As I spend my days digesting media in the name of 'research' I find myself surprised at what I find where. Whether it's a character ideas from Lethal Weapon 2, a tonal idea from 'The Abyss', or maybe it's just a music cue from 'Community', each one is a valuable tool for my filmmaking shed. But no source has been stranger, or more eye-openning, than a fondly remembered video game from my past: Sam and Max Hit the Road.
The logline for this game reads: Freelance policemen, Sam and Max, search roadside attractions across the USA in search of an escaped bigfoot. Hilarity ensues.
It's an amazing game; by all accounts a classic of the era. I remember stumbling upon this title sometime in the early-mid 90s and just devouring it. The writing was snappy and quick, the characters were outstanding, and the locations were places that I could only wish existed.
I was reminding while replaying it over the past month just how influential it was to my developing brain. It's dry wit mixed with utter absurdity shaped my sense of humor to what it is today. Hell, I still find myself quoting it when I'm out and about, even if it only makes me laugh. To say I'm a fan is only scratching the surface. I think my love for this game is what drew me to Love in the Time of Monsters in the first place.
I remember when I first read the script there was something about it that just leapt off the page and demanded to be made. It was a combination of the crazy characters, the sensational story, and most importantly, the setting. From the moment that I read the script took place at an American-themed roadside attraction full of costumed characters and hokey decorations, I knew this was the movie for me. What I didn't realize was where that desire came from, and now I do: Sam and Max Hit the Road.
Like I mentioned, I've been playing the game for the past month or so and for a 16-bit, MIDI-themed, point-and-click adventure from 1991 it holds up incredibly well. The puzzles are genius, the dialogue is still spot on (if a bit slow in the delivery sometimes), and best of all the locations are even better than I remembered. And now that I'm in the process of creating my own crazy location, I can't wait to make it look like one of the attractions from this game.
It seems as though our art director will have his hands full. I hope he's up for the challenge.
In the meantime, it's time for me to get back to 'researching'.