The House of the Dead

Posted by JerryTerrifying On Sunday, October 31, 1999 0 comments

Fifteen years ago I had a terrible job at a movie theater, this was actually the worst job I've ever had. Worse than cleaning air conditioners on the top of musty old yogurt factories, worse than running an aluminum press and much worse than my minimum wage chicken broasting gig (that was actually kind of mega sweet). The hours were long, the bureaucracy stifling and the head manager well he was a turd.

The only thing that I enjoyed about this job other than being able to obtain movie posters and watching free movies was the arcade area. In this little sanctuary I got to visit on break I would pump quarters into two games non stop. Crypt Killer and The House of the Dead. These two machines were my salvation in a bleak world of Milk Duds and Popping corn. I would pull a chair from the lobby into the arcade and sit my ass down in front of these two machines and for just about 10 minutes a day I could unwind with some shooting.

I still remember going into the arcade with my friend Arthur for the first time. House of the Dead caught my eye immediately but Arthur went straight for the Crypt Killer machine. I could understand his reasoning. The Crypt Killer Machine had pump action shotguns. Fuck. Yes. A disembodied head reminiscent of Zordon promptly filled us in on our mission and we were on our way into an adventure filled with Mummies and monsters aching for buck shot facials like the filthy undead sluts they were.

But my true love in that dark little corner of the theater was the House of the Dead. This cabinet introduced me to Thomas Rogan, Agent G and Doctor Curien. The bosses were mysterious and spooky with their Tarot card inspired names, the action was fast paced and relentless, the green blood was gruesomely unsettling and I was in love. This is why the first episode of Mondo Cool TV's main feature is a series over view of The House of the Dead.

It took me a long time to wrap my head around the project. I was overwhelmed by my ambition for the featurette and the total lack of information on the series. Only a few interviews existed, almost no information about the series' creators is floating around on the internet, just a few bits and pieces about some of the inspirations behind the series. The Movie Seven influenced the feel and atmosphere of the game and the manga series Black Jack inspired the morally ambiguous actions of the characters but beyond that there just wasn't much to be learned. I guess this isn't surprising as it's an arcade game and no one is really dropping quarters for plot, players just want to blast creatures for a few minutes. Still there's something that draws me to the series and drives me to tell people about The House of the Dead. I love this series and want to share it with the world.

-Jerry Terrifying.   


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