The video game and movie industries have had a very rocky relationship ever since they first got together. That much is pretty well documented already. I mean, there have been some good, or at least average, movies that were based upon games… The first Resident Evil movie comes to mind, as does the first Silent Hill movie. However, there have also been some outright terrible attempts to create video game related movies.
From films that utterly miss the point of the games to ones that would have been better off without the video game connection, we’ve had our fair share and more of bad tie-ins. Everyone knows that a video game tie-in to a movie is usually going to be terrible, but the same is true the other way around. That’s why, today, we’re going to look at 7 of the worst movies based upon video games that have ever been created!
The Doom game franchise was once the king of first-person shooters… Whilst the gaming side of the franchise may have reinstated this title in recent times with the release of DOOM (aka Doom 4) on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, it will never escape the legacy of the live action movie. Rather than dealing with the religious aspect of Doom, whereby the creatures are literally coming from Hell, the movie decided to go down a much more generic route. With scientists on Mars bringing to light an artificially created chromosome that subsequently infects the entire colony, people who lived and worked there are turned into a variety of different monsters.
However, to make this change in the base plot even more detached from the actual games, this infection will only turn you into a monster if you were already inherently evil. I mean, I would like to say that this feels like it could have been written by a child, but then, they would probably have come up with something better. Add to this the fact that the characters are wholly unrelatable and just unlikeable, and you have a recipe for disaster. The movie even features Karl Urban (a tremendous actor) and The Rock, but even that super-team couldn’t make this movie work.
Also, why does a movie based on a first-person shooter end with a battle of fists?
6. Double Dragon
Now, you’d think that taking a beat-em-up gaming and turning it into an action movie would be one of the easiest things you could possibly do, right? I mean, the entire formula is there for you already! Sure, the storyline of Double Dragon isn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, but then, you wouldn’t expect a particularly deep story from an action movie anyway. So you would need to really do a bad job to screw up a movie based on Double Dragon, right?
Well, that’s exactly what the director and crew of the Double Dragon movie decided to do! Taking place in the year 2007 after a huge earthquake totalled most of Los Angeles, leaving it a flooded shell of a city, the movie features some of the most un-gang-like gangs ever! On top of that, they somehow managed to make Robert Patrick (of Terminator 2 and X-Files fame, amongst other great roles) look even more pointless as an antagonist that Samuel L Jackson’s character in Kingsman – the big difference being that Kingsman did it on purpose and it worked well because of that.
Everything about this movie screams a misunderstanding of the game itself, or a blatant lack of care about it.
5. Resident Evil: Extinction (And All Subsequent Sequels)
Now, I’m in the minority of gaming fans who actually enjoy Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the second movie in the live action series. Yes, Paul W S Anderson had made his wife (Milla Jovovich) the main character, pushing Jill Valentine to the background, despite the movie being (very loosely) based upon Resident Evil: Nemesis… But it was still an entertaining action movie (but not a horror movie in the slightest). For me, the entire movie series went downhill when we got to Resident Evil: Extinction (and onwards).
RE: Extinction featured Alice (Jovovich’s character) using telekinesis to move flames around the air and burn all of the zombie crows. It took one of the video game series’ most beloved characters, Claire Redfield, and stripped her of all likeable qualities (likely so that attention would be focused on Alice), and turned an already messed up Carlos into a shadow of his former self. From there, things just got worse, with the characters that we loved from the games being treated like afterthoughts! The first movie was an interesting take on the Resident Evil idea, but the reason it worked was that Alice wasn’t an over-powered Goddess and it didn’t feature any of the characters from the games to tarnish. The second was an average yet entertaining affair, whilst everything after that would do best being put in the nappy-bin where they belong.
4. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
The first Mortal Kombat movie was an entertaining romp featuring some reasonable fight scenes and a plot that actually managed to fit in with the game, mostly. But by the time the sequel came around, we were all in for a laughable excuse for a movie! To begin with, they recast a number of returning characters, killed off one of them right at the beginning, and had some of the worst CGI I have ever seen in a film. Even as a young lad, I knew how absolutely terrible the movie was!
The dialogue is also atrocious, making the original Resident Evil (with it’s “Jill sandwich line included) looking like Oscar-worthy gold! In fact, the only reason I would ever put this movie on again is to listen to the epic theme song. But then, I could just listen to it on Spotify and save myself the torture that is Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
Looking back on the genre as a whole, Vampire movies haven’t had a very good time this century. From being absolutely tarnished by the likes of Twilight, to the fact that the Underworld series started off so well and then just went downhill with every movie after the third, the genre has had a lot of trouble. One movie that did nothing but make this even worse was BloodRayne. Now, the games that this movie was based on are actually really rather fun to play. Sadly, Uwe Boll got hold of the movie rights, and that spelt doom for the film straight away.
With everything from the wrong time period for the setting, action sequences that look like they would be more fitting on an episode of East Enders, and acting from top quality actors that feels like the “phone in” equivalent, it really is an awful movie. How did it go so wrong? Oh yeah… Uwe Boll.
2. Super Mario Bros
Well, here we are; the video game movie that started the crossover industry, and also the first one to let us all down. It is rather common knowledge that this movie is utterly terrible, but what you might not know is that the directors actually wanted to make a cyberpunk movie, which is why everything in Super Mario Bros looks so dystopian and futuristic. As fans of the games, this caused a lot of confusion and outright annoyance for viewers, due to the complete change in the way that the Mushroom Kingdom looked. On top of that, the goombas look horrific, bearing no resemblance to their video game counterparts.
Another interesting fact about the movie comes from the casting; Mario and Luigi are supposed to be brothers, right? So why are they from two different ethnicities? Everything about Super Mario Bros is confused, contrived and just downright badly made. This movie set the precedent for video games movies to come, and for that alone, it would feature high up on this list. However, add to that the fact that it is just a generally terrible movie, and it more than earns the number two spot!
1. House of the Dead
Zombie movies are everywhere these days. In fact, zombies, in general, have taken over the big screen, small screen and gaming industry like a digital apocalypse. Sadly, that means that you’ll naturally get some films that were best left to rot. It should come as no surprise that this particular “gem” of a movie was directed by Uwe Boll (again). It starts off as a generic teen horror movie with a bunch of people going to a rave on an island that then becomes infested with zombies. From there, we get one of the most confusingly directed movies ever. Scenes will switch between the teenagers screaming and running for their lives, to shots of them pulling of Trinity-esque slow motion kicks from The Matrix!
This, plus the complete lack of a connection to the game, makes you wonder how Uwe Boll ever manages to get the rights to anything anymore!
And That’s All Folks
Those are 7 of the worst movies ever made based on video games. There are, of course, a reverant tonne of others that could have made this list, so I may make a sequel to this post in the future.
What video game movie do you hate the most? Let me know in the comments below!