Monday, October 7, 2013

Nods to Bond Where You Least Expect, Part II

The nods are back for a second installment as promised here. Although I’ve been keeping a running list, after encountering two in less than one week, I knew it was time to post part two.

Total Party Kill (2013, Short Horror Film)
Now who would have thought a reference to James Bond would be found in a short horror film inspired by the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu? While attending the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthulhu Con the last weekend of September in San Pedro, California, one of the short films shown had a gem of a Bond reference. Total Party Kill is about a group of friends sitting around the dining room table engaged in the role playing game Call of Cthulhu when the game takes a decidedly turn into the realm of reality. Now, I’ve played Call of Cthulhu a couple of times and while there are hit points, similar to Dungeons and Dragons, there are also sanity points that players track. The sanity points drop every time the player encounters unexplained Lovecraftian creatures and events. With that in mind, in the film, the game master asked one of the characters to do a sanity check. He does and responds that his sanity is “shaken, not stirred.”

Have a look at David Milano’s first short film Total Party Kill that was one of fourteen short films included in the Official Selection at the film festival. 

And as a Fanboy Comics guest contributor, here’s an article I wrote about the event as well as my photographs: San Pedro Falls Under Cthulhu’s Spell

The Vampire Diaries (2012-2013, Television Series)
When I’m not researching or writing about spies, I’m usually catching up with one of my guilty pleasures: the world of vampirism. I love the mythos and have been an avid fan from the days of reading Anne Rice novels way back when. Naturally, The Vampire Diaries is on my radar and I collect each season on DVD when it comes out since I don’t watch television. Season four came out recently and I managed to snag it on a pretty sweet sale. I have been devouring the episodes like they were chocolate! I think it was during season three that I noticed that some of the episode titles were lifted from other well known popular culture references such as television show names, famous sayings, song titles, and of course movie titles. It was inevitable that at some point, Bond would come up and sure enough, episode 12 was titled A View To A Kill a reference to Roger Moore’s last outing as James Bond in 1985.

Take a look at the rest of The Vampire Diaries pop cultural references in this wiki entry analyzing episode titles.  

Gone Home (2013, Video Game)
Do you find yourself skewing your head sideways when you get a glimpse of a shelf in a panning shot during a television show, movie or a picture, trying to quickly read and recognize spines of books, games, and movies? I know I do and game trailer reviews are no exception. Gone Home is a first-person interactive story set in Oregon during the mid 1990s. After spending a year abroad, Kaitlin returns to an empty home and a note from her sister telling her not to try to find answers to her family’s disappearance (Yeah right! That warning will go unheeded!). In one review, there’s a pan across a couple of the shelves and bam – there’s a double feature on a VHS tape of Airplane & Moonraker, another Roger Moore era Bond film. Glad the game developer put together two aerospace films!   

Hello 90s! A double feature somewhere in the distant past

Curious about the rest of the game? Have a look here for the entire review by GameTrailers.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2004, Literature)
The world of espionage lost a creative spirit last week: Tom Clancy past away from a brief illness at the age of 66. Clancy’s writings focused heavily on the espionage genre – creating gritty, realistic tense-ridden covert operations in his books – during the Cold War years and beyond. He created Jack Ryan’s universe, and then Alec Baldwin brilliantly brought Ryan to life in The Hunt for Red October (1990). I assumed that Clancy had also written Sam Fisher and his Splinter Cell world, however I was mistaken. Back in 2002, Clancy endorsed game developer Ubisoft for the first Splinter Cell videogame to all of the major console systems at the time. Lending his distinctive gravelly voice that would become a trademark for the franchise, Canadian actor Michael Ironside voiced Sam Fisher, the series’ ongoing protagonist.

In 2004, Ubisoft released their follow up, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. The same year, Raymond Benson, American writer of James Bond novels from 1997 through 2003, took on the pseudonym David Michaels and penned Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, based on the videogame series by the same name. Benson wrote a second book for the series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda the following year. Although the series continued under the same pseudonym, a new author was hired to replace Benson. This may not be a real nod to Bond, but it is an interesting tie between two successful franchises, and the two central genres that inspire spyfi and superspies.

Image from Wikipedia


  1. Splinter Cell video games just will not be the same without Michael Ironside.

    Talk is cheap - SCAN ME!!

    I hope they bring Gone Home to the xbox, maybe as an indie game.

    Total Party Kill was a fun short at the HP Lovecraft film festival. Damn, I am WAY behind getting my next Call of Cthulhu game going!

  2. Yes, you are Nick, especially since you said you made a prop for the game.....I feel the same about Michael Ironside not voicing Fisher, but I think he felt he was getting too old and you know, it's better to bow out with grace and on your own terms then to be pushed out of the franchise. He's had a fantastic run; he needs a new project to sink his voice into =)


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