Hollywood filmmakers are, to put it bluntly, a rather greedy and opportunistic lot. No trend, brand or character is immune from being brought to the big screen in an attempt to wring some profit out of movie-goers. Video games are no exception and the results over the years have been mixed. “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” was pretty good, and if you didn’t love the plot, at least you couldn’t disagree with Angelina Jolie’s wardrobe.
Unlike Tomb Raider, many games don’t have a compelling plot or enough characters to justify a film adaptation. But with the recent announcement of an Angry Birds movie in 2016, you might download games online today and see movie trailers once a large enough fan base is established. Angry Bird creator Rovio is financing the full-length animated movie themselves, so we may start seeing more gaming-related films being produced outside of the traditional studio system.
We’ve highlighted three of the worst movies made from video games. What do you think is the worst? Let us know in the comments!
The original game in the franchise was released in 1994 as an arcade game and eventually for home gaming on PlayStation. TEKKEN was one of the most popular hand-to-hand fighting games of the era, allowing players to choose from a wide variety of fighters. It gave rise to several sequels and is beloved by many a video game aficionado.
The Movie: Tekken (2010)
The film was produced in America and only theatrically released (with any minuscule amount of success) in Japan. Stateside, it was so poorly received that it was given a straight-to-video release. Even the producer of Tekken (the game) publicly bashed it, saying in a tweet from his @Harada_TEKKEN account, “That Hollywood movie is terrible.” Further derisive comments on Rottentomatoes.com include:
- “…a limb-snapping effort of escapism surrounded by bland writing and sleepy performances.”
- “The fight sequences – dreamlike and almost-spiritual in the original game – are relegated to UFC-style octagons, shot like shaky-cam snuff and soundtracked by Insane Clown Posse-wannabees. It’d be headache inducing if it weren’t so damn boring.”
- “…You do not want to see Tekken the movie.”
Released by Terminal Reality in 2002, this game features a well-endowed, scantily clad female protagonist by the name of Rayne. She is a dhampir (half-vampire) intent on hunting down her vampire father and striking down any vampires she meets on the way. She joins the Brimstone society and works with them to vanquish the undead and prevent powerful occult relics from falling into the wrong hands.
The Movie: Bloodrayne (2005)
If you invoke the golden rule, you can’t say much about the film except for facts. So, here goes: Meat Loaf was in it. Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez and Billy Zane were also in it. The movie had a budget of $25 million and grossed almost $3.6 million, which leads us to believe it wasn’t well received.
Critical responses on Rottentomatoes.com were pretty forthright about how terrible the film was, saying things like:
- “The fight scenes are the worst kind of editing-room cheating, meant to cover for actors who haven’t been trained to wield anything more intimidating than a cell phone.”
- “Turgid drama and incompetently staged action sequences…”
- “This is a movie that begs you not to watch it.”
Super Mario Brothers
Back in the day when the original Nintendo console was king, everyone who was anyone had a copy of Mario Brothers. Mario and Luigi are some of the most recognizable video game characters in the world. Every platform ever sold by Nintendo features multiple game titles with these guys as featured players or stars. It must have seemed like a slam-dunk in Hollywood, bring the duo to the big screen.
The Movie: The Super Mario Brothers (1993)
Despite starring talented actors like Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper and Samantha Mathis, this film is a flop. The world of Dinohattan is campy and the action is not compelling. We kind of wish they’d flushed this concept down the pipes.
Critical highlights on Rottentomatoes.com include these gems:
- “Game over, man.”
- “Super Mario Bros. is about as playful and challenging as an unplugged pinball machine.”
- “They should have used cheat codes to make this a winner.”
- “It will baffle kids, bore adolescents, and depress adults.”
Guest post written by Mark Sumner
A very busy film editor, Mark is glad that his film trivia is being put to some use and that he can use his writing abilities to supplement his artist’s income.