crock tower

As you may or may not have noticed, over at The Website I wrote a review of the Playstation version of Clock Tower, which I’d been meaning to play for years and finally did.

While perusing various informational online archives, as I am wont to do so as to sound Sophisticated and Erudite when scribbling out my masterpieces of gaming criticism, I came across a couple of claims that the designers of Clock Tower were influenced by this obscure 1985 horror movie called Phenomena, directed by Dario Argenta (who I had never heard of before but apparently has a cult following) and starring – yep – Jennifer Connelly.

Upon viewing the movie (yay Youtube!), I would have to say this is one of those cases where the word “influenced” is being used as a polite stand-in for “ripoff”. About 80% of Clock Tower’s material can be traced directly back to this movie.

Stop me if you’ve heard something like this story before – an authority figure at an all-girls boarding school gives birth to a demonic baby boy with a hideous deformed face. When they boy gets big enough to run about on his own, he discovers he has a passion for murdering young girls and decapitating them. Mommy is batshit insane and thus hides both the boy and his acts from the world to protect him, in her creepy large old Victorian house. Eventually, she starts killing too as people begin to pick up the boy’s trail. Eventually, a raven-haired young girl named Jennifer comes along and begins figuring out what’s going on. She eventually gets drugged, trapped in the house and has to elude and eventually kill both mommy and her demon spawn. At the last minute when it looks like Jennifer is going to be killed, a swarm of crows insects she has befriended descends to distract the killer, who she promptly burns with gasoline. Oh, and the first girl to get killed in the movie is stabbed to death with a pair of scissors.

I have to say I lost a bit of respect for Clock Tower, which I previously considered to be one of the most innovative and imaginative horror games. Oops. I do have to give them credit though, for taking what is really mediocre source material and both creating an iconic horror character (Scissorman) out of it and making it genuinely scary in a different medium.

Anyway, the uncut version of the movie is over here at Youtube if you wanna check it out (apparently the U.S. got a heavily censored version called Creepers or Chillers or something initially)

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