There quite simply can’t be a top ten best video game movies list because video game movies suck. To have a top ten video game movies list would be like having a list of the top ten ways to get cancer. Video game movies are just plain horrible. Sure, there have been some okay ones here or there. Silent Hill wasn’t "gouge your eyes out" bad, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, while practically bankrupting Square, was much better than the critics said it was. But as a whole, you can almost be positive that when a video game is made into a movie, it’s going to be total fecal matter.
Below are what I deem to be the worst video game movies of all time. Sure, there could have been more Uwe Boll movies on here, but I didn’t want this list to be dominated by the kraut with the golden urinal cake. So here they are. List any more below if you can think of them.
In many ways, The Wizard isn’t a movie, it’s a commercial. But in another way, it’s the quintessential video game movie, in that the whole plot is centered around loving and playing video games. But there are oh-so-many-terrible (yet awesome) moments in this movie that you almost think that the laconic kid who stars in the film alongside Fred Savage, wrote, produced, and directed the movie, too. How else can you explain a whole two-minute scene displaying love for the ill-fated Power Glove? I mean, I know it’s “so bad,” and all, but still, it’s the Power Glove. The Power Glove! I think The Wizard officially set video games back ten years, making a game like Grand Theft Auto 3 seem way too grown up for people when it first came out. Games are meant for children after all, aren’t they? Aren’t they?!
The Rock, back when he was still The Rock and not Dwayne Johnson, made a lot of garbage before he started shilling out for Disney. I mean, he still makes garbage and all, but nothing as bad as the movie adaptation of Doom, which represents a new low in cinema. There's one dizzying scene (near the end, mind you) in actual first person but the rest of the movie has little other reason for existing. Sure, it takes place on Mars, and sure, it’s cool that the Rock is NOT the main character of the film and somebody else is, but well, it just sucks. It’s slow, it’s boring, and it’s cheesy. What else could you want from your favorite FPS ever that isn’t Half-Life?
As far as action movies destined for television go, Tomb Raider isn’t terrible. It features Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, and even Angie’s father, Jon Voight in it. But as far as stories go, it’s too convoluted for its own good, even for a video game movie. Plus, the acting is as weird as it gets. British actor, Daniel Craig, speaks with an American accent, while American actress, Angelina Jolie, speaks with a British accent. And Jon Voight, hoo boy. Near the conclusion, he starts discussing the time and space continuum. By the end of the movie, you’re left wondering, what the hell just happened? Really, it’s the kind of movie that couldn’t possibly be good, but with an all-star cast to die for, you’re still glumly disappointed it managed to suck so hard.
Resident Evil is actually not a terrible movie if you compare it to the over-the-top action that has since infected the series. But back when the original movie first came out, it couldn’t have been further from its source material. I mean it had Mila Jovovich jump-kicking canines in the face. The story was pretty outlandish, too, even for a Resident Evil storyline (What’s that about the hive again?). Plus, the crummy ending set up for an inevitable sequel (Don’t you just hate when they do that?). Luckily, the movie series has actually improved a bit. Not so much that I’d say that video game movies are making a headway, but enough that I could say, well, at LEAST this is the direction the video games are heading in—all action, all the time. Another impending movie sequel, though, is getting me a little antsy that the series has run its course.
Featuring that jerk from Party of Five, that tool from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and, what the hell, Andy Dick for a brief a cameo appearance, this movie quite possibly has the worst cast in history. Alyssa Milano just barely helps it from teetering into oblivion, but even she can’t keep this movie from sucking as badly as it does. And that’s strange, because to my recollection, DD had a relatively simple storyline to adapt. In the opening cutscene of the game, for instance, a woman, looking very lost, gets punched in the stomach and is carried off by goons, and that’s it. That’s the story. Not once do I remember it being a tale set in the post-apocalyptic future, or featuring dragon powered amulets, or not making any sense at all. All I remember was two brothers, beating the crap out of people, end of story.
But it wasn’t just gamers who thought the movie was total crap, as even common-folk—the people video game movies I suppose are trying to appeal to—couldn’t stand its celluloid guts, either. I remember seeing Double Dragon in the theaters with my father, and it was the first time I had ever seen him fall asleep. His chin was on his chest and there was drool coming out of his mouth. When it was all over, he asked me, “Did you actually LIKE that?” And even as a kid, all I could say was, “No. No, I didn’t.”
The game House of the Dead has pretty bad voice acting already, but never did I think the acting could be as bad as it is in this movie. Featuring terrible characters—an Asian woman in American flag tights doing karate just being one of them—the story is dead in the water from the very first line. But wait, there’s more! The zombies look like they have spaghetti for make-up, the story-line is nonexistent, and there are actual clips from the game (I kid you not) thrown in for good measure. This abomination is one 360-degree camera turn away from being a new form of torture.
What’s funny though, is that this was actually the first time I had ever seen a Uwe Boll film, and I thought, my God, well at LEAST he got his worst picture out the way early. But, man, was I wrong. This was actually one of his best films, and that’s just because it was so terribly campy. Just try watching it without lol’ing at least twice, I dare you. This is one of the funniest movies you’ll ever see.
It’s hard to describe how bad this movie actually is, but luckily, I don’t have to since critics have already done it for me. On the website Rotten Tomatoes.com, a site where review scores are compiled, Alone in the Dark got an average score of 1%. One percent! You can’t get much worse than that (Unless you’re Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever). The film stars Christian Slater as the protagonist, Edward Camby, and also features Tara Reid as an archaeologist, which should clue you in right then and there that this adventure is going to be both illogical and stupid. This movie was SO bad in fact, that back when I was in college and in charge of the Life and Leisure section of my school newspaper, I sent out one of my reporters to review it. But instead of coming back to write about it, he just bashed the hell out of me in his article for making him see it. Now that’s what I call trash!
Okay, I’ll get it out of the way now. I really loved the first Mortal Kombat movie. From that initial stormy scene in Liu Kang’s dream (“Your soul is miiiine!” “Liiiiuuuu!”) to that fight in the forest between Scorpion and Johnny Cage, the first Mortal Kombat was the best film EVER when I was a kid. So you could imagine my disappointment when I saw the sequel in theaters with my friends. Johnny Cage dies in like, the first five minutes, Nightwolf screams about using your “ANIMALITY!” and Liu Kang, for reasons I’ll never understand, turns into a dragon and starts fighting a Power Ranger-esque battle for supremacy. By the end of the movie, I was the only one of my friends left in the theater. They had all left. They couldn’t bear watching a single second more.
After suffering a seizure when I was a kid, I had to go to the hospital (It was my first and last). To cheer me up, when I was lying in my hospital bed, my sister came into my room and asked if I had seen the commercial for the new Super Mario Bros. movie. I told her no. When I asked her if it looked good, she changed the subject. Well, I found out that it wasn’t very good myself when I actually saw it, and I learned some valuable lessons about the game. For instance, I learned that goombas, despite being easily stomped on in the games, were actually giant dinosaur type thingies in trench coats that could be rocked back and forth in an elevator by John Leguizamo, who looks about as Italian as I do, a black guy from New Jersey. I also learned that King Koopa, despite clearly being some kind of reptile with spikes on his back in the games, is actually Dennis Hopper with spikey blond hair. I guess my eyes had been playing tricks on me when I younger. I did have to wear glasses back then, after all. I also learned that video games, no matter how great they might be, should NEVER be made into movies if this was how they were going to turn out. And the sad thing is, this isn’t even the worst interpretation of a video game ever. That honor would go to…
Street Fighter is one of my favorite games of all time. In fact, if they had just shown someone playing the game for an hour and a half on the big screen, I don’t think I would have complained. But what we got instead is by far the most atrocious excuse to put Jean Claude Van Damme, Kyle Minogue, and Raul Julia—I know, a dream cast if there ever was one—in a movie together. And to add insult to injury, this was Raul Julia’s last movie ever, and he spent it saying Shakespearean lines like, “For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me... it was Tuesday.” I don’t know what else I can possibly say about that.
Well, I will say this, Street Fighter as a movie, is the worst thing the world has ever known. It doesn’t make any sense, especially if you’ve ever played the video games. All-American character Guile, is played by All-Brussels JCVD. M. Bison, who’s meant to be a savvy dicatator, hires people like Zangeif (“You got paid?”), and DeeJay as his hired help. Balrog’s not only a good guy, but he’s also Chun-Li’s cameraman! What the hell is going on here?! Obviously, this wasn’t really meant to appeal to fans of the game, but who else is it for then? Your grandma who likes to play Wii? I don’t think so! So, by making this as far away from the game as possible, it alienated anyone and everyone from it. And that’s why it’s the number one worst video game movie of all time in my books. It’s meant for nobody and everybody at the same time. So in those regards, it shouldn’t exist at all. Ha-dou…aww, what’s the point?…The fireball doesn’t even come out in the movie.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.