So we did an article about the top 10 video game-movies that range from OKish to good on the watchable scale. So, at the risk of alienating everyone from reading further, we started thinking about the absolute worst video game movies. I mean the actual worse. Like they’ll make you hate the games they are based on. It makes you wonder what they were thinking. Come on. Let’s face it, there is sooooo many to choose from. Enough intro. Let’s wade through this:
10.) DOOM (2005)We like the Rock. He’s Awesome. So when news came around about Dwayne Johnson was going to appear in the film based one of the first most iconic first-person shooters in the history of gaming, we were all stoked. Until it came on our cinema screens.
A group of Marines head up to a research facility on Mars, where the medical types seem to have been messing around with genetic jelly creating all manners of creepy-crawlies. What also manifested was saddest, forced acting, known to man. Not to mention the creature design and CGI had us feeling more ‘oh ok?’ rather than ‘scary good’. Understandably, it didn’t get any rave reviews, and we think id-Software could have done a better job immortalising its video game on film.
9.) MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION (1997)
Non-stop martial artist action that will leave you on the edge of your… ok, Midway Games. We may have forgiven you for MK 1, but Annihilation has made our terribly bad black list. CGI never crippled a film sooo bad than in MK: Annihilation. The casting will have you gasping for air, the day-for-night scenes done by a grader who loves overtinkering with saturation and color burn levels, and everyone seems to be jumping off trampolines. We get it. You’re an ample, lithe fighting creature of destiny. Way too ambitious a film. If they went simpler, they would have at least got a marginally, half-decent film in the roster.
8.) SILENT HILL: REVELATION (2012)
The film that made our top of the list of video game movies was Silent Hill. It paid homage to the game, whilst having a functional narrative. This is why this entry leaves us mind-boggled, as how can the sequel to such a decent video game-film render such awful results. I mean come on. We start off with a terrified girl in a amusement park with Mr. Pyramid head (quite unmenacingly I might add) ‘chasing’ her. Few screams in and she wakes up… all a dream. Or is it. I used to write stories like that. In grade 5. Creative writing test. Only had 10 minutes left to finish that segment. And Silent Hill: Revelation hints at a third instalment, which would be fine if the second instalment was any good. With the bad reviews, any other Silent Hill film will certainly have to be revamped and done from scratch.
7.) STREET FIGHTER (1994)
This film felt doomed from the start, between Capcom’s micromanaging to a huge chunk of the budget being depleted in order to secure Van Damme as Guile and Raúl Juliá as M. Bison. Raúl Juliá also was unfortunately battling cancer at the time which threw martial arts training of the cast into a loop. What we were left with was a film bereft of the beloved powers and supernatural elements that made Street Fighter a gamer’s haven, pockets of corny bad acting and costume and set design that felt way too uninspired.
6.) BLOODRAYNE (2005)
Throughout this post you will see the name ‘Uwe Boll’ quite a few times, followed by a sharp disturbance in the force. He directed Bloodrayne based on the Terminal Reality game. Rayne is the product of vampire rape, which is bad enough, but this half vampire-human, otherwise known as a Dhampir doesn’t get hurt by crucifixes or have that infamous vampiric thirst. Which kind of defeats the tragic, conflicted hero premise most vampire anti-heroes are subjected to. But how bad was it? The voice of Rayne in the Bloodrayne video game series, Laura Bailey, said the movie “sucked [so bad]… I couldn’t even get through 20 minutes of it!”. Forced, uninspired acting, flawed narrative, just an overall ‘f*ck you’ to loyal fans.
5.) ALONE IN THE DARK
Based on the Infogrames vid game title, this abomination is one for the books. It’s particularly sad as this was the film that was the first, quintessential video game that brought survival horror to the forefront. A few points to consider, the meaning will come if you absorb it:
- Christian Slater
- Uwe Boll
- Tara Reid
See what I mean? And if that is not enough, here is a quote from the first writers on Alone In the Dark script, Blair Erickson, who envisioned more of a thriller with supernatural undertones:
“Thankfully Dr. Boll was able to hire his loyal team of hacks to crank out something much better than our crappy story and add in all sorts of terrifying horror movie essentials like opening gateways to alternate dimensions, bimbo blonde archaeologists, sex scenes, mad scientists, slimy dog monsters, special army forces designed to battle slimy CG dog monsters, Tara Reid, “Matrix” slow-motion gun battles, and car chases. Oh yeah, and a ten-minute opening back story scroll read aloud to the illiterate audience, the only people able to successfully miss all the negative reviews. I mean hell, Boll knows that’s where the real scares lie.”
4.) HOUSE OF THE DEAD (2003)
Hi. Uwe Boll again. This time he’s brought you House Of the Dead. The infamous 1996 game was all the craze in the final era of the video game arcade. However the 2003 game film may have been its final, unadorned headstone. Truncated story for your safety, college kids goes for a rave on an island, they arrive and no one is there, then zombies. Yep now that your caught up. There is also an evil Spaniard, swashbuckling and did we mention zombies? It’s great if you love B-movie, corny, forced acting. Otherwise it’s a hit-and-a-miss for the Sega game movie.
3.) DOUBLE DRAGON (1994)
Yes, this happened. What shoud have been an impactful love-hate relationship between brothers like that explored in the Ken-Ryu paradigm in the superb fan-made film Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, what we got in Double Dragon was the corniest arcade game-movie imaginable.
The setting is Los Angeles 2007 (the oh-so-distant future); there are curfews, criminals and police corruption. Well I guess it is LA, future or not. But Shuko, crimeboss Shuko hears two martial artist twin brothers have one half of a
cheap-looking medallion with mystical powers that he needs to gain power and what not. Starring that guy and that other guy that went on to exploit his part-Asian nationality on that cooking show, you pretty much can understand our frustration with this movie that felt like it was made in the 80’s. And their uniforms had studs.
2.) SUPER MARIO BROS. (1993)
The infamous Italian plumbers who spend their days trippin’ out on psychedelic plants and mushrooms saving Princess Peaches and battling Dragon Turtles decided they needed to bring their game to the film screen. What we got surmounted to about the worst transposed game film I’ve ever watched. The fantastic world became Brooklyn, Daisy, the looser of the two Princesses, was an orphaned NYU student. There’s also something about parallel universes, half-man dinosaurs… all a lot of dribble to keep track of. A, B, forward. Only if making a film had this few moving parts.
1.) DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE (2006)
Hot chicks are supposed to be a crowd pleaser right. I mean hot chicks, killer moves… then something went horribly wrong.
This film is based on the Team Ninja / Tecmo fighting game Dead Or Alive. The same ‘Mortal Kombat’ scenario, some great martial arts tournament on an island gets all these fighters together, each fighter using the tournament as a platform to bolster some personal cause, whether it’s a ninja-princess Tina looking for her brother, or Helena looking to prove her worth or just straight up to murder a Kasumi for disgracing her ninja clan. All under the watchful eye of a mad doctor who uses nano-tech to cipher the warriors skills for some secret project. Let’s hope it’s not making another film with less than B-movie-worthy dialogue and poor acting.
To be fair to all the games listed here, most equally suck like the rest. Don’t get too caught up on the hierarchy. And some of the games listed in our Grey /White list as T.A.P. 10’s OKish game movies could easily be in our T.A.P 10’s worse list. It seems directors have yet to find a winning formula to a great video game-movie. We suspect this will be a serious issue that the makers of the Tetris movie will indubitably be facing. But, alas, one step at a time. Before any progress can be made, however, the issues have to first be identified and remedied. Particularly speaking on the importance of narrative and delivery over non-stop action.
And stopping Uwe Boll.