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Let's Talk About: How To Make A Decent Clock Tower Movie


Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface... those are probably the dudes that would be named if you asked a tonne of people to name the most famous slasher horror villains. However, despite these guys being the most memorable, there is one nasty fellow that always sticks in my head.


Scissorman. You know, Scissorman? Well, if you have read Alt:Mag's Underrated Game articles at all in the past, you may already know a little bit about him from when Sam spoke about a game called Clock Tower ~The First Fear~, and I discussed its sequel. These games are some of my absolute favourites, and have unfortunately lost popularity over time, mainly because there hasn't been a new entry into the series since 2003... that's ten years!!! It is indeed a shame. But what is important about the games in the Clock Tower series is that they are more or less the ultimate slasher movie experience in a video game, and nobody does it better than Clock Tower (Haunting Ground is considered part of the Clock Tower series). These games capture that dreaded loneliness that all slasher victims without fail always feel and we, as an audience, always associate with. As the game's villain, Scissorman is just the right combination of remorseless and deadly to be a perfect competitor to any of the sinister psycopaths I mentioned in the first paragraph. Oh, and don't forget the skin-crawling music that sounds like it could have come out of The Exorcist or Halloween. Play these games if you can get a hold of them, if you are a fan of survival horror games and slasher films, you won't be disappointed.


Now, when fans of this series found out that some people were going to make an actual big screen movie adaptation of Clock Tower, I can more or less imagine there was mixed reception. While these games have the potential to become a great slasher flick, there is the problem that, well, movie adaptations of video games don't really tend to work. See, the series more or less has all the groundwork done, it's just the conversion from game to movie that worries people. We've seen Resident Evil (seriously, who the hell is Alice?!?), Alone In The Dark, The House Of The Dead, Super Mario Bros., Tomb Raider and many other beloved video game series all get butchered at the hands of crap film makers for many many years, and this is why when I think about a Clock Tower film being made, I must confess, I do feel a little nervous. The movie posters that have been released so far do look cool though, although I am not so keen on the whole 'crossed knives to form scissors' thing, like I am of Scissorman's iconic 'big ass shears'. I think many fans can agree with me on that one.


You see the problem with movie adaptations of video games is, the game companies don't even bother giving a hand in the creation of it. If Shigeru Miyamoto had been allowed some input on the Super Mario Bros. movie, it might not have been incredible, but hey, it would have been a damn bit better than the absolute bombshell of a film that got released instead. I mean, who knows better than the dude responsible for the existence of the franchise? That's why they need to get some people responsible for the actual Clock Tower games involved with the creation of the film, preferably the people who worked on the first game. Those guys know best. Even get some of the fans to help out! There are some very dedicated Clock Tower fan boys out there who have probably already written a script as accurate to the video games as it can possibly get. Those are the kind of dudes we want to make this movie, not some guy who has been told by his boss: 'Hey, there's this film I want you to make based on a video game called Clock Tower or something, there's some guy with a giant pair of scissors who chases a girl, he's called Scissorman, go make it.'

This synopsis was published online in 2007:

An Ivy League-bound high school student gets a call from her birth mother whom she as no recognition of and starts to wonder where she came from, so with her sister decides to visit her childhood home, there she uncovers what she had long buried in her mind, a force they called The Scissor Man.

Then after that, a second plot synopsis was released in 2008 with several changes in the plot:

A woman is tormented by an evil that has haunted her family for generations, but the only man who believes her is the psychiatrist she meets in a mental institution. Together they must find the source of her family's damnation and then fight for their lives, until the curse is finally laid to rest.

Okay, hold the phone, who is the scriptwriter for this film and why haven't they been sacked yet? It sounds like they've tried to base the film vaguely on Clock Tower: Ghost Head, (sloppily renamed Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within for its English release) a lacklustre spin-off entry to the series. This isn't the game you want to make a Clock Tower movie about! You want the plot to be about the first game, and then perhaps make a sequel film based on the second game, or even cram the two into one film!!! You don't even need to make up any new plot, just recycle the old ones! You even have a load of alternate endings that you can chose from (I personally think that ending C would be the most effective and dramatic). The Clock Tower fans will thank you for it, trust me!!!
Also, don't you even dare think about not including elements of the first two games' soundtracks in the movie. Get someone to do epic remixes of the original songs, those soundtracks made those games even more scarier than they already were! You need a bit of Cradle Under The Stars and Don't Cry, Jennifer in there somewhere.


Unfortunately, in January this year, the director of this movie, David R. Ellis (Snakes On A Plane anyone?) died, leaving the film with no director. Which is sad, I would've loved heroine Jennifer Simpson to have shouted: 'I have had it with this motherf*cking deformed stalker with scissors, in this motherf*cking castle!!!'. All jokes aside, R.I.P. to Mr. Ellis and I really do hope that a new director is found (a decent one) and this movie does eventually get released, because as a fan of this franchise, I really am eager to see it. I just hope that it doesn't suck the big one. Fingers crossed.

 
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