A modern day Mortal Kombat that never was.
Second only to Splatterhouse in its gruesome gaming glory, Thrill Kill was a game developed by now-defunct game developer Paradox that has stuck with me moreso for the controversy it ignited rather than that gameplay value it offered. In fact I have yet to play a working copy of the game, though I have heard that copies do exist online that can be played on a modified PS2 system.
Compared to many of todays gore-laden games such as God of War (PS3) or Madworld (Wii), the concept of Thrill Kill is rather mundane. I mean, what's so wrong about throwing a bunch of depraved, murderous lunatics into Hell and having them battle it out for a chance at freedom? All of the typical taboo stereotypes were there: a deadly dominatrix, psychotic plastic surgeon, redneck cannibal, serial killers, circus freaks and even a demon from Hell. Apparently people before the new millenium just weren't ready for such unrepenting gaming entertainment and the unfinished Thrill Kill has languished in limbo for the past 12 years or so. Shame really.
The fact that the game was left unfinished has attributed to more than a few unfair reviews of the game's graphics, though those that know better will appreciate the horror-inspired nods to such genre classics as Hellraiser (the Tormentor character's finishing move is a direct reference to Pinhead's chains of agony) in addition to an overall sadistic sense of humor that would warm any gorehound's still beating heart(s) and a violence-inducing industrial soundtrack courtesy of Contagion.
It has, however, seemed to live on in other games both through its gaming engine (Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style) and its creative gameplay such as the "Thrill Kill" system (a possible inspiration behind the upcoming Splatterhouse's "Splatter Kill") that encourage players to power-up by essentially being more brutal to their opponents. Here's to you Thrill Kill: may the memories of your virtual villainy grow ever more malevolently magnificent.