The Arnold Schwarzenegger Comedy That Influenced A Horror Franchise

By Brian Myers | Published

On the outset, it’s crazy to think that there are any significant parallels between the 1999 horror-themed video game Silent Hill and the 1990 action-comedy Kindergarten Cop. But look a little closer and there is a lot of overlap here.

Kindergarten Cop And Silent Hill

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Nearly 25 years after the smash-hit game’s initial release, fans of the classic console game are realizing that the Arnold Schwarzenegger film served as one of the many influences for game developers. Some fans believe that the brains behind the game were huge fans of the Ivan Reitman-directed movie.

As outrageous as this might sound, a dissection of the game and a little bit of educated guesswork shows that these fans might well be onto something.

Used The Same School

In Kindergarten Cop, the elementary school used (named Astoria Elementary School in the film) is Astoria, Oregon’s own John Jacob Astor Elementary.

Fans have shown the parallels between that school and the eerie school in the game Silent Hill are accurate, as the game developers used this school to create a small-town feel for their game.

The school in Silent Hill, named Midwich Elementary School, has the same posters on the walls of the hallways as the school in Kindergarten Cop, and the same yellow buses in the front.

Same Lead Characters?

But some fans believe that the similarities don’t end there between Kindergarten Cop and Silent Hill.

They point out that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film character, John Kimble, is who Silent Hill‘s Harry Mason was based upon.

They argue that the way that both characters are dressed, their demeanors, and the fact that both become father figures in their respective medium’s conclusion that Mason wouldn’t be who he is without Arnold.

Many Silent Hill Influences

silent hill nurse kindergarten cop silent hill

If any of this is true, Kindergarten Cop would be one of many nods to outside influences that are evident in Silent Hill.

Look closely when playing and you’ll notice that there are streets named after numerous horror and science fiction writers, including Richard Matheson, Carl Sagan, Robert Bloch, Michael Chrichton, and James Ellroy.

The game developers also used in-game newspapers to give a nod to horror film Silence of the Lambs, as that film’s antagonist Buffalo Bill is featured in a headline.

Bands And Other References

kindergarten cop silent hill

But the references don’t stop there.

While going through the school that Kindergarten Cop influenced, you’ll notice that several of the teachers in Silent Hill are named after members of the alt-rock band Sonic Youth.

The name of the Midwich school is the same name as the school in the horror film Village of the Damned.

There are also recurring themes and imagery that are based strongly on the imaginations of prolific horror authors Stephen King and William Peter Blatty.

Arnold Schwarzenegger And Kindergarten Cop

kindergarten cop silent hill

Silent Hill was the first of 17 games in the franchise, each one a little bit creepier than the one that preceded it.

While Kindergarten Cop never spawned a sequel and is a lone entry into the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s John Kimble, it’s clear to some that this film reached much further out into the world than Reitman and company would have ever imagined.

Whether or not these parallels are coincidental, or part of the game developers’ intentional design should be left for you to decide.