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Lollipop Chainsaw Coming to America [UPDATED]

Warner Bros. will be picking up the publishing tab for Grasshopper Manufacture's latest, and they even brought a little Hollywood talent along for the translation.

It hasn't been easy going in America for master of the "cult classic" Suda51. While he's made more than his share of critically acclaimed games over the last decade, few have been major financial successes on the North American continent. Most recently, Shadows of the Damned, his collaboration with Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, fizzled at retail, with a mere 24,000 copies sold in its first month. Granted, that probably had more to do with EA's unceremonious dumping of the game at retail without a single identifiable dollar spent on marketing, but still, it's the sort of thing that can send other would-be publishers running, screaming away from a developer.

This looks fun.

Thankfully, that didn't happen, and Suda's next project will be heading to American shores, courtesy of the increasingly laudable WB Games. For those of you unawares as to what that project is, go ahead and have a seat right over there while we talk about sexy cheerleaders with chainsaws for a moment.

Titled Lollipop Chainsaw, this action horror game stars plucky high school cheerleader Juliet Starling whose 18th birthday is ruined as her California high school suddenly comes under attack by a zombie threat. Fortunately, Juliet comes from a family of zombie hunters, so this whole deal? Ain't no thang.

Juliet's primary weapon is, naturally, a chainsaw, though her cheerleading acrobatics will also come in handy when pulling off melee maneuvers. Evidently, the game is meant to be some kind of spiritual successor to No More Heroes, and the few screens that have popped up certainly look the part. Albeit with more zombies. And pink hearts.

While Warner's deal with Japanese publisher Kadokawa Games to bring the title to America is certainly interesting, more intriguing is the news buried in the press release that filmmaker James Gunn, himself something of a cult-classic-maker-in-the-making, has signed on to James Gunn up the works. In truth, the press release doesn't really specify his role in the product's development, but one can surmise he'll be taking some kind of script pass on the English translation of the game. Whatever the role ends up being, given Gunn's history with Troma films, not to mention his big budget work on hyperviolent and super-weird movies like Slither, Super, and of course the Dawn of the Dead remake, Gunn's presence can't be seen as anything but a positive.

While the idea of yet another zombie game is probably sending some eyes in the Giant Bomb community 180 degrees backward, forcing a few of you to stare inward in a way you clearly weren't prepared for, something about the idea of No More Heroes meets Dawn of the Dead meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Bring It On is finding a way through my own tangled maze of cynical impenetrability, and into my cold, black heart. So, yeah, I'm into it.

UPDATE: More news! James Gunn updated his personal blog with some information on his involvement with the game. Evidently, it's more than just a bit of script work. He's been involved with the project for the last year or so, injecting, as he puts it, "James Gunn style and humor" into the very heart of the game itself. Mostly he worked with Suda on dialogue and character, but evidently he also introduced some of his regular film players for roles within the game, as well. Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillion confirmed?

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

It hasn't been easy going in America for master of the "cult classic" Suda51. While he's made more than his share of critically acclaimed games over the last decade, few have been major financial successes on the North American continent. Most recently, Shadows of the Damned, his collaboration with Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, fizzled at retail, with a mere 24,000 copies sold in its first month. Granted, that probably had more to do with EA's unceremonious dumping of the game at retail without a single identifiable dollar spent on marketing, but still, it's the sort of thing that can send other would-be publishers running, screaming away from a developer.

This looks fun.

Thankfully, that didn't happen, and Suda's next project will be heading to American shores, courtesy of the increasingly laudable WB Games. For those of you unawares as to what that project is, go ahead and have a seat right over there while we talk about sexy cheerleaders with chainsaws for a moment.

Titled Lollipop Chainsaw, this action horror game stars plucky high school cheerleader Juliet Starling whose 18th birthday is ruined as her California high school suddenly comes under attack by a zombie threat. Fortunately, Juliet comes from a family of zombie hunters, so this whole deal? Ain't no thang.

Juliet's primary weapon is, naturally, a chainsaw, though her cheerleading acrobatics will also come in handy when pulling off melee maneuvers. Evidently, the game is meant to be some kind of spiritual successor to No More Heroes, and the few screens that have popped up certainly look the part. Albeit with more zombies. And pink hearts.

While Warner's deal with Japanese publisher Kadokawa Games to bring the title to America is certainly interesting, more intriguing is the news buried in the press release that filmmaker James Gunn, himself something of a cult-classic-maker-in-the-making, has signed on to James Gunn up the works. In truth, the press release doesn't really specify his role in the product's development, but one can surmise he'll be taking some kind of script pass on the English translation of the game. Whatever the role ends up being, given Gunn's history with Troma films, not to mention his big budget work on hyperviolent and super-weird movies like Slither, Super, and of course the Dawn of the Dead remake, Gunn's presence can't be seen as anything but a positive.

While the idea of yet another zombie game is probably sending some eyes in the Giant Bomb community 180 degrees backward, forcing a few of you to stare inward in a way you clearly weren't prepared for, something about the idea of No More Heroes meets Dawn of the Dead meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Bring It On is finding a way through my own tangled maze of cynical impenetrability, and into my cold, black heart. So, yeah, I'm into it.

UPDATE: More news! James Gunn updated his personal blog with some information on his involvement with the game. Evidently, it's more than just a bit of script work. He's been involved with the project for the last year or so, injecting, as he puts it, "James Gunn style and humor" into the very heart of the game itself. Mostly he worked with Suda on dialogue and character, but evidently he also introduced some of his regular film players for roles within the game, as well. Michael Rooker and Nathan Fillion confirmed?

Staff
Posted by RecSpec

Great news.

Edited by Daveyo520

I know I will get it.

Posted by Nurve

This game looks crazy

Posted by bassman2112

It definitely looks interesting =) I just hope it gets more sales/interest than Shadows of the Damned did. At least this one has a less generic title, haha. Thanks for the update, Alex - good to know this is coming to North America

Posted by Capt_Ventris

Always up for a new Suda joint

Posted by HellBrendy

Please come to Europe, please! 

Posted by Chippy180

This game sounds pretty promising, and I definitely get a Buffy feel from the screenshots I've seen.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

After getting Shadows of the Damned this seems great.

Posted by SixtyXCelph

I am pretty jazzed about this after Shadows of the Damned.  And James Gunn is awesome!

Posted by Kratch

Her knee-highs say "San Romero Knights." Nice George Romero homage there.

Posted by Vexxan

@HellBrendy said:

Please come to Europe, please!
Posted by MatPaget

Good! Can't wait!

Posted by iAmJohn

Pre-ordered with the fury of 1,000 suns.

Posted by Hector

At first I though this game had no heart. After seeing some of the screenshots I change my mind, looks like this is going to be another awesome Suda51 project. I haven't been disappointed so far with games.

Posted by MeatSim

Good to see someone is still willing to publish a Suda game in the US despite them not selling great.

Posted by buft
@Vegsen said:

@HellBrendy said:

Please come to Europe, please!
also can anyone check and see if a sales team or marketing team is credited in shadow of the damned, really want to know.
Posted by onimonkii

so michael rooker is pretty much guaranteed to do voice work then?

Posted by Loose

Fuckin' raaaaaaad.

Posted by natetodamax

Yes!!!!

Posted by LiquidPrince

Hey, I'm down.

Posted by ZeForgotten

Why did I already think this was coming to the states before this article? Guess I just assumed it would

Posted by Sammo21

I really enjoyed Shadows of the Damned...though the fact the game had no difficulty stacking or new game+ was kind of a bummer. Hopefully this one doesn't make the same mistakes and is just as fun/funny.

Posted by Yummylee

I can't help but view her name (and name only thank Christ) as like a gender-bendering of Jim Sterling... 
 
Lollipop Chainsaw at least sounds pretty cool, but that's always the initial reaction to anything upcoming by Suda.. If it can at least be on the same wave-length as SoTD on the playability level then I will gladly consume this piece of fluff.

Posted by FoxMulder

Shadows of the Damned was awesome, I just wish It was a little longer. I also liked Killer 7 in the day too, so I am all for more Suda51, but I'm not too interested in playing something like this...maybe if there is a demo it will change my mind. I did try the No More Heroes demo and didn't care too much for that at all.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

English translation? you mean Suda isn't casting English voice actors anymore?

Posted by The_Nubster

"This looks fun."

Posted by swomar

I really hope that the guys at 8-4 Play will still be involved in the translation. I LOVED their work in Shadow Of The Damned.

Posted by dekkadekkadekka

So it's Onechanbara, but from Suda 51? I am IN.

Posted by metalsnakezero

Good that he and his team aren't going to stop making games just because of low sells.

Posted by Gamer_152

Good news, I didn't see it as a sure bet that this would even get a western release.

Moderator
Posted by notlad

I am pumped!

Posted by JackSukeru

@Vegsen said:

@HellBrendy said:

Please come to Europe, please!

Oh right, I keep forgetting that things coming out in Japan and then being confirmed for US release doesn't automagically confirm it for EU release. Oh well, I have a PS3 so no worries for me either way.

Still need to get Shadows of The Damned.

Posted by probablytuna

Still haven't had a chance to play a Suda51 game. Maybe I'll pick up No More Heroes on the PS3.

Posted by Nekroskop

Yes! Great news!

Posted by CornBREDX

I'm willing to give anything Suda does a chance. If nothing else his games are generally crazy stylish and fun- even if the game play isn't always great.

Although, I really liked Shadows of the Damned so maybe he learned something from that development that will help make his other stuff better. Only time will tell.

Posted by TwilitEnd656

Glorious. There can never be enough Suda.

Posted by Nottle

I never understood why people got tired of zombies in games, a majority are very different kinds of games. It's not like a modern military setting where people only make samey first person shooters. With zombies people have made plant based tower defenses, one of the best team based first person shooters, a melee based zombie mall playground, and basically the birth of the entire survival horror genre.  
I still really need to play shadows of the damned and killer 7.

Posted by RareMonkey

I know I am interested in this.

Posted by SuperWristBands

fuck yeah

Posted by Rudeboy217

I am so down.

Posted by AmericanNinja

I think we found the new creeper cam game!

Posted by onimonkii
@onimonkii said:
so michael rooker is pretty much guaranteed to do voice work then?
hey, looks like i was right. lol
Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

Thank you, WB.

Posted by RYNO9881

This game might have the best ever title.

Posted by Little_Socrates

So... Ms. No More Heroes?

Posted by JeffGoldblum

Buffy the Zombie Slayer.

Edited by DiGiTaL_SiN

LOL, James Gunn! Fuckin' perfect! Couldn't have thought of a better fit myself. I will be pretty disappointed if this game didn't feature the 'Helpful Bus' though.
  

Posted by buzz_killington

Suda teaming up with James Gunn. That has potential to be a truly cool collaboration.

Posted by 234r2we232

So long as it's not EA, this game might actually have a chance.

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