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Top 5 Worst Video Game Movies

Written By

July 11th, 2011

As a kid, going to see a movie based on a video game sounds great. How could it go wrong? Of course, at that age, we're too young to know all the work that goes into making a movie. All we can think about is the combination of two of our favorite things: movies and video games!

But then, the Hollywood machine takes hold of a game, attaches personalities where there were none and turns a button-mashing good time into a mindless 90-minute snoozefest. Think about it, what's the best video game movie you've ever seen? Mortal Kombat or maybe Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? One of the Resident Evil movies? Tomb Raider? Let's face it, there really haven't been that many quality video game movies. Some are classics, in that, "This is so corny, but I'm loving it" sense and some are just your average big-budget popcorn flicks. They can be done well, but for the most part, video game movies are best left in a wastebasket.

This all could slowly change for the better with the latest generation of consoles that feature more fleshed-out plots (Red Dead Redemption, Metal Gear Solid, BioShock) but don't get your hopes up. Like most video game movies, they are cash-grabs. Some of the most popular games have been adapted into the worst movies. In case you needed proof, here's the list of the top five worst video game movies ever.

5. Double Dragon (1994)


First and foremost, I apologize for the awful music in that trailer. Apparently the whole team that put this movie together was asleep at the wheel. But what happens when you convert the grandfather of the side-scrolling beat-em-up games into a movie? You get Scott Wolf (Party of Five) and Mark Dacascos (that Iron Chef guy) blaspheming their way through crappy dialogue and lame fight scenes. Nintendo's Double Dragon hit the US market in 1988 and was a huge success. There were sequels and countless games across different platforms that used the game's format to create a new genre of fighting games. Unfortunately, the movie was cornier than it was even remotely entertaining. And hey, if you ever wanted to see Alyssa Milano with short-cropped bleach blonde hair, this is your chance.

4. Alone in the Dark I and II


How do you make a bad movie? Hire Christian Slater (wack) and Tara Reid (trifling) to star in it then adapt a video game around them. Before there were Resident Evil and Silent Hill, there was Alone in the Dark. It was one of the first survival horror games, but the movie is universally-known as one of the worst video game adaptations ever made. It deviates almost entirely from the video game series and in case that's not bad enough, they made a sequel. The original went on to win three Stinkers Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Director (Uwe Boll) and Worst Special Effects. A fun side note: the Unrated Director's Cut version removed almost all of Reid's scenes, so that's always a good thing.

3. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)


What made the first Mortal Kombat movie great was the techno theme song and the perfect amount of corniness. Unfortunately, this sequel took things a step too far. From the poor editing, comical special effects and unintentional hilarity, there's little that makes this movie watchable. Just when you're happy to see Sub-Zero and Scorpion fight each other, they're gone. The movie keeps showing Sheeva's crazy four arms, and you're hyped to see her fight, then she gets killed off without taking a swing. It's one lame disappointment after the other. For a bad video game movie, it could be worse, but compared to the original, this one was painful. The movie looked cheap and made viewers feel cheap. This movie was made for straight-to-DVD status.


2. Street Fighter (1994)


Street Fighter II was one of the most popular games when this movie came out. Every kid wanted to see it. The only memorable things about this miserable piece of crap were Blanka's terrible appearance, the late Raul Julia's "so over the top, it's somehow amazing" performance and Jean Claude Van Damme's awkwardness. The movie suffers from hiring too many characters for their look rather than talent. It's admirable that they tried to incorporate some of the characters' moves from within the game, but that's merely one positive in a universe of fail.

1. Super Mario Bros. (1993)


This movie started the adaptation of video games onto the big screen and for good reason. When Super Mario Bros. and the NES hit the US, it was a game-changer. But let's face it, the game is weird. Two plumber brothers have to save a kidnapped princess from a giant lizard by eating mushrooms, breaking bricks, throwing fireballs, jumping on enemies, collecting coins and warping through time and space via pipes. Considering the limitations of special effects in 1994, how do you make a movie out of this? Well, you don't. You create some sort of not-so-parallel universe based on similar characters and betray almost everything about the game and turn it into a movie about recovering a meteor fragment that grants the owner the power to control the universe. Or something like that. Kids didn't get it and adults rolled their eyes. It sucked. It sucked badly. The Goombas looked weird, the story didn't really follow the game, and the dystopian future was too heavy for younger children. And how does Yoshi go from a lovable green pet dinosaur to a "real" dinosaur? It all ends up looking like some sort of "Dark City" or "Blade Runner" on acid. It'd be like making a movie about the lovable Kirby and turning him into some kind of Stay-Puft Marshallow Man killer. All in all, it's crap and only succeeded to foreshadow the many other awful video game movies that were yet to come.

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