Saturday, December 24, 2005

Entirely too much thought devoted to 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (the movie)

I was watching "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" the other day (an early Christmas gift), and I was struck by a few things. I always notice something new with each viewing.

1. One of the background dancers in the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" number featuring Steve Martin is the tough guy from the Scorpions who Danny Zuko outdrove at the end of Grease.

2. The guy who plays Billy Shears' dad was also Sam's Grandpa Fred ("Helen, we've got an owl out here in the hall!") from Sixteen Candles.

3. Now this puzzled me. The movie begins with a flashback to World War I, where the first Sgt. Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club Band managed to stop the fighting by playing music.

No, that's really how it starts.

Shortly after, there's a montage narrated by George Burns (Mr. Kite, the mayor of Heartland) that shows the band over the course of the years. The Roaring Twenties, The depression, economic recovery and "yet another great war."

Admittedly, I'm a poor student of history, but I guess I missed the economic recovery between the Great Depression and World War II. I could probably ask my brother or my dad about this (they're big history buffs), but I'm too lazy, and I don't want to have to explain why I want to know this.

After the movie, I got to thinking. They've made plenty of bad video games based on good movies (and lots of bad movies based on good video games). Why don't they make more good video games based on bad ones?

It's been done before (MegaForce, anyone?), but it might be cool to deliberately use bad movies as a video game source. Here are some ideas that I pulled out of my thought of.

Blood Freak

You are Herschell, a normal guy who is just looking for happiness. Alas, your neighborhood has been overrun by assorted riff-raff (druggies, prostitutes, politicians). You have a choice of teammate, which changes the path of the game. You can side with Angel and fight the riff-raff with healthy living, positive thinking and spiritual guidance, or you can team up with Ann, who has a more, uh, direct approach. When faced by large pockets of riff-raff, you can procure a "power pill" from Ann, which changes you into giant, hulking turkey monster that dispatches its foes by drinking their blood. The downside is that you're stuck in that form until the pill wears off. Then your choice is whether to keep up the onslaught and feeding on the blood (which replenishes your hit points) or risk dying and let the effects of the pill go away. Whether you turn to the dark side or go (wait for it...) cold turkey affects gameplay.

Batman and Robin

Uh, never mind.

Plan 9 From Outer Space

This, much to my surprise and joy, actually has been made into a video game. But instead of being set in the realm of the movie, it deals more with recovery of the film itself. I've never played it, but hey, bonus points for those cats just for doing it.

The Plan 9 game I had in mind casts the player as brave pilot Jeff Trent, who discovers that grave robbers from outer space are trying to take over Earth with newly reanimated dead people -- both zombies and vampires. Your job, of course, is to stop them from conquering the capitals of the world. You go from major city to major city avoiding or destroying the undead. Among all the carnage, you're also looking for pieces to the one contraption that could destroy the spaceborne menace once and for all: the Solaranite Bomb! But as you discover, the Solaranite Bomb is untested. It may work, or it may ignite all the solar particles in existence, thus creating a chain reaction that could destroy the universe. The choice is yours.

and of course...

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Movie: The Game

In this quest-style adventure, you can play as one of the four members of the band. Your goal is to recover all of the magical musical instruments and return them (as well as happiness) to Heartland, but you also have to keep Strawberry Fields, our damsel in distress, out of the hands of Mean Mr. Mustard and the Future Villain Band. On top of all that, you also have to avoid the Roving Vortex of Suck, which can appear at random through the game and suck away hit points.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

1 comment:

  1. Frank Sparkman4:38 PM

    There was no economic recovery between the Depression and WWII. WWII was the recovery.