When you're killing time north of Union Square, you go to Barnes & Noble to read magazines or PETCO to look at the cats. When you're killing time south of Union Square, you go to The Strand to read magazines or Forbidden Planet to look at the pervy Japanese toys.
So last night while I was not looking at cats or reading magazines, and I had a profound moment of clarity. The cover of the 8-bit Nintendo game Contra is totally ripping off the movie Predator.
Forbidden Planet has the largest collection of faux vintage nerd-boner t-shirts in New York and it's the only place you can get a t-shirt of a video game. The Contra shirt was totally bugging me and I couldn't understand why. It was like I'd seen this video game cover so many times from my childhood at the video store with my Dad. But I hadn't. So why is it so familiar? Then it hit me:
Nice job, totally Japanese artist! Check out the glint on the pouches! All the shiny sinew! I can only imagine the artist was also given a head-shot of Dolph Lundgren so as not to accidentally make this a perfect rendering of the Schwartz. And don't think I can't see you, Insultingly Obvious Copy Of An Alien. This game cover is literally just a collage of badass stuff in the 80s. The only thing that could make it better would be if there was another Arnold in there. Waaaait.
SONOFABITCH. They tried to fool us into thinking that was Rambo, but we know better.
When you grow up like I did, carefully sidestepping anything remotely competitive, you tend to live your present days awkwardly - but mostly blissfully - unaware of stress-inducers like video games. So this Contra image-theft is probably not news. After doing a little research, it turns out Konami, who made Contra, created a whole bunch of video games with artwork that copied iconic action characters of the 80s.
Check out Kyle Reese from The Terminator moonlighting as the Metal Gear dude.
Konami, you're basically a kid drawing pictures in your room all day. So I guess you're cool with me.