Monday, February 3, 2014

Spot the cliché


Everyone likes to poke fun at the clichés in cheesy action and horror movies. It's fun because it's so easy, especially if you're watching just about anything made in the 1980s, at the dawn of the home video age, and its fun because genre movies are so consistent in their use of the same tired tropes.

The creators of Film Frenzy identified that source of entertainment, and cleverly made a card game out of it.

Film Frenzy: Action Movie Edition is a card game meant to be played while watching an action movie, the more cliché-ridden, the better. The game's cards depict common action movie elements such as "shooting from a moving vehicle" or "impaled by scenery," each with a point value assigned to it. Players are dealt a hand of cards, and when you see something on screen that matches a card in your hand, you play your card to the table and draw a new card. Rewind cards allow players to play cards for scenes that happened earlier in the movie, and pause cards allow every player to discard and redraw as many cards as they like.

It's a very random game without a lot of strategy to it, but it can be a lot of fun with the right movie. For our game we decided to go for quality, choosing the recent comic book adaptation Dredd, starring Karl Urban and Lena Headey and based on the British Judge Dredd comics.


Dredd was long on a lot of the standard action tropes, but surprisingly light on others. There's only one real chase scene (at the beginning of the film), but I was able to get the "gloves" and "hand gun" cards out right away, and there were plenty of opportunities to play the "slow motion sequence" card.

I imagine the publisher's idea was to release a series of these, with editions for horror, science fiction, and so on, but sadly this was the only one they published, and it is long out of print.

Rating: 3 (out of 5) Too simple to be really engaging, but fun for those nights when you can't decide whether to watch a movie or play a game.

Date played: January 24, 2014

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