Definition lost? Shoot ‘em up posters found

By Spencer . August 27, 2007 . 12:37pm


Splattered all over urban areas are posters for an action movie with the term Shoot ‘em up and Clive Owen brandishing two pistols as if he was in a John Woo movie. Usually I wouldn’t post this kind of stuff here, but look at the name and look at what the poster is implying. Didn’t the term shoot ‘em up (now abbreviated shmup) originate from Space Invaders? Apparently whoever marketed this movie thinks the general public envisions Half-Life when they hear the word Shoot ‘em up. I’m old fashioned and I think of this. So if FPS games are being called shoot ‘em ups now, what do we call Raiden III and Crows, which O3 Entertainment is bringing to the Wii?

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  • Shoulda just called the movie Shmup and got it over with.

  • Pico

    “Shoot ’em up” has been a term I’ve heard/seen associated with pretty much all sorts of action movies for quite a while now. Nothing new, really. It’s not like they’re suddenly calling this films or any others “SHMUP”..

  • jeffx

    I spent the whole weekend playing SHMUPs with a friend. SHMUPs rule.

  • Aoshi00

    lol, that’s the image I had as well when I first heard the movie’s title, like Parodius or something. Whether the title fits or not, I like Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti looks like a crazy villain here.

  • Ika

    In the olden times, I remember games like Mega Man and Contra being labeled as shoot em ups too. I think it’s come to mean space shooters exclusively more recently.

  • Carmen

    Shoot’em’up means a 2D action game. Even for modern gamers, I’m sure they don’t refer to FPS styled games as shoot’em’ups… shooters, maybe, but not shoot’em’ups.

  • K_G

    I believe that shoot’em up was a term that has been in use at least since the 1960’s in regards to violent gun action films….if you dig around google a bit, you will find that term in film reviews of Bonnie and Clyde and The Wild Bunch in the New York Times and Newsweek when those films were released.

  • Whether or not the term has ever, perhaps incidentally, been used to characterize a film is almost moot. The point is shoot em ups have been consistently marginalized. I`m not some big SHMUP fan (do you say that out loud -SHMUP?), my affiliation with them only goes as far as pizza hut when I was a kid, but they are a staple of video games and need to have a better place, or at least a name that isn’t consistently stolen and popularized by something else. No offense to clive owen.

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