The List, Part 4
12. Night of the Comet (1984): Hot Tempest Nights
I never really cared for the arcade game Tempest, but I love the 80s cult zombie flick "Night of the Comet" and I have extremely fond memories of this particular scene because, at the time, I had no idea that girls played video games. Thus, this scene single-handedly catapulted my nerdy butt into puberty. Catherine Mary Stewart plays Reggie, a rebellious teenager who, along with her younger sister Sam, discovers that a comet sighting the night before has turned much of the Earth's population into zombies. In the clip, which is actually two parts, Reggie is blowing off her job as a movie theater attendant to play Tempest in the lobby. She finds that she owns all the records in the game except sixth place, which belongs to DMK. The next morning, after the comet has wiped out millions of people, she's still obsessing about "DMK," so she goes back and plays him out of the record book while her boyfriend gets waxed by a zombie. Just classic.
Clip: Here is the first 10 minutes of the movie with part of the scene and the second 10 minutes with part 2 of the scene.
Real Game?: Yes, Atari's Tempest.
Primary Message: Girls play video games, too. Actually, the best ones usually play.
Secondary Message: Boyfriends come and go, but the glory of getting your name in the record books lasts forever - even if zombies take over the world.
Bonus links: A "Night of the Comet" fan site and an interview with Kelli Maroney, who played Reggie's sister Sam, from RetroCrush.com.
Quote: "Somebody named DMK is in sixth place?! When did this happen?!"
Catherine Mary Stewart tries to focus during while playing Tempest in "Night of the Comet."
11. The Break-Up, 2006: Vince Steals Jen's Date
This is a clever scene, though it's highly improbable that a completely heterosexual male would be so in love with Madden NFL that he'd pass up a date with a fine-looking Jennifer Aniston. Nevertheless, this one gets laughs because it effectively illustrates the power that the Madden games hold on many mortal men. Gary (Vince Vaughn) is a bit of a video game fan, and he spends most of his time playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Fight Night: Round 3, and of course, Madden NFL 2006. After he and Brooke (played by Aniston) break up but continue to live together, Brooke invites a new man over to the apartment for their first date. There's just one problem: Gary is playing Madden on his PlayStation 2 and he soon lures Brooke's date into sitting down and playing. Gary continually trash talks to Brooke's date, while she sits there with a bored look on her face reading a magazine, waiting for the frustrating agony to end. Priceless.
Clip: Madden Mania
Real Game?: Yes, Madden NFL 2006.
Primary Message: You can't resist Madden NFL.
Secondary Message: The game isn't fun unless you can talk some trash.
Trivia: The magazine Aniston reads during this scene has Angelina Jolie on the cover. Ouch.
Quote: "I can't take credit for it, Mike. I gotta thank these little digital guys with the big hearts."
Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in "The Break-Up."
10. Never Say Never Again, 1983: Electro-Shock Domination!
This is pretty much the best part of the unofficial James Bond movie "Never Say Never Again." A remake of the 1965 Bond film "Thunderball," this film brings back an aging Sean Connery as Bond, who battles the evil organization SPECTRE and the sinister billionaire Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Halfway through this dreadful film, however, is a magnificent scene where Largo challenges Bond to a rather luxurious table-top computer game called Domination. The game pits two players, one on each side of the center screen, against one another in a global conflict involving nuclear weapons. Each player picks a country and is assigned a team color - red or blue. The objective is to target the opposing country with your laser while also defending your territory with the missile shield. The catch is that when your country is hit by the opposing player, the game administers powerful electric shocks through the joysticks. In this scene, Largo whips Bond twice before the two engage in a third and final winner-take-all match.
Clip: Bond vs. Largo in Domination.
Real Game?: No, but someone should really make it.
Primary Message: Evil geniuses always have the best toys.
Secondary Message: Sean Connery was too old - and too Scottish - to play a charismatic and suave British spy.
Trivia: This scene later inspired a recent Budweiser Super Bowl commercial featuring Hall of Fame NFL coach Don Shula and rap star Jay-Z playing a football version of Domination. Now that's a cool game!
Quote: "As the stakes increase, so does the level of pain - rather like life."
Bond and Largo go head to head for a few rounds of Domination in the unofficial James Bond flick "Never Say Never Again."