Inspirational EC Movies
Though most primary source information about Vanth is unavailable due to the collapse of the Sector Power Grid, these sources may be used as analogical material for non-scientific purposes to construct a crude approximation of the Vanthian milieu.
This is a list of movies and TV shows to get the brain juices flowing for running or playing in an Encounter Critical campaign. Please help me making this better by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or posting comments and suggestions on the Encounter Critical mailing list (email@example.com) or on this wiki.
Encounter Critical © 2004 S. John Ross. Cumberland Games and Diversions.
Thanks also to the tireless JourneyMasters of the Encounter Critical mailing list for their suggestions and comments.
- Alien (1979): Probably came out after EC was “originally” published, but this would be a cool and deadly EC monster.
- *Barbarella *(1968): A space doxy who runs into a lot of strange people. Includes Killer dolls (droids?), a blind “angel”, a fur-lined spaceship, a musical killer pleasure organ…
- Battle Beyond the Stars (1980): The Magnificent Seven in Space! A Roger Corman film.
- Captive Women (1952): Tribal conflict in post-apocalyptic New York, between the “Norms” and the “Mutates” vs the “Upriver People”, who want to take their women.
- Crater Lake Monster (1977): Source of the EC monster.
- Damnation Alley (1977): Jan-Michael Vincent and George Peppard. Post-apocalyptic setting. Mutated insect life. Savage, shotgun-toting hillbillies. And, of course, 7-ton 12-wheeled “Damnation Vans”!
- Day the World Ended (1952): a Roger Corman classic about a heroic scientist in a post-atomic war world. Mutants, too.
- Flash Gordon (1980): Not the bore worms!
- Frankenstein (1931): That’s where the Frankenstein race comes from, dudes.
- Galaxina (1980): A sendup of Star Wars, Aliens, and westerns, starring a voluptuous android.
- Godzilla, Gamera, and just about any Kaiju movie: EC did what every good D&D-inspired game did back then: took unique monsters and turned them into a whole race of monsters. Godzillas and mega-turtles.
- Hardware Wars (1977): Hilarious spoof of “Star Wars”, somewhat in the spirit of EC.
- Heavy Metal, The Movie (1981): obviously a little late to influence EC, but the magazine was such an obvious influence on the game that it need not be detailed here (because I only read it sporadically when it was being published, dammit).
- Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973): “They’ll love the very life out of your body!” Not really like the description of “Bee Girls” in EC, but the idea of female bee/human hybrids driven to mate might be an interesting plot seed.
- Krull (1983): A little late for the heyday of EC, but it has an alien warlord known as “The Beast” who flies around in a spaceship that looks like a mountain with his army of killer cyborgs. Krull is a medieval-type fantasy world. A lackluster movie that should have worked because of all the neat elements: Fire Mares, the Widow of the Web, magic vs advanced technology, the Black Fortress, not to mention Liam Neeson and Robby Coltrane long before anybody in America knew who they were.
- Logan’s Run (1976): Isolationistic, high-tech post-apocalyptic society with strange customs (in this case, the citizens are executed on their 30th birthdays). Can be inspiration for high-tech paces like God City, if you don’t like the “Mos Eisley” version.
- Mad Max (1979), Mad Max 2, The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985): iconic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic setting, with failing technology, a breakdown of law and order, savage competition for dwindling resources, awesome vehicular chases/homicide, and numerous memorable characters (Max himself, the Gyro Captain, the Humungus, the Feral Kid, the Warrior Woman, Master Blaster, Aunty Entity, etc.).
- Planet of the Apes and sequels: So many cool things, such as civilized apes, feral humans, skinless psychic doomsday-bomb-worshipping mutants, a post-apocalyptic world, “The Forbidden Zone”, and Charlton Heston (plenty of eye-candy for the ladies)!
- Rollerball (1975): Ritualized combat-sport involving combination Biker/Pugilists
- Scanners (1981): David Cronenberg’s movie about mind-blasting mutants (called “scanners”). Evil psi-witches, obviously.
- Silent Running: Bruce Dern and his three pet droids, on a spaceship loaded with Earth’s last plant life.
- Soylent Green (1973): Charlton Heston and Chuck Connors! “Soylent Green is [spoiler deleted]!”
- Star Crash (1979): The incomparable Caroline Munro in a nutty Italian scifi film. Warning: David Hasselhoff! With a robot policemen and a world full of Neanderthals.
- Star Trek (the original series & The Motion Picture): Obviously the source of Vulkins and Klengons, with plenty of classic bits and cliches to draw from. Just a few examples: Human minds in android bodies, androids who want to serve humans whether they want to or not, a place ruled by a mind-controlling computer (Landru, Vaal, the Oracle of Yonada), ancient technology gone awry, new technology gone awry, mind-controlling spores, forgetting that the world you live on is really an asteroid… just pick an episode at random and you can probably find something to use.The * Day of the Triffids: I don’t know why triffids aren’t on the monster list in EC, but they clearly belong there.
- Santo vs. Las Mujeres Vampiro (“Samson vs. the Vampire Women”): a Luchador(mexican wrestler) movie featuring the most famous of all luchadores, Santo, who must rescue a professor’s daughter from the clutches of a fiendish vampire lord.
- Star Wars (1977), Empire Strikes Back (1980): Sources of many EC concepts, such as robodroids, Wookys, psi-witches, asteroid worms, giant sand lizards (dewbacks), hoblings (aka jawas), and a gazillion other things. God City is probably a lot like Mos Eisley, “a wretched hive of scum and villainy”.
- The Black Hole (1979): A mad scientist and his RoboDroids in a mysterious spaceship orbitting a black hole.
- The Omega Man: Charlton Heston! And a city full of homicidal albino mutants!
- The Phantom Empire (1935): A singing cowboy (Gene Autry!) vs the evil queen of an ancient, advanced, underground civiization. The underground city and the costumes of its inhabitants have to be seen to be believed!
- The Stepford Wives (1974): Human-appearing robo-doxies, anybody?
- Things to Come (1936): A decades long world war destroys civilization, which rebuilds itself slowly over the course of a century to the point where space travel becomes possible. The screenplay was written by H.G. Welles. I love the futuristic costumes and designs.
- War of the Planets (1965)":http://www.1000misspenthours.com/reviews/reviewsn-z/waroftheplanets1965.htm :Energy beings from another planet possess humans, which leads to a… WAR BETWEEN THE PLANETS!
- Westworld (1973): If Yul Brynner as an evil gunslinger robot gone out of control doesn’t grab you, then you might be ungrabbable.
- Wizards (1977): Wizards and elves vs. a techno-necromancer in a post-apocalyptic world. Ralph Bakshi animation.
- Zardoz (1974): Barbarian Sean Connery in hip boots and a loincloth (!!!) vs some pychic hippie-types. Add in an autocratic artificial intelligence and a giant floating hollow head that spews weapons out of its mouth and you’ve got a heckishly twisted movie.