Resident Evil Village has done quite well for itself since its launch on Friday. Charming the internet with Lady Dimitrescu, making them in the same breath laugh with the unfortunate fate of protagonist Ethan’s hands… it’s safe to say the horror sequel’s a hit. There is however one thing that developer Capcom along with fans perhaps weren’t prepared for. The game features an eerily similar monster design to a 2013 movie. As this discusses a later boss fight in the game, there will naturally be spoilers ahead. Heads up.
About three quarters through the game, hero Ethan Winters finds himself in the labyrinthian Factory. Run by Heisenberg, one of Village’s prime villains, the place is rife with weird, human experiments that have weird meshes with technology. One of the big threats in this region is Sturm, a humanoid boss with a giant propeller for a head. It’s this boss that bears an odd resemblance to that from a monster in the 2013 horror movie Frankenstein’s Army. As you can see per the provided image below (Village’s Sturm left, Frankstein’s Army monster left), it’s quite undeniable.
The director of Frankenstein’s Army, Richard Raaphorst, was quite frank in an interview with Eurogamer. “This is just one-to-one, really,” Raaphorst says. “It’s just the same scene as in my movie, except that in my movie you have to cut loose the fuel tubes. That’s the only thing that is missing. But the whole thing is getting into flames, and then it explodes, and then the way it rotates through the camera – it’s all the same, really. Even the environments, the whole colour palette. It looks like an animatic for my movie.”
Raaphorst states that at no point has Capcom approached him about the use of design and that he only found out via fans on May 7, the launch day of Resident Evil Village. “It’s creative abuse,” he says. “At first I felt pissed. Then I felt proud. Now, I see all the reactions and I feel pissed again, and insulted. It’s so difficult to come up with a great design. It’s really hard to actually think about something that communicates as a cool design. It’s not just that ideas are floating around that you can grab. It’s actually hard labour. Then they just grab it and put it somewhere in the game.”
It’s also expected the Raaphorst will not see any royalty payments from Capcom. He does not own the rights to the film. Those fall to MPI Media Group, an American movie and finance company the director partnered with to get Frankenstein’s Army off the ground.
Capcom has yet to respond to these allegations, though Raaphorst is still open to receiving a credit. “I am exploring my options,” he stated.