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I’m not sure what it says about my personality, but my absolute favorite type of mash-up video currently running rampant on the Internet is when a movie or TV show is adapted into an 8-bit RPG video game. There’s something about the branched-off decision making that players go through that transfers so well to comically represent some of the core functions and logic that fictional worlds adhere to. And so while I’m a little disappointed that YouTube channel CineFix’s 8-bit tribute to The Shining doesn’t have more original flourishes within, it’s still a solid addition to your viewing in the countdown to Halloween. It’s a nice digestif to watching Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece.
Rather than using the structure from the Final Fantasy series that many of these spoofs utilize, The Shining is taken straight from Lucasfilm’s 1987 surreal classic Maniac Mansion, literally right down to some of the settings. It remains one of my favorite games of all times, and is truly the best way to portray the Overlook Hotel, with its room-to-room travel, rather than something with an open world. I think I’m on the cusp of geeking out all at the moment. Bear with me.
All of the memorably freaky bits from the film are seen here, minus the blood gushing from the elevators; those elevators are at least colored red here. The twins, the trike and the typewriter are all nice, but the best bits are Jack’s visits to the bar – one empty, except for Lloyd the bartender, and the next full of people – and the bit in room 237 with the nasty, spotty old hag. That bitch isn’t nearly as creepy when made out of pixels, and my dreams won’t be affected tonight. Even the music is great, though I’m not sure what parts come from where or if anything is original or not. My only real complaint of the whole thing is that they didn’t properly convey just how cool Scatman Crothers is.
Interested in another mash-up from the CineFix guys? How about Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s classic children’s book Goodnight Moon, as made relevant to the world of the Saw film universe. It’s a real scream.
And for anyone interested in another 8-bit stab at something horrific, how about this parody of Saved by the Bell?