Published on October 18th, 2013 | by Tanuki


Here’s Johnny! :: Stephen King’s The Shining in Glorious 8-Bit Format!

Since it’s October and my raccoon senses are peaking to the spicy-autumn scent of Halloween, candy apples and horror movies, you can imagine how many times my tail went spinning when I came across this creepy yet kawaii video that gives one of my favorite horror films a new makeover. When it comes to cute-ifying things, Japan is definitely king, but I think this Santa Monica-based media company may be giving ol’ Nippon a run for its money …at least for now. Check it out!

Stephen King’s film version of The Shining (dir. Stanley Kubrick) has been creatively rendered into a digital format that is oh-so nostalgic: retro 8-bit graphics served up Nintendo style. This is *killer* and absolutely hilarious on so many levels: the video had me wanting to seek out my old Nintendo controller and commence shaving layers of epidermis off my thumb.

Sadly, this isn’t an actual full-length game that can be played, so no dashing over to your favorite retailer to snatch what looks like it could be one hell of an entertaining adaptation of the film (even if you know the fates of the main characters). If you’re not familiar with CineFix‘s 8-bit Cinema collection, then you owe it to yourself to at least check out some of their re-tellings of such classic cinematic gems like Blade Runner and Star Trek! These guys have blown the door open to a practically limitless array of 8-bit (an onward) interpretations. If you could see any movie, television show or music video transformed into animated pixels, what would it be? I’m submitting my request to see Ridley Scott’s Legend, starring Tom Cruise, Tim Curry and Mia Sara. That would be incredible! Next to the G’mork from The Never Ending Story, the hulking behemoth of a devil, Lord Darkness, gave me plenty of unsettling nightmares for months on end.

maniac mansion screenshot

Point-and-Click Madness: A old-school screenshot from Lucasfilm’s Maniac Mansion. They don’t make ’em like they used to.

If you are/were a gaming nut (like myself) of the 8/16-bit legacy, you may notice Cinefix‘s tip of the hat to Lucasfilm’s Maniac Mansion as a strong influence to their reconstruction of The Shining. Just like MM, this re-imagined, abridged, production has a 2D, point-and-click based flow that takes you from room to room, switches characters to let you see their point of view. Something that made me think (most likely way too much though): could we extrapolate that since Cinefix’s treatment of TS presented us with selectable options for Jack, Wendy and Danny, could we or some mysterious power have determined their trajectory?

In both the book and film the subject of the supernatural and “outside influences” (ghosts, telepathy and a looming curse, for example) seem to have a formidable presence in the film, making the lives of the family almost pre-decided, as if they’d never had any control to begin with. Danny was born with the ability to see into the future and past, yet he couldn’t alter his father’s descent into madness.

Extending that notion into the realm of human versus computer game, we could potentially consider ourselves (the humans) as the supernatural influence that ultimately controls the outcome of the game’s protagonist(s) despite their interactions with us or their world. I’m really starting to trip myself out, so I think it best to just shut my yap, step away from the blogging and go make a sandwich.

I’ll end by saying, I find it really frickin’ cool that, just as MM had drawn upon horror/sci-fi clichés from the past, so too does CineFix in their recipe of both, now considered, a classic horror movie and computer game. Without delving to deep into interpretations and the many layers of crazy/awesome that are here, I find it safest to just “dig it” and be done. Cheers!


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About the Author

(Staff Blogger, CKE18 Evangelist) :: When his perverted mind is not overdosing on Japanese girls, Tanuki enjoys common otaku hobbies like: drawing manga, watching anime, gaming, practicing Japanese, and cosplaying as a Human.

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