Fight Club has a tortured legacy, managing to be at once a prime example of David Fincher’s meticulous craftsmanship, a subversive commentary on late-capitalist machismo, a totem embraced by the very knuckleheads it ostensibly criticizes, and an over-exposed subject of “my first thinkpiece”-style pop-culture takes. Rewatch the movie, and you’re liable to view it all of these ways at once, its iconography, memorable moments, and ideas now so engrained in pop culture they become hard to distinguish. While being “a Fight Club fan” may’ve once signaled membership in a select few who “got” the movie, over the years that became something increasingly embarrassing. Back in 1999, we compared it to “a bile-filled adolescent,” which feels about right.
One such early adopter and bile-filled adolescent was Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, who, on Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water’s “Livin’ It Up,” boasted, “I seen The Fight Club / About 28 times.” Some five years later, they somehow got around to putting out a Fight Club video game, a regrettable side-on fighter that managed to strip all of the film’s political, economic, and sexual subtext to instead more directly valorize the movie’s bone-crunching slow-motion combat. Obviously, its makers were not exactly hip to preserving the film’s more trenchant aspects, because in it, you could unlock Fred Durst as a playable character, some shit which absolutely has to be seen to be believed.
Sporting his “iconic” red hat and a slightly slimmed-down physique, Durst unleashes all of his pent-up rage, not over Wes Borland’s seven-string riffs but instead via brutal, not-even-slightly homoerotic fisticuffs with various characters from the Fight Club universe. Thrill as fan-favorite characters like “Detective Stern” and “the bartender” get pummeled to submission by the “Nookie” singer in blurry, polygonal cityscapes, vaguely recognizable from the 1999 movie. They even got his tattoos right!
Here’s a full playthrough of the game as Durst by a guy who earnestly describes himself in the intro as a Limp Bizkit fan, a thing which theoretically you knew had to exist somewhere out there.
And, because even joking asides from the movie could be drastically misinterpreted as something that needed to be realized in three-dimensional, interactive glory, here is a group of people playing the game as Abraham Lincoln, who could also be unlocked as a playable character.
One must imagine what other ideas were planned but not utilized for the game, like a “brutalize Jared Leto’s face” mini-game or final boss battle in which you travel back in time to fist-fight your father.