Video game movies have a tendency to be bad. Assassin’s Creed is hoping to buck that trend, but its RottenTomatoes score doesn’t seem to be helping that matter. If we accept that most (if not all) video game movies are below average in terms of quality, then which ones are the real stinkers? Which movies aren’t bottom of the barrel but are actually underneath the barrel? We think we’ve picked them out. Check out our list for the absolute worst video game movies of all time.
Super Mario Bros.
This one has the distinction of being the first video game movie and a sign of things to come. Super Mario Bros. isn’t just a misappropriation of the property; it’s a drag of a movie that suffers from poor performances and awful pacing. If it wasn’t for the dependably kooky Dennis Hopper as Koopa, the movie would be nigh unwatchable. The weird decision to take the childish aesthetic of the series and turn it into a Blade Runner-esque cyberpunk setting is too weird to comprehend. The movie has gained a minor cult following in recent years but that doesn’t change how horrible of a first foot forward this film was for video game movies.
If you thought Super Mario Bros. was the worst, then you can’t even begin to imagine how eye-meltingly terrible Double Dragon is. Taking yet another post-apocalyptic future route, the story is an amalgamation of early/mid-’90s clichés and some of the most annoying one-liners ever. The movie is constantly trying to be funny and it falls flat on its face at every turn. Add in some cheesy production design and you’ve got a movie that not even Robert Patrick can save. Did I mention the fart jokes? This one is facepalm fodder of the highest caliber.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Though the first movie definitely had its faults, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation makes its predecessor look like a masterpiece. The sequel pulled back on all fronts: budget, talent, and especially fight choreography. The first film was nothing incredible when it came to the fights but Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is downright unpleasant to watch. Not to mention all the atrocious (but game accurate) costuming and terrible script that culminates in some of the most bizarre line readings in film history. Nothing will make you appreciate the lunkheaded charm of Mortal Kombat more than its abysmal follow-up.
Remember Wing Commander? The classic space combat series was a minor phenomenon back in the ’90s, spawning a number of spinoff ventures such as novels, an animated show, and even a card game. Sadly, the worst of these was the feature film adaptation. Today, it plays like a parody of the Battlestar Galactica reboot. Having Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard anchor the film doesn’t do it any favors. The entire picture has a smarmy attitude and it barely fits in line with the actual game world. And the effects have not withstood the test of time. Honestly, they probably didn’t hold up back in 1999 either.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
You’re probably wondering why that other Street Fighter isn’t on this list. That’s because Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is by far the worse offense. Seriously, this might be one of the worst major release films ever made. It hardly looks like a feature film; you can see the same quality of filmmaking on an episode of television nowadays. The acting is groan-inducing across the board, but at least Chris Klein brings some unintentional hilarity to the mix. Shoddy fight scenes and a plodding plot make this the toughest entry on this list to watch. Except…
Every Uwe Boll Movie
Uwe Boll has made more video game movies than anyone should. His first venture, House of the Dead, at least has some comedy value to be found. Everything else? Travesties of the highest nature. He’s like an anti-King Midas when it comes to video game movies. The franchises he’s tainted include BloodRayne, Dungeon Siege, Far Cry, and Alone in the Dark. Some of these movies are worth seeing so you can learn what bad filmmaking really looks like, but most of them are so stinky that they don’t even deserve your mocking ire. When it comes to the worst video game movies ever, Uwe Boll takes the cake.