for the original Sony Playstation,  Once more cost kept this game from seeing the light of a TV Screen.  This game would have had you collecting charms from Cenobites. And then in 1996 Magnet Interactive was working on a game called Hellraiser: Virtual Hell that was a first person shooter that had the player solving puzzles and fighting off cenobites and other creatures. Doug Bradley was in this game as they filmed him for cut scenes during breaks of filming Hellraiser: Bloodlines. This game was scraped due to a terrible game engine and the lack of faith and effort given to the project from the company. The only game that did make it somewhat to home consoles is a home brew Atari 2600 game called Helloween that combines Hellraiser and Halloween,and is really more of a Pitfall clone. So sadly there were many games planned, and none of the official ones ended up in gamers’ hands.  So here is hoping a company will come through and make a scary, chilling and gross game based around Pinhead.

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So here we are at the # 1 spot, and I have chosen everything from silent horror icons, Universal Classics to slashers and zombies and each of these I truly think would make amazing games.  That’s the one thing about video games nowadays, they seem to not want to take a chance and they only seem to want to stick with things that have been done and rehash sequels and recycle the game over and over.  I mean do we really need a new Call of Duty or Madden every year?  But with this said let’s go onto the # 1 Horror Film that I think should be made into a video game.

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# 1.) Halloween

Michael Myers killed his older sister at a young age and had spent most of his youth in a mental asylum where he shut down and never spoke.  His doctor, Sam Loomis, sees that the young man no longer has emotions and had turned into a nothing more than a ticking time bomb. Many years pass and now an adult Myers has escaped and is on a murderous path toward his hometown of Handenfield, Illinois targeting teen girls and more importantly his baby sister who was adopted. Michael Myers has returned in 6 sequels and has had a remake that also spawned a sequel and is one of the most popular slasher icons of the silver screen. While at first he was just a sick and twisted human, he later became a undying killing machine.  This film is perfect for a video game and has so many great levels and backgrounds that can be used from the mental asylum to the run down Myers house, each spooky in their own way. Imagine playing a level in the basement of the Myers house and all you have is a flashlight and that white mask of Michael comes popping out of the darkness, you know you would scream. When I was a teenager I even wrote a Halloween game that I wanted to make for the Sony Playstation with the help of Konami.  The idea I had then I think still works now as you play as Dr. Loomis who must stop Michael Myers’ rampage that has him targeting a young woman once more on Halloween night.  It would take you all over the town and famous sites like the Myers home, the asylum and the high school. The goal is to set traps and fend Michael off until you can get the girl to safety and if she dies, the game is over. This was just the old idea of a teenage boy; imagine the epic game we could get if Capcom, RockStar or even TellTale put some AAA game writers on it. This is a game I truly hope makes it into my game library so that I can enjoy the chills late night in the TV’s glow.

Wizard Video struck again in 1983 when they released Halloween for the Atari 2600 and had gamers play as a babysitter of tons of kids in a huge house.  You must guide the kids away from Michael Myers.  The film’s theme plays in 8-bit glory every time Michael shows up. Halloween had to have been the most bloody and violent game released at the time and depicts decapitations and murder of young children both complete with pixelated blood. But much like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the game was a bomb and was not showcased at retail stores causing poor sales. And for years gamers have asked for a new game based on this series that has yet to be made.  With TWC Games still open, one could only hope that we will get one in the future. And I should say that while the Atari 2600 game was by no means great, I still have a blast playing it. 

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So there you have it, 21 horror films that I think should be made into a video game for current generation home consoles.  Survival Horror and and plain horror themed games have been a staple in the industry, and while I feel they don’t get the push and quantity they deserve on home console, it seems the PC Gaming world gets plenty. One of the best ones has to be the free to play slasher fighting game called Terrordrome.  Imagine a game that allows you to fight as Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers or Freddy Kruger and beat up the likes of Candyman, Manaic Cop or Ash! Sadly this game came under attack from companies like Warner Brothers and now it’s in limbo. 

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Survial Horror will forever live on, and I hope someone in the gaming industry is reading this and takes a chance on one of these IPs so that the fans are finally able to play the blood chilling horror game of one of our favorite horror icons. Next update we go back to the world of comics as we take a look at Marvels Saga of Crystar series.

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