Oct 31, 2010
B Horror Movies & Gaming
Note of Warning: These movies are accurately described by Wikipedia as "breath-takingly awful". If watch you must, do so at risk of your own waste of time.
It's been a hard week filled with work and sickness, so my wife and I decided to take it easy today. We ordered pizza and settled on the couch for a few low budget horror flicks: Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, Return to House on Haunted Hill, Fright Night, and after trick or treating, Howling 2. All of this while I kept a mental countdown for The Walking Dead, which starts tonight. For those of you who have seen these films, you know they each present their own brand of shortcomings. In some cases these shortcomings are pervasive and overwhelming. Each, however, offer ideas for the open-minded referee.
Halloween 3 doesn't seem to relate to the previous films in any direct way, instead focusing on a robot-building entrepreneur-druid hoping to sacrifice thousands of children on Halloween night. The story could easily translate to a Beyond the Supernatural (BtS) story or campaign. Palladium's ley lines and places of high magic power match the use of Stonehenge stones in the film.
Return to House on Haunted Hill would fit equally well in a modern Cthulhu or BtS game. A totem (called the idol of Baphomet) of one of the Elder Gods has been in a house/sanatorium for so long that the atrocities and many people who have been killed there are now trapped as vengeful ghosts. The house itself has an interesting design which includes a lock-down mode in which no inhabitant can leave. This would be a good trap for the game, and the house is large and varied enough to test several different skill sets. The diversity of patients and victims makes for an excellent variety of ghosts/opponents. It's also worth noting that Jeffry Combs, famous for the much loved Re-Animator and other Lovecraft-inspired films, stars as the principal antagonist.
In Howling 2 a clan of werewolves in Transylvania terrorize an American couple bent on revenge. Even though the flick (I can't bring myself to use the term "film" anymore, especially with this one) has a modern setting, the story would carry to an OD&D game very well. There are mages, halflings, clerics (played by Christopher Lee no less), warriors with battle axes, and (duh) sex-crazed werewolves galore. There are also really cool magic items and spells. For example, Stirba the Werewolf Queen has a living gargoyle/demon-bat magic staff. The characters, overacted or obnoxious in the movie, would be really fun in a campaign.
A few more review quotes in case you didn't heed my earlier warning:
"... a horrendous waste of time..."
"a fairly nondescript eighties horror flick"
" ...manages the not easy feat of being anti-children, anti-capitalism, and anti-Irish all at the same time."