Every year, Hollywood tries to exploit the success of one of two different entertainment genres. Comic books and video games. While the comic book adaptations are usually top of the line blockbusters, video games suffer a much more horrible fate. They get the cheesy effects, the crappy actors and directors, and a 11 Million dollar budget. Some directors, like Uwe Boll and Paul W. S. Anderson, have made it their lives to take and "attempt" to turn much beloved games into movies.
Of all the video game to movie adaptations out there, only a handful are shining gems. The rest, well, could have been better made by a five year old with a camera. Here is a list of the 9 that I feel had a promising chance, only to fail in every possible way imaginable, and not just in box office sales.
The Movie: Released just before Halloween in 2005, with a fairly decent buget and interesting visual effects, this movie promised to be one of the few gems. Given the strong support of both its source material and the legions of Doom fans around the world, its future looked promising.
Why it failed: Besides the fact that The Rock was in it? A complete lack of the source material didn't help much. The premise was there, but that was about all. Lets also throw in the horrible first person camera views that showed that the film makers only had limited time contracts with their actors (though it was a rather creative way to make up for the lack of screen presence).
How it could have been worse: The entire movie could have been shot like a first person shooter. It would have saved them budget in the long run, but there is no way that the film would have been any better like that.
The Movie: Uwe Boll's "attempt" to do a decent adaptation (hahahahaha). A woman who is a half breed vampire/human called a Dhampire, is contracted stop a vampire lord from gaining the three parts that will grant him immunity to his weaknesses.
Why it failed: Uwe Boll has a bad habit of playing around licensing great games to make terrible movies. Its almost like he keeps half his budget, which this film apparently had but showed no signs of outside of the cast. Outside of the imagery, the movie lacked any sort of connection with the games itself.
How it could have been worse: Uwe Boll could have cast the lead as a male, using the same outfit. It could have opened in a lot more theatres.
7. House of the Dead
The Movie: A group of people end up in a house with walking dead people.
Why it failed: Two words; Swashbuckling Zombies. Uwe Boll, I got to hand it to you. You make some really BAD video game movies. Its hard to imagine that someone can ruin a zombie movie, especially one based on a really good Sega game.
How it could have been worse: They could have forced you to go see it. Seriously. They already made a sequal, it can't be much worse.
6. Resident Evil
The Movie: The really hot chick from Fifth Element wakes up in a mansion while a special forces team infiltrates the rather complex underground. Down there they discover the virus that turns everything into zombies and end up having to fight their way out. Oh yeah, the hot chick also has Matrix like powers.
Why it failed: This movie took a lot of liberties with a game franchise that was set in stone. The creation of the Alice character was alright, until she turned out to be much more of a Neo (from The Matrix) clone. Toss in the fact that HALF the cast gets killed off in a deadly laser corridor, and you have a really bad movie.
How it could have been worse: They could have removed our eye candy. Millia Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez pretty much hold your attention through out most of the movie. If they had decided to go with a Chris Redfield or Wesker main character, the movie wouldn't have been half as interesting.
5. Mortal Kombat: Anniliation
The Movie: Directly following the events of the first movie, our heroes find their world being invaded by the vile Shao Kahn and they must fight him and his army of misfit otherworld minions in order to save their world.
Why if failed: What do you do when you only have one returning cast member as a lead character? You kill of the other main character in the first 30 SECONDS of the film, thats what. Apparently, Johnny Cage is a bad ass until someone else has to play him, then he just kind of dies. Other than that, the movie tried far to hard to capitolize on the success of the first movie, but was sorely lacking the budget and effects required to make it anywhere near as good. Jax's metal arms were rubber, how much worse can you get?
How it could have been worse: They could have added in the life bars and round counters at the top of the screen. Or even given the characters Babalities or Friendships.
4. Alone in the Dark
The Movie: A paranormal investigator played by Christian Slater is about to discover very harshly that there is an evil side to our world, and that it specifically wants to kill him and his ex-girlfriend.
Why it failed: Boll, Boll, Boll. Oh why do they even ALLOW you to make movies. Why do companies even let you touch their licenses for decent games? Besides only being "loosely" based on the game, and loosely meaning a handful of references here and there, the movie suffers from Boll's trademark lack of a budget. At least a third of this movies budget went to advertising alone. Throw in half heart performances, and Bolls slapped together movie feel, and you have the makings of a terrible film.
How it could have been worse: Boll could have been in it personally. Or he could have let a five year old direct it. No, wait, that would have made it better.
3. Street Fighter
The Movie: M. Bison is a drug lord turned general, plots world domination but first captures Allied Nations workers and personal to get more leverage. This springs Jean-Claude Van Damme...er...I mean William F. Guile, into action with a large man named T-Hawk, a little english girl named Cammy, and a whole host of other people thrown into the mix.
Why it failed: The movie felt like a cameo casting call. Almost every single character ever put in the earlier Street Fighter games was crammed into this plotless movie. Serious. Raul Julia at least had fun playing the evil Bison, but it didn't save the fact that his final role was in such a stinker of a movie. At least the flash kick that Guile does at the end was real. Other than that, its hard to give this movie any form of props. Nothing worked. I mean, come on, Mega Pop Star Kylie Minogue was Cammy. Ken and Ryu didn't even look like Ken and Ryu. And when did Sagat become a money hungry wuss that Ken could beat up. I thought Ryu beat up Sagat.
How it could have been worse: Its really hard to make this movie worse. They could have thrown in more characters, but there weren't anymore to throw in.
2. Super Mario Bros.
The Movie: Two Italian brothers, who run a plumming business together, get pulled into a strange world where dinosaurs rule and are plotting to head back to the real Earth to claim back their dominance.
Why it failed: Despite having some really BIG names, the first game to movie was one of the worst of the worst. Hoskins and Hopper's acting skills could not save this movie. The film didn't just stray from the source material, it totally abandoned it. The rich, colorful world of the Mushroom Kingdom was now a dark, dank world covered in fungus and was pretty much a mirror image of most backalley places in big cities. They even dropped Princess Peach for Princess Daisy, which made mostly Luigi the primary character rather than Mario. Yosho was a little puppet that would give any five year old a nightmare. Bowser, or, King Koopa, was a humanoid reptilian who was more of a evil dictator than a princess snatcher. The movie's setting got rid of any hope of the younger, target audience even wanting to go see it. It also failed because of the timing of its release. The Mario Franchise was in a lull, its peak wouldn't come again for a few more years.
How it could have been worse: Now that I think about it, straying from the source material on this film was the only real way to do it. The world of Mario would just look far too fake to be worth trying. Now as a cartoon or CG, maybe. Just not a live action movie. If they had stuck to the source material, the plot would have been thinner, the world would have looked really bad, and it would have done even worse than it already did.
1. Double Dragon
The Movie: The future is dark. REALLY dark. Gangs, drug runners, and a combined city of "New Angeles" as it was renamed after the big quake of 2007 (possible prediction?). Two "brothers" end up with a magical medallion and end up taking on one of the biggest crime lords in the form of the T1000 to take back their city and fight for the Light.
Why if failed: Was there a reason for it not to fail. Besides the names of the characters, the entire abandonment of the source material was very present. The film had a made for kids feel, but he storyline had themes that most kids would never understand. Bad acting, even worse fight choreography (Scott Wolfe can fight?), a rather lacking storyline, bad visual effects (Abobo, need I say more), under par humor, and well, just about everything else. The movie only grossed 2 million in its entire run. Most films gross that opening weekend.
How it could have been worse: The fact that I brought it back up. This film has been forgotten for a reason. Enjoy your nightmares all over again kiddies. I know, I'm an evil person. Seriously though. This movie could not be any worse. No way. Even if you cast the characters with dogs and cats it would have been better. A talking hampster who knows the double dragon brand of fighting would have been better.
Thats it. I hope I've tortured all of you enough. Enjoy the not so wonderful trip down memory lane.