The Hit Squad – The World’s First Pixel Art Movie

Retro is big business these days, and riding this wave of hyper-nostalgia for the late ‘80s comes an idea that seems completely logical, but that no one has ever attempted…yet. Filmmaker Chris Blundell and associates are taking their affection for 25 year old comedies and representing them in the true spirit of the age – not with mullets but with pixels.

The Hit Squad introduces a Spinal Tap-esque washed up old rock band, vividly brought to life in luxuriant 8-bit-style animation. While Blundell’s pitch name-checks classics of the decade including Ghostbusters and Beverly Hills Cop as influences, the film’s fundraising page at references Family Guy, and based on the available clips The Hit Squad’s tone is closer to Seth MacFarlane’s  modern acerbic animation than the heyday of Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray. It might hark back to days of yore, but perhaps it can’t entirely shake itself free of its own time.

Whatever its final content will be, there is certainly plenty for the ‘80s connoisseur here. Anyone who has played the likes of Maniac Mansion should feel at home with the clunky blocks used to depict The Hit Squad, and the soundtrack manages to reference the excessively stirring movie scores of yesteryear while simultaneously feeling as though it would be right at home in the background of one of Mega Man’s stages.


In exchange for donation to their project, Blundell’s team offers rewards ranging from DVDs of the finished product (which, depending on your level of donation, could be the most expensive DVDs you’ve ever bought!) to a sort of blocky immortality by means of putting a pixelised likeness of you in a background cameo.

It’s too early to tell how the finished product will turn out; as with all movies, much of it will depend on the quality of the script. It does, however, nail the 1980s gaming aesthetic effortlessly. If The Hit Squad has whetted your retro appetite, you can learn more at its IndieGoGo page.

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Author:Alan Charlesworth

A medieval historian by training, Alan tries by day to balance impending doctoral research with branching into freelance journalism. He brings to bear his 25+ years of gaming experience to promote overlooked quality games and occasionally wax philosophical about the industry. Alan can forgive flaws, but is merciless with those games that have no respect for their audience. In addition to The Indie Mine, he reviews Xbox Live indie releases on his blog,, and can be followed on Twitter @AlanWithTea

One Response to “The Hit Squad – The World’s First Pixel Art Movie”

  1. Miguel
    December 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Yeah, it may be a great indie achievement, but that’s not pixel art, not at all.
    The basic unit of pixel art, as the name implies, is a pixel, a pixel is a space on a screen arranged on a grid and has just two parameters: color and position. This movie’s basic unit is a square, squares that are rotated and moved freely from the grid.

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