Dutch film director Richard Raaphorst is claiming that Capcom stole the creature design of one of his monsters used in his 2013 horror film Frankenstein’s Army. It’s not an especially well known film, there’s no reason you should know what he’s talking about but during an interview with Eurogamer (and alongside some footage of both creatures) it’s not difficult to see where the guy is coming from. Spoilers for Resident Evil: Village ahead.
Towards the end of Heisenberg’s castle, Ethan Winters will have to fight and defeat a boss known as Sturm who’s really just a set of a legs with the propeller (and engine) of an airplane for a torso. If you were to look at Frankenstein’s Army… there’s a lot of similarities between Sturm and the propeller monster used with that film. “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,” said Raaphorst to Eurogamer.
Of course, this wouldn’t be all that bad if Capcom had just contact Raaphorst and asked permission but… that didn’t happen. “At first I felt pissed,” continued Raaphorst. “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.”
There’s not much Raaphorst can do with this information, even if he can prove that Sturm was an infringement on his intellectual property; he doesn’t own the rights to Frankenstein’s Army. It could be the case that Capcom contacted the production company and received permission through those means but that would be rather shady of them to not ask the film’s director. Raaphorst has stated that if he had been asked he would have been “flattered and proud”. There’s a lesson, kids. Sometimes it is better to ask for permission instead of forgiveness.
Last Updated: May 11, 2021