The thoughtless vulgarian in me would get a kick out of playing this Taxi Driver video game…I’m half-serious. It was designed by Papaya Studios, and was supposed to be distributed by Majescoe Entertainment.

The idea is, of course, grotesque, and yet there’s something about the perversity of a video game allowing the player to become Robert De Niro‘s Travis Bickle, everyone’s favorite nutbag taxi driver, and get that Mohawk haircut and put on that Army surplus jacket and that sliding-gun arm device and go hunt down Harvey Keitel ‘s Lower East Side pimp and who knows how many others? Maybe Peter Boyle‘s burly cab driver or Charles-Pallantine-for-President staffers Albert Brooks and Cybil Shepherd or maybe Pallantine himself…it’s totally diseased beyond measure.
The Taxi Driver game was announced last year, but I became interested again when I read this 7.6 Guardian interview with Paul Schrader, screenwriter of the original 1976 Taxi Driver , which Martin Scorsese directed. It said that Schrader and Scorsese, appalled at the idea of the game, tried to have it stopped only to learn that they’d signed away the power to do anything about it in their original contracts.
Majescoe was supposed to issue the Taxi Driver game earlier this year, and (I’m obviously not plugged into the video-game world) yet I couldn’t find any reviews or even a release date. I called Majescoe this morning and was told they had severed their deal with Papaya. The numbers I called after this — Papaya’s Irvine office #, plus several for reporters and reviewers who write for video mags — didn’t lead anywhere because everyone’s at the VSDA Convention in Las Vegas. If anyone knows why Majescoe backed out, please inform.