There was a spot of controversy in May when Richard Raaphorst, the director of the 2013 film Frankenstein’s Army, claimed that the Resident Evil Village boss named Sturm—essentially a radial airplane engine with legs—ripped off a monster design from his film. Even the manners of their deaths were almost identical, he said.
“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,” he told Eurogamer. “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.”
There are definitely some similarities:
Image 1 of 2
The original Sturm model remains in the game, which prompted a modder named Pumpkinhook to create a model replacement called Copyright Free Sturm. The mod takes a very simple yet effective approach to addressing Raaphorst’s complaint by turning the character into the world’s most dangerous pedestal fan.
You can see the new beast in action below, courtesy of IGN:
An oscillating fan from Walmart won’t mess you up as badly as a 1,900hp BMW 801 in real life, but the remodeled Sturm functions identically to his original iteration, despite the safety cage around its blades and, you know, not having legs. Even so, I can’t help but feel like the new look takes a certain edge off the encounter. Not that Sturm appeared particularly frightening in the first place (I think “confusing” is a better adjective), but getting chased around by a $39.99 Home Hardware special seems like the sort of thing that would be best accompanied by Yakety Sax.
As for the original Sturm design, Capcom hasn’t commented on Raaphorst’s complaint, but Raaphorst said in an email that he hasn’t had any contact with the studio since his complaint. The lack of a response “is more evidence that what they did was wrong,” he added, although he declined to comment on whether he is pursuing further action.