The House That
Diorama & Figures
This piece is based on the Body Eater-infested room found at the end of the first level of Namco's 1988 Splatterhouse video game. It was created specifically for a contest at Figure Realm (I came in 4th out of 38 entries).
One evening, two college students, Rick and Jennifer, embarked on an ill-fated trip to investigate the abandoned mansion of Dr. West, a brilliant parapsychologist who disappeared years ago under mysterious circumstances. Dark rumors about the unethical--some would even say unholy--experiments Dr. West conducted at his private estate are legion. Rick and Jennifer are determined to find out just how much of those stories are true. Forcing their way inside, the couple have only begun to explore the interior of the dilapidated building when they find that the structure is anything but deserted--it's crawling with a small army of ghastly monsters! While he does his best to fight off the abominations, Rick is knocked unconscious by the creatures' attack; the last thing he hears as the world fades into darkness is Jennifer's anguished scream . . .
Awakening hours later, lying on the filthy floor of a dungeon located somewhere underneath the mansion, Rick's already shocked psyche must immediately deal with another dilemma: While he was out of it, in addition to moving him here, someone, or something, affixed a hockey mask to his face that he cannot remove and, even worse, speaks to him. The artificial visage informs him that it is an ancient artifact called the Terror Mask, and, that only with the powers it imparts will Rick have a chance to save Jennifer from the host of fiends that have abducted her. Not liking this new development in the least, but lacking any real alternative, Rick sets out to get his woman back. Making his way through the corpse-strewn catacomb, battling bats and zombies along the way, whilst avoiding impalement upon hidden traps (all of which he accomplishes with surprising ease--the enhanced physical abilities the mask spoke of were not an idle boast), Rick comes to a ladder. Ascending it, he finds himself in an even more revolting room. A mangled figure, that is clearly not human, hangs from the ceiling and large piles of rotting meat line the walls. The stench is almost unbearable. And then the flesh begins to quiver . . . is it alive? No, but the wriggling things nestled inside the sticky mounds are. Rick has just stumbled upon a nest of Body Eaters, and they're ravenously hungry--will he survive?
Controversy over its gory content aside, Namco was also flirting with copyright infringement with the release of Splatterhouse. Rick is obviously "inspired" by Jason Vorhees from the Friday The 13th films, and the Body Eaters/Boreworms are copies of the chestbursters from the Alien franchise. Rick's hockey mask was changed for the North American Turbografx-16 (PC Engine in Japan) home release of the game, doubtlessly to try to avoid potential litigation.
Newsprint, tissue paper, cardboard, white glue, hot glue, wire twist ties, sand, a paperclip, aluminum foil, plastic, nail polish, marker, and acrylic paint.
(*The maximum size values for Rick and the Body Eater will vary depending on how the joints are positioned; the numbers given assume a "neutral" standing pose for
Rick and lying pose for the Body Eater.)
Rick: 2.7 cm/1.1 in. x 6.9 cm/2.7 in. (widest point x highest point)
Body Eater: 7.0 cm/2.8 in. x 1.3 cm/0.5 in. (widest point x highest point)
Diorama: 14.1 cm/5.6 in. x 10.0 cm/3.9 in. (widest point x highest point)
Rick: Twenty-five points; neck (2), shoulders (2), biceps (2), elbows (4), wrists (2), waist, hips (4), knees (4), and ankles (4).
Body Eater: Ten points; tail (9) and jaw.
Thirteen days in February 2009 (Feb. 6, 8, 9, 11, 17, and 19-26).
For comparison purposes, below are several images of Rick, Body Eaters, and the final room of level 1 from various Splatterhouse media (more information on mouse-over).
- Splatterhouse Arcade and PC Engine/TurboGrafx16 games and instruction manuals.
- West Mansion Splatterhouse fan web site.
- Hardcore Gaming 101 Splatterhouse article.
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The gory background graphic is a closeup from my 'The House That Splatter Built' diorama/playset.