If you're among the guys who got socks and underwear from Christmas, here's something to add to your misery. Cinema Retro UK correspondent Adrian Smith was lucky enough to get the new Hammer horror DVD game tossed in among the coal in his stocking.
Now is probably a good time to reflect on
Christmas. Almost every year I hold out great hopes of getting old film-related
presents, with a particular leaning towards relatively obscure horror. I
imagine some of you will no doubt have felt my pain when you unwrap a
promising-looking present to discover something starring Ben Stiller.
However, last year I did strike it lucky
when I received the intricately structured Hammer horror-themed board game
Forbidden Terrortory. Since Hammer recently came under new ownership all sorts
of innovative methods have been employed to plunder the back catalogue. The
film rights are spread out between many different companies due to complicated
distribution deals struck at the time, so the marketing has focused instead on
the Hammer brand itself. We have had jewellery, fancy-dress costumes, poker
chips and poster reproductions, and now games. If any of you have managed to
play Forbidden Terrortory, which
involves a group of intrepid Hammer heroes including Van Helsing and Captain
Kronos, hunting down Dracula and taking on other classic Hammer monsters
including the mummy and Oliver Reed’s werewolf, please let me know. I’ve had it
for a year now and still not figured out the rules.
Anyway, back to this year. I actually
struck it lucky and got some pretty cool stuff, including the rather
promising-sounding King Kong vs. Godzilla
on DVD. Continuing the Hammer theme I received the new, thankfully simple
interactive DVD game Vampire Terrortory.
The DVD box says the game features “the voice of Countess Dracula star Ingrid Pitt”. This is somewhat ironic given
that Ingrid was dubbed in Countess Dracula by another actress! Her Polish
accent is suitably thick and gives the game that mittel-Europe feel that the
Hammer Gothics always had. The game has Van Helsing place you on a quest to
rescue the mayor’s daughter from, yes you’ve guessed it, Count Dracula. Each
round consists of viewing a clip from a Hammer movie and answering questions. I
was actually quite surprised at how difficult some of the questions are. I
consider myself somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to Hammer, and quickly
realised that if I didn’t know the answers, the family members I was playing it
with, who can not really be described as Hammer fans in the slightest, would
have no chance.
So all in all, it was a good Christmas for
me, present-wise. I also got some new socks. Vampire Terrortory is a fun game, but I would recommend that you
find other Hammer-minded friends to play it with. Fortunately the game
designers had the foresight to include a single-player option, so those lonely
old horror fans like me can play it alone. I’ll probably play it after a
viewing of King Kong vs. Godzilla,
which I’m also fairly sure I’ll be viewing unaccompanied…
So from this isolated Cinema Retro
correspondent, Happy New Year, and thank goodness that we have the Internet to
bring us together!