The Terribleness of Video Game Movies (One in Particular)

Okay so before I jump into this I want to make something abundantly clear, because I know how the internet works (just enough) and no matter what someone is gonna get all pissy because I’m talking about what I think is one of the worst video game movies and most people are going to come back at me screaming “MARIO BROS IS THE WORST MOVIE NOT WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO SAY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!”. Okay I got that out of my system, but this is just my opinion and mine alone, if you agree then that is totally awesome, if not, that’s cool too. There are a lot of games movies to choose from, in fact the genre, for lack of a better term, has a plethora of candidates that could easily qualify as the worst film adaptation of a game but after a lot of thought I narrowed it down to one (and technically its sequel but I’m just talking about the first one right now). Curious about the movie yet? Probably not but I’m laying it on you anyway. Of all the movies to choose from, and I’ll concede that I did indeed consider the Mario Bros movie but personally I think the title of worst video game movie should go to “The House of the Dead”.

“It’s spring break and these college kids just want to party. When they charter a boat to take them to a rave on a nearby island, they find it completely deserted, except for the bloodthirsty zombies that have taken it over.”

That up there? That’s the plot synopsis that Amazon Prime Video has for this atrocity of a movie. Now it’s reasonably safe to assume that as gamers, most of us have heard of the game itself a much-loved game no less which in my opinion is way more fun to play in an arcade than on a console but that’s neither here nor there. Now with our familiarity of this game we know at least one thing for sure, it takes place in a house…not an island, not during a drug infused rave, a house. Now to be fair this is billed as a prequel to the original game and quite honestly, they should have just named it anything else then it would just be a bad zombie movie. Then again, if it was called anything else and not tied to a video game, it could almost be considered decent or at least it could have except for an even bigger issue that pops up.

Like I said, this is supposed to be a prequel movie to the game, cool, awesome, whatever, then why are we using actual game footage, for the game that technically isn’t supposed to have happened yet in the story, in the midst of battle sequences as a substitute for actual effects. I suppose it isn’t completely fair to rag on this film alone, it was made by Uwe Boll and we know his track record with various IPs so it should come as no surprise how it turned out and yes I will concede that a video game movie isn’t like making a normal movie, you have to balance your fans, subject material, and try to reach a broad audience all at once so it’s no easy task there either. Unfortunately all of that said, House of the Dead and it’s sequel are treated with so much disrespect it’s not even a bad joke and even knowing who was behind the movie I really wanted to like it, I mean I really tried, but I couldn’t do it. Oh, I made it all the way through both movies but each one left me filled with a mixture of disappointment, rage, sorrow even at how such a great game and series was given an absolutely horrible treatment.

Yes, video game movies are hit or miss, and of all the ones I’ve seen, most of them have been at least acceptable. I enjoyed Mario Bros, Doom, Prince of Persia…were they perfect? Of course not, and all video games catch flak for one thing or another because as gamers our expectations are so high to see our favorite games brought to the big screen that to be fair, sometimes it’s our own fault, some movies will never meet the expectations that we set on them. At the very least the only thing we can truly hope for is at least a movie that holds the spirit of the games we love at its core as it expands the lore of the subject matter itself. It’s that same thought that I personally approach every video game movie I see or hope to see, I have a bit of cautious optimism if you will, always hoping that it will be what I think it should be but always expecting it to be terrible.

Just a thought or two on gaming movies in general but mostly, admittedly, probably mostly ragging on a movie that everyone already knows is terrible, but I wanted to get off my chest. I would like to know what you’re least favorite or most hated gaming related movies are, or even ones that you loved.

~Fallyn Aingeal~

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