As a gamer, I would be excited whenever one of my favorite video games is announced to get a movie adaptation. This would happen no matter how many times I’ve fallen victim to such ploy by movie studios saying they’ll be faithful to the source material. It is always a joy to see all of my beloved characters come to life, especially when they are played by one of my favorite actors and actresses.
There have been countless video game movie adaptations and most of them have been subpar. And while some might excel, others are touted as the worst video game movies ever made. Find out which belongs to this category with my list below.
House of the Dead
First up is House of the Dead. I have come to love playing House of the Dead in arcades and it has easily been one of my favorite shooting games. When it was announced that the game would have a movie adaptation to be released in 2003, I was beyond ecstatic that a video game like this would get the Hollywood treatment.
This was when I was first introduced to the man that directed the film who went on to become one of the most notorious directors in Hollywood – Uwe Boll. The premise was very simple wherein a group of college students was invited to a rave within a mysterious island that is suddenly taken over by zombies.
With little to no storyline, awful dialogue, painful effects, and gratuitous injections of in-game footage, the movie felt like a string of scenes that were done in just one take and never reviewed again. The only thing that I would even compliment about the movie is that it is so hilariously bad that you might just want to invite your friends, let them watch it out of spite, and enjoy how they cringe.
Silent Hill: Revelation
It took years before we were treated to a proper Silent Hill sequel after the meandering results of the first Silent Hill movie. While the first Silent Hill movie was by no means a masterpiece, the original movie at least took inspiration from the video games and gave some of the best spine-chilling visuals and sounds of a horror film especially when the town is engulfed in darkness.
Revelation follows the story of Heather and her father as they run away from dangerous forces that are seemingly after her. The premise of the sequel is a great follow-up to the original movie as it was later revealed that Heather was in fact, the girl from the first movie.
However, the story was far from the source material and left a bad taste in our mouths. Not only did the story felt disjointed, the movie entirely felt like it lacked the budget from its predecessor causing some unforgiving effects. At the very least, we get to see Pyramid Head in action.
The moment you put director Uwe Boll into a video game movie adaptation, you know it’s going to be a disaster. Coming fresh from his work on House of the Dead and the backlash from fans, Boll decided to take another swipe of another popular IP and this time with Bloodrayne.
Bloodrayne is a vampire who hunts Nazis and other vampires. While the overall plot does sound a bit cohesive, leave it to Boll once again to make it incredibly discombobulated.
It seems like everything that Boll touches becomes a mess. However, even though the movie failed to deliver in the box office, a sequel was announced and then a few more.
Who would have thought that a movie starring Jean Claude van Damme, Kylie Minogue, Ming Na Wen, and Raul Julia would be called one of the worst video game adaptations ever?
As a kid, I waited in line at the theater to watch how one of my favorite video games would turn out but I didn’t know until I was able to rewatch Street Fighter when I was older that it was indeed that bad. Maybe I was just too enamored about the characters on screen that I didn’t pay much attention to the invisible storyline.
While the movie was overall successful and many critics like Raul Julia’s take on Bison, it was by far still one of the worst video game movies I’ve seen in a long while all because it didn’t pay attention to its source material.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Another action video game that I was looking forward to watching as a kid was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. After the success of the first movie, it was already given that a sequel would come out later on.
I guess the dream of having all of the characters in this universe sharing a screen would come to an end as Annihilation annihilated itself in the box office with some of the worst dialogues ever in cinema history.
Go ahead and watch Sindel’s famous scene that turned into a meme and you’ll know how bad this movie is.
DOA: Dead or Alive
It’s already quite an obvious trend to avoid adapting fighting games into movies at this point. When DOA: Dead or Alive was released, the movie followed almost the same mistakes as the other fight games that were made into movies.
There was no clear plot and the entire movie felt like a montage of fight scenes that showcased the talents of many of the actors and actresses involved.
While it may not be the worst action movie from a fighting game, its ridiculous plot and pacing as well as some cringe-inducing acting were what made this movie bad.
Doom is a big warning sign for upcoming actors on how to choose a movie and how you can try and escape unscathed. Marketed as a larger-than-life action movie, Doom promised an action-packed cinematic experience when it was announced.
It also starred a popular wrestler-turned-actor with Dwayne “The Rock ” Johnson. And then, the movie was released. Doom told the story of a group of Marines that were sent to Mars for a rescue mission only to encounter genetically engineered creatures. The movie consisted of a first-person shooter sequence that tried to connect the audience to the movie and the game it was inspired from.
However, without any plot cohesion and character development together with bad dialogues, Doom was sent to its doom. Luckily, Johnson escaped unscathed and has long since forgotten this dud.
Assassin’s Creed had a lot going for the movie. It was led by some of the best actors in the industry including Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Irons, and Mario Cotillard. And even with this powerhouse cast, it couldn’t save what would become another video game adaptation failure.
What truly made Assassin’s Creed successful as a video game was the storyline set in the past; however, the movie focused heavily on the present which drowned out a lot of potential storylines that the movie could have taken advantage of.
This goes to show that the producers had no idea what the audience wanted from the movie which became one of the biggest factors why the movie flopped so hard at the box office.
Super Mario Bros.
When you think of all the success that Super Mario Bros. has gotten at this point, it would only take a movie to ruin almost everything the game has tried to build. Super Mario Bros. was a movie adaptation of the most popular video game in the world.
However, it was also considered one of the worst films in history. Not only did the characters not resemble their video game counterparts, but the actors themselves also didn’t even look Italian. They had Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as both Mario and Luigi and neither one of them was Italian.
The ultimate nail in the coffin for this movie was when the producers thought it would be better to set it in the future where lizards ruled the world. You might be asking how that happened? I don’t know either.
Alone in the Dark
And finally, we circle back to what is most likely the contender for the worst video game movie of all time – Alone in the Dark. You might also have guessed already based on the theme of this list as to who is the director of the movie?
Uwe Boll makes his dominant return after the wreck that was House of the Dead by making another video game movie with Alone in the Dark. It would be pointless to even include a plot in this discussion since there wasn’t be any.
The movie was so bad that the game developer who wanted to release a game companion for the movie wanted nothing do to with the movie and the game was scrapped altogether. The sad part is that neither of the actors involved in the movie could salvage their reputation in what would be the death of their careers.
Film adaptations of video games always end up becoming notoriously bad. There is still no formula to success when adapting these great video games and while there are a few that surpass expectations, we have yet to find a movie that fully captures the essence of the video game it is adapted from.