The worst video game to film adaptations to ever hit our screens
06.02.2020

The worst video game to film adaptations to ever hit our screens

Words by Tobias Handke

Is nothing sacred?

A Hollywood-backed film based on the Sega video game Sonic The Hedgehog is something nobody needed. After the initial trailer drew criticism from fans due to Sonic’s appearance, Paramount Pictures delayed the release of the film, changing the blue hedgehog’s look to please viewers. While I have to admit the animation has improved, the film itself still looks woeful and is another stake in the heart of James Marsden’s career.

If Sonic does end up a massive failure – as predicted – it won’t be alone, with the majority of video game to film adaptations failing to live up to expectations. To illustrate that point, here are the worst movies based on video games to ever be released.

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

It’s hard to fathom how someone thought turning a game about two plumbers trying to save a princess from an anthropomorphic turtle named Bowser into a film would be a good idea, but that’s exactly what happened in 1993. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo – neither of who are Italian – play the titular brothers who are transported to another dimension where they come up against a crazed Dennis Hopper as a humanoid version of Bowser. It’s hard to know what’s going on most of the time, with Super Mario Bros. serving as a surreal cinematic trip that only needs to be viewed once.

House Of The Dead (2003)

German director Uwe Boll made a name for himself with his catastrophic take on the zombie horror game House Of The Dead. The first of many video game adaptations from the infamous auteur, House Of The Dead follows a group of college kids who head to a rave on an island off the coast of Seattle and end up being hunted by hungry zombies. There aren’t many positives to take away from this one, with the film featuring a terrible script, horrible directing and editing from Boll and a bland cast of actors who look like they’d rather be somewhere else.

Street Fighter (1994)

Starring a coked-up Jean-Claude Van Damme as Colonel Guile on a mission to take down Raul Julia’s over the top General M. Bison, Street Fighter is a fantastic example of how not to turn a game into a film. The video game features a simple plot about the greatest fighters in the world participating in a martial arts tournament, while the film version ditches the comp in exchange for supersoldiers, a crazed dictator and multiple subplots that go nowhere. Let down by a shoddy script, some terrible acting (Kylie Minogue as Cammy takes the cake) and behind the scenes drama, Street Fighter is a campy action flick full of unintentional laughs that sadly misses the mark.

Alone In The Dark (2005)

The second Uwe Boll film to feature on this list, and sadly not the last, Alone In The Dark stars Christian Slater as supernatural detective Edward Carnby who must stop a demonic invasion from another dimension. Unlike the game – an eerie survival horror based on the writings of the great H. P. Lovecraft – the film is a boring piece of celluloid devoid of any scares or emotional context. Slater is horribly miscast and Tara Reid lacks talent while Stephen Dorff appears to just be in it for the paycheck. The less said about Boll’s directing, the better.

Doom (2005)

When it was announced Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was set to star in a film version of ’90s first-person shooter Doom, my hopes were high. As with most things in my life, they were quickly crushed after I paid to see this pile of shit in my local cinema. Despite casting the former pro wrestler alongside Kiwi Karl Urban, Doom is let down by a muddled script containing cheesy dialogue and dodgy CGI. While it does attempt to appease gamers by switching the viewpoint to first-person, like the game, this isn’t enough to save Doom from being a total failure.

Postal (2007)

Welcome back Uwe Boll. Postal is not only Boll’s worst film (and that’s saying something when you read his IMDB profile), but also one of the most hated video game adaptations of all time. This is an offensive mess beginning with two terrorists arguing about how many virgins they’ll receive for crashing a plane into the World Trade Centre. The film is so bad it only made back one per cent of its budget back and holds a score of nine per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. This is an awful film nobody should be subjected to and it’s hard to fathom why J. K. Simmons, the only recognisable actor in the cast, got involved.

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