Whitethorn Games’ scenic search for hometown peace contains some delightful 80’s references in the form of a local video rental store.
I didn’t completely expect to see such over references to the culture of the 1980s in Lake, available now on Game Pass (and wherever games are sold, of course). As you navigate Meridith Weiss through her sabbatical away from work and along the postal route of her hometown, there are undoubtedly moments and set dressings that indicate the decade.
Her job as an early-era computer programmer aside, I didn’t think that there would be much else in the way of references to the 80s. That was until I encountered Angie at The Flick Shack, a wonderful little VHS rental store that is covered with bins and shelves bursting with what amounts to movie parodies.
If you look past the incredibly interesting romance storyline you can begin with Angie (which you absolutely should), the tapes on the walls are full of funny references in their own right. A few real-world movies are actually represented, but the real find is in the caricatures of popular movies we know and love. Here’s a list of the best ones you’ll find in Lake:
starring Bill Curry, Danny Aykloydo, and Sigmund Weavel
What are the implications here? Blasting is a much more clear and direct form of destruction than busting, so surely this “supernatural spectacle” will feature more violence than the real-life iteration.
Or perhaps there’s a more humane aspect to all of this. The ghost on this poster isn’t encased within a general prohibition sign, so maybe the goal in this film isn’t to eradicate the specters at all?
starring Jennifer Swell
What if instead of overcoming her station in life as a welder who longed to dance, the main character broke her leg and never got to achieve her dreams? The possibility of an even more emotional story of failure and acceptance is skewered by the poster, which just leaves us imagining the most famous dance scenes of the original movie featuring a massive, unruly leg cast.
The Good, The Bad, and The Duck Feet
starring Clint Peckwood
If you really think about it, this one doesn’t make much sense. Clint Eastwood’s character was “The Good”, which would make Eli Wallach’s Tuco the one with duck feet in this parody.
Semantics aside, there’s something to be said about the idea of a man/duck hybrid creature searching for lost Confederate gold. What would he even buy with them? Do his legs also resemble duck legs, or is it just everything below the ankles?
What if instead of standing up for truth, justice, and the American Way, Clark Kent just kinda didn’t care? And what if that was his whole schtick? To be honest, Mehman could have even been a Silver Age comic book character, if only for a one-off bit.
The flying shrug is a great visual and funny take on the real Superman II movie poster. It’s a fun twist on a well-known cultural image.
“Where everything seems thinkable and nothing is what you think.”
Certainly, The Labyrinth has evolved past simple cult status and become a cultural touchstone. Notably, a labyrinth is traditionally defined by scholars as one singular path from beginning to end with no branching paths, contrasted with a maze that features many confusing routes and patterns.
While Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth actually featured a maze, perhaps The Maze actually features a labyrinth and is much more straightforward than the real movie we received. One can’t help but wonder, is there a two-door riddle in this film, too?
The VHS boxes in Lake are really well done, and Sonja van Vuure did a great job with them. The rest of the game looks fantastic as well, and really nails the vibes of a small lake town in the middle of the woods. The whole team at Gamious did spectacular work on the title and should be proud of the product that they released.
Lake is available on Xbox and PC (and it’s on Game Pass for both!).