Going Full Tilt for Bill Paxton
Updated 3:45 p.m. ET -- scroll down for new must-read details about the Bill Paxton pinball machine.
I learned early on that no good can come from slagging Bill Paxton, and none too soon. Shortly after I dismissed Paxton as no more than a guy who played a surfer dude in every single movie, I became a late-blooming fan thanks to his portrayal of polygamous everyman Bill Henrickson on HBO's "Big Love."
So it is with pleasure that I present the Bill Paxton pinball machine, a labor of love for gamer and modder Benjamin J. Heckendorn who we should all thank for not being unduly enamored of Jeremy Piven or Pete Wentz.
But why Paxton? Explains Heckendorn who, in a blog post, says he always wanted to build a pinball machine from scratch:
Well it's as good a theme as any -- I guess I could have gone with a more obvious geek choice like Bruce Campbell but to be honest, Paxton's more interesting and has made movies people have actually seen. In the end what this project is really about is building something very complicated from scratch, so the engineering is the real star.
Okay. How does the theme affect play? The game's different modes will allow for different experiences. "Titanic" mode takes the pinball down a "sunken 'Titanic' hallway" and includes a "Heart of the Ocean" doodad. "True Lies" mode includes some blue quotes from Paxton's character if the ball goes down the drain hole, and (my favorite) "Big Love" mode requires competitors to plays with three balls at once.
I've got an e-mail out to Heckendorn to ask whether he's integrated what may be Paxton's most famous one-liner ever, from "Aliens": "GAME OVER MAN!" (Note -- One NSFW word in clip below)...
3:40 p.m. -- Just heard back from Ben Heckendorn. Rest assured, "Game over, man," will be a part of the experience. But there's much more about what makes Heckerdorn -- and his Paxton pinball project -- tick after the jump...
Liz: Seriously -- why Bill Paxton? I read your blog post, but wasn't this just a bit tongue in cheek?
Ben Heckendorn: Exactly! I want people to look at this project and wonder "what the hell was he thinking?" I mean sure, Paxton's had some memorable roles over the years and is generally well-liked, but more than anything it's about the WTF factor. On that note, I could have built something like "Lou Diamond Phillips" pinball, but he hasn't been in enough movies people remember. Also Paxton has a lot of memorable lines from his movies that will make great audio clips during play. I can't wait to get the playfield (part the ball rolls on) finished!
Liz: Do you know if Bill Paxton has heard about the project? If so, what's his reaction?
Ben Heckendorn: Not that I know of. Hopefully he would appreciate my appreciation. Also I've made it clear this is a fun, personal project for myself and isn't something that will be resold. (I've always wanted a pinball machine)
Liz: So, will "Game over, man!" figure into this thing somewhere?
Ben Heckendorn: Well of course it will! Over the years I've gone through Paxton movies and sampled great lines, still have more work to do on that. It will focus on his more well-known roles, such as "Aliens," though I'd like to include some not-so-obvious movie references, as well as Paxton's band -- Martini Ranch.
Liz: Any other celeb pinball machines or celeb/game mashups in your past, present or future?
Ben Heckendorn: Considering I've been working on this pinball [machine] for over four years now, I really don't plan to build more. Again it's ultimately about the pinball and not celebrities, it just so happens I picked a celebrity as the theme.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must go rent "One False Move"...
| August 19, 2009; 10:10 AM ET
Categories: Extreme Fans
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