What It Is: The creator of Dracula was given free reign to do whatever the hell he wanted next after its massive success, and what he did pretty much ended his career. Tod Browning’s Freaks may now be considered a classic, but at the time of its release it was so shocking to 1932 audiences that it was never actually released in its original version. Browning drew on his real-life experiences in a traveling circus and made the the “freaks” here all good, decent people – it’s the “normal” people who are the real monsters. It’s a cliche now, but it was way ahead of its time.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: They cut the hell out of the original film, trimming almost half an hour down from its violence, humor, and even switching around the epilogue. A game could add it all back and expand upon it, bringing you closer to the characters than ever before.

The Pitch: Freaks would work best as a point and click adventure game. A black and white game (perhaps with hints of color here and there to highlight important objects) full of classic carnival imagery, that sees you trying to unveil a murder mystery? Telltale Games, you know what to do. (Alex Riviello)



What It Is: Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter has been portrayed in five films, most famously by Anthony Hopkins, but it was Mads Mikkelsen’s incredible take on the serial killer that perhaps would be best for this video game adaptation. That’s mostly due to his culinary skills. The serial killer is well known for killing people and serving them to his unsuspecting guests, but Hannibal revels in it, showing him making some truly mouth-watering meals out of the most dangerous game. Don’t believe me? They looked so good they made an actual cookbook out of it.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: If there’s anything that Hannibal Lecter has shown us he understands, it’s nose-to-tail cooking. His meals are divine, his presentation immaculate. Sure, there could be an investigation-type game where we work alongside him to find other serial killers, but why not focus on the culinary artist himself?

The Pitch: Think of an M-rated Cooking Mama. For the uninitiated, Cooking Mama is a cutesy minigame compilation that allows you to slice and dice and serve delicious meals. It would work perfectly for our dear Hannibal… although it would be a whole lot bloodier. You will be scored by how well your guests enjoy their meals and how much you hide the actual ingredients! Failing ratings means someone discovers an ear or a toenail in their food and calls the cops. (Alex Riviello)

the haunting tv series

The Haunting

What It Is: Robert Wise’s 1963 adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House is one of the best haunted house movies ever made. The story follows a scientist who takes up shop in mansion supposedly inhabited by spirits and the two women he invites along as test subjects, so to speak. Things do not go well.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: The miraculous thing about The Haunting is that it’s very frightening without ever manifesting a single ghost on screen. The chills are purely psychological, stemming from imagination and perception. The characters never see a specter, but they sure as hell feel them. So what about a video game that asks you to personally experience these uncomfortable feelings?

The Pitch: Think of “walking simulator” games like Gone Home and Firewatch, experiences that eschew traditional goals and gameplay in favor of immersing the player in a story and asking them to get emotionally involved in everything that is happening on screen. The Haunting would be perfect inspiration for this admittedly niche genre, letting the player navigate a deeply personal and open-ended horror story and them to come to their own conclusions based on what they discover. (Jacob Hall)

Hobo With a Shotgun

Hobo With a Shotgun 

What It Is: Jason Eisener’s irreverent and gory revenge film started out as a joke trailer for Grindhouse, sandwiched in-between Planet Terror and Death Proof. Like its trailer compatriot Machete, it was so deliriously nutty that it needed to become its own feature film, which it did so in 2011, starring Rutger Hauer as the titular character.

Why It Would Make a Great Game: It’s a story about a homeless man rising up against the society that has shunned him, and getting even with a shotgun. Almost every single person he faces hates him and wants him dead, so he is more than happy to return the favor. How much more game-like could you get?

The Pitch: A throwback movie needs a throwback game, so Hobo With a Shotgun could be a lightgun arcade game that comes with a physical, pumpable shotgun controller. Memorable villains like the armor-wearing demons The Plague and the homeless-murdering Chief of Police can be end-level bosses before the final fight against Drake, the drug dealer that’s running the town. Imagine how wonderful it would be to hear Rutger Hauer himself blurt out one-liners after particularly gruesome kills. (Alex Riviello)

The Howling

The Howling

What It Is: The other great werewolf movie of 1981, Joe Dante’s The Howling still stands up among the best, and somehow went on to spawn a staggering six sequels and a reboot. (To be fair, Rob Bottin’s effects were indeed that good.)

Why It Would Make a Great Game: Do you know how many werewolf video games there have been? Hardly any. It’s a problem with films and TV shows, too. Vampires and zombies get dozens upon dozens of titles, but werewolves?  It’s not a good thing when Altered Beast is the first game that comes to mind. Since we drastically need new werewolf games, why not a game that lets you play as one?

The Pitch: We’d actually mine The Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (yes, an actual name for an motion picture title) for inspiration. This is the first and only time someone should do this. Think a Dungeon Keeper-type game where you play the Queen of the werewolves and have to build up your castle. You’ll have to keep your werewolf minions happy with new wave parties and other werewolf-pleasure rooms, all while fighting off Christopher Lee lookalike werewolf hunters and their absolutely insane plots, some of which involve blessed earplugs and killer dwarves. (Alex Riviello)

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