5 Video Game Movies So Bad You Can’t Look Away!

This is a guest post on behalf of Futureworks – one of Europe’s leading TV and Film Production schools. 

super mario movie


Super Mario Brothers

When you think of Super Mario, you most likely imagine a brightly coloured world with exotic creatures and family-friendly fun, right? You have to wonder what on earth the filmmakers were thinking when they put together this monstrosity, then.

Super Mario Bros can only be described as the bastard offspring of Blade Runner after an extremely drunken night with a plumber who claimed to be Italian but was actually a cockney hooligan. Bob Hoskins as Mario … seriously?

The techno-noir setting was a complete contrast to the bright open skies of the game world, with the futuristic world of bio-chemically engineered dinosaurs far too an adult theme for a jolly fat plumbers romp. It was the first movie to ever be based on a video game and set an extremely low standard for the adaptions to follow…


Street Fighter

Jean-Claude Van Damme as Colonel Guile, Raul Julia as M. Bison, Kylie Minogue as Cammy: Yes, Street Fighter is as incredibly brilliant as it sounds. While some video game adaptions (see Super Mario Bros) stray too far from the source material, Street Fighter tried to cram every single character into the film, making it an absolute mess but hilarious all the same. Street Fighter has become a cult classic thanks to its over-the-top performances, with Raul Julia’s portrayal of Bison a camp classic.


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Remember when Angelina Jolie was in everything? In Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Jolie turned her hand to the all-action world of archaeology – you know, the type of archaeology where you have to fight robots and punch Daniel Craig in the face, rather than, say, dusting old Egyptian pots for little appreciation. There is a plot of some description involving the illuminati, who are up to no good, obviously, while Rimmer from Red Dwarf potters about with a silver tray as Lara’s butler. Sadly, he does not get locked in the fridge.



Everyone’s favourite first person shooter based on blowing the hell out of monsters, which are literally from hell, finally got the big screen treatment 12 years after the game’s release. Rather than featuring this hell dimension with its vast variety of hellspawn however, we were treated to a generic virus story on a space station. The game didn’t have much of a plot to begin with, but they somehow managed to mess even the action scenes. The muscle-bound moron marines bore you through an hour and a half before switching to a first person viewpoint and acting out what looks like the most realistic cut scene ever. It’s impossible to watch now without thinking: “Oh! I didn’t know Karl Urban was in this, even though he’s the main character!”


Max Payne

The neo-noir video game was groundbreaking in bringing slow motion action to the third-person gaming medium. By the time the film came out, the special effect had been well and truly bludgeoned to death; these days you can’t look out of the window without seeing someone diving to avoid bullets in a slow motion haze. Marky Mark’s performance as the titular character somehow manages to add a completely bland element to a gothic detective out for revenge for his murdered family – quite an impressive feat. The film did star Mila Kunis, though – just about the only thing it has going over the vastly superior game.