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Romero High chainsaw massacre Edit
by Vegaz Combined Rating: 5.0
You gotta love Suda 51. Nothing is ever as it seems with him and this is no exception.

While the gameplay is basic arcade style beat 'em up with a chainsaw the real clever bit comes from the...
Pros Cons
  • Seemingly shallow but deeper meaning, still good dumb fun if you don't think about it, great soundtrack, intresting characters
  • The actual story goes over peoples heads
You gotta love Suda 51. Nothing is ever as it seems with him and this is no exception.

While the gameplay is basic arcade style beat 'em up with a chainsaw the real clever bit comes from the story.
It's Juilet Starling's 18th birthday and everything has just gone wrong. When she gets to school it turns out there's a massive zombie attack and her boyfriend, Nick, is one of the first victims. Really a school named Romero High was just asking for it. Of course she keeps him alive with a magic spell and cuts his head off to prevent the infection from spreading. Lucky for Juliet she's a cheerleader and happens to be carrying a chainsaw to dispense of the various zombies. You can run around collecting lollipops to buy new outfits and more zombie killing tools. Racking up high scores and coins along the way. On the surface it's some old school B-move sexplotation. It was marketed as such. If you take it as such it's still fun. Mindlessly killing zombies and head banging along with the likes of Joan Jett, Dead or Alive and Children of Bodom is some of the most fun gameplay I've seen in a long time. The graphics bring Suda's signature partly cel-shaded style and it complements the game well. The script was helped along by James Gunn of Silther and Super fame. The game isn't too long but there's multiple endings and a lot of collectibles so it has good replay value.

Much like the film Sucker Punch (also lost on much of its audience) there's a genius move here. While it may seem like mindless B -movie fun if you think about it, in truth it's actually Nick who is being exploited and objectified, at times literally. He's used to be shot out of her chainsaw turned bazooka, his disembodied head kicked around like a soccer/futbul ball and various other attacks you can purchase with your zombie killing coins in the form of 'Nick Tickets'. Early on in the game Juliet asks him what his favorite color is, it leads to an amusing Monty Python parody but this is the first indication that Juliet actually isn't all that good of a person. She pays so little attention to her boyfriend that she doesn't know something as basic as what his favorite color is? One of the early bosses throws insults at her, actually taking physical form and having them hurled towards her. Some have filed it away as offensive misogyny. However it's yet another hint towards how Juliet really is. There's a later level where Nick protests he's sick of being thrown around and Juliet's reaction is to just not care. He's coming along wether he likes it or not and he doesn't like it. He'd rather be left in a dumpster to die. When she puts his head on the body of zombie she's still abusing him with cheers such as "1-2-3-4 Nick moves! Really! Slow!". The reason for this whole zombie attack to begin with? She was absolutely terrible towards one of the goth kids, who then cast a spell to overrun the school. There is some redemption as she does her best to save the world and get a body for poor Nick. She's also not a typical slutty cheerleader and specifically mentions "I've done a good job of keeping guys out of my body" so there's a even a twist on the whole "this is mindless sexplotation and entirely misogynistic". For most of the game Juliet is a bad person and Nick serves as her victim. He still loves her anyway, suffering through the abusive relationship to the point he wishes for death. It's a shame such a great concept is hidden under something that would've ended up on the video nasty list in the 70's if it was movie. Most probably haven't bothered to look that far. There's two ways to look at the game and either way results in some of the best fun you can have with a video game.
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