Why Do ‘Pixels’ And So Many Other Video Game Movies Suck So Badly?
You’ve probably heard by now that Pixels is garbage. They tried to sell it on the strength of Pac-Man, but not even that guy can eradicate the stink of Adam Sandler. That’s right, it’s an Adam Sandler movie, a fact the trailer and marketing campaign worked hard to hide for as long as they could. Even they knew. And now you do, too.
Pixels is not a special shit-flower, though. There are so many rotten films based on video games, you’d think they’d just quit trying. But nobody ever does. Here are nine more, just as worthless. Enjoy…
Alone In The Dark (2005)
Poor Tara Reid. So delightful in Josie and The Pussycats. So effervescent on her travel series Taradise. So abused by the tabloids and awful people and life and THIS FILM. She plays an archeologist – she wears glasses, so yeah – and Christian Slater plays a paranormal detective with psychic powers. Then these demons come through an archeology portal and possess people and fighting happens. Seriously, you can thank whatever supernatural being you worship for Sharknado’s career-rejuvenating effects. Uwe Boll directed this. That’s the dude who boxes film critics and wins.
A space-traveling eyeball of Ultimate Power is absorbed directly into the head of half-human/half-vampire Kristanna Loken, and she must fight vampire hunters Ben Kingsley and Meat Loaf. There are mullets, swords, blood orgies and Michelle Rodriguez, so this is pretty much the lesbian Manos, The Hands of Fate. You’re welcome. PS: Uwe Boll directed this one, too.
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
Ninja Princess Devon Aoki is one of many attractive fighters invited to a SEGA-owned island for a fighting tournament. These fighters take off most of their clothes, play volleyball and then fly around kicking each other in the face with swordplay and explosions happening intermittently. They had to name the film twice or else you might not get that DOA stands for “dead on arrival.” Fond memory: when I saw it, the print burned up and melted in the projector. I like to think that the film was trying to commit suicide.
House of The Dead (2003)
Teens go to an island (a different island than the one in DOA: Dead or Alive… OR IS IT?). They’re there for a rave, except there are some EDM-hating zombies that require the taste of succulent adolescent flesh. Everybody runs around screaming and getting zombied to death. One teen who’s about to be eaten doesn’t understand what’s going on, and that’s when a different teen who’s about to be eaten yells, “They’re zombies! Pure and simple!” There is literally nothing else that you need to know about this film except that it, too, was directed by Uwe Boll.
In The Name of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)
Jason Statham is a turnip farmer-turned-gladiator who has to fight evil wizard Ray Liotta. Liotta wants to take over the kingdom ruled by a super-annoyed-looking Burt Reynolds. Evil Wizard Dude lives inside a wispy, supernatural, cotton candy dimension and he controls some mud-monsters. Statham battles him with the help of other peasants, some ninjas and a band of lesbian wood nymphs who swing from the trees. This movie is bizarro amazing, very much like Bloodrayne. And guess what else? Directed by Uwe Boll, whose cinema legacy is now carved in Styrofoam.
Max Payne (2008)
Mark Wahlberg is Max Payne. Bad guys just killed his wife and kid, so now he’s feeling the opposite of a good vibration. He’s got all the pain, to the max, which means the bad guys are in trouble. That is the entirety of the film. It consistes of discrete acts of revenge, killing, misery, guns, boredom, the night, whatever, et cetera. You know how all that shit is usually exciting? Not here.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
I don’t know what to call the Iranian version of blackface, but this one has Jake Gyllenhaal playing Persian and the make-up crew goes hard with the bronzer. He jumps around in sandstorms and takes the magical time travel dagger to the secret temple that’s guarded by snake-demons to make the Persian apocalypse not happen… or something like that. He’s shirtless a lot, though, if that’s your thing.
Street Fighter (1994)
If you’re going to feel genuine affection for any film on this list, here’s the one. It’s got vintage ’90s stupidity on its side. It’s also got Jean-Claude Van Damme, the late great Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Kylie Minogue firing a grenade launcher and exactly zero amounts of CG effects: that fact alone is as refreshing as a sweet spring breeze. To be enjoyed with a one-pound bag of Sour Patch Kids.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)
Kristin Kreuk plays Chun-Li in this legendary embarrassment. The ornately boring plot involves Chun-Li’s personal history and her crime-fighting destiny and — fuggit, just look at Chris Klein’s acting supercut where he’s excelling at being weird as shit at saying words. Warning: the entertainment level of this clip might make you think you should watch the entire film. You should not.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Just so you know, when compiling this article we also considered a bunch of other video game films, most of which also suck: Silent Hill (an over-long Twilight Zone episode that at least looks great), Tron (which was actually a film before it was a video game, genius), Cloak and Dagger (an okay 1984 children’s action thriller featuring the boy from E.T.), The Wizard (basically a long, boring commercial for Super Mario Brothers 3), Super Mario Brothers (the 1993 abortion featuring Dennis Hopper as King Koopa), Lara Croft: Tom Raider and Resident Evil (both of which seem to exist only to show off their hot female leads), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (a ho-hum film that uses animated knock-offs of Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock), Mortal Kombat (a somewhat dated and vacant cult flick that at least has decent fighting and special effects), and the zillion Pokemon movies (which your seven year-old nephew and hipster gaymer friends probably love).