The pinball machine has existed in some form since the 1930s, and has since been branded and and sponsored by countless films, cartoons, and pop culture icons. Many horror fans have a special affection for these old-school gaming machines, with their 3D props and artwork inspired by the films they love.
Slot and casino style games have also featured some of horror’s most iconic characters. The trend for horror slots and other casino games peaked in the 1980s and 90s, with characters including Freddy Krueger and the Addams Family popping up in the arcades. Here’s a few of the most memorable horror themed pinball and slot machines based on horror franchises and characters.
Horror’s most classic of monsters got some love in the Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein pinball machine. The SEGA machine was based on the film of the same name and featured a recreation of the monster throwing a ball into the playing field during the ‘Creature Multiball’ bonus stages of the game. SEGA produced 3000 of these machines, which oddly featured a cameo of Sonic the Hedgehog dressed as the monster.
Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon also starred in his own arcade machine. Designed by John Trudeau (“Dr. Flash”) the machine was based on the theme of a 50s drive-in cinema.
Vegas is home to this Alien vs Predator themed slot machine, which featured artwork from the movie itself.
Some of horror’s biggest icons came together in Monster Bash. The story behind this one is that angry villagers are hunting down the creatures, and the monsters have to unite in order to defend themselves. They do this by forming an 80s rock band – with the Frankenstein monster sporting a lightning powered keyboard, and the Bride taking lead vocals.
Probably the most famous example of horror movie branded arcade machines, is the Freddy Krueger board which featured an impressive amount of detail from the movies. There’s a Freddy glove to slash the ball off track, a furnace which opens up, and a model of Krueger himself shouting his trademark one-liners including ‘Sweet Dreams!”.
And the world’s quirkiest family also made a pinball appearance. The Addams Family machine was released in 1992, and would go on to become to biggest selling pinball machine of all time! With over 20000 units shipped, this one was to be found in many arcades and is still a favourite of both pinball and horror collectors and enthusiasts today.