Motion pictures have, since the beginning, turned to other media for source material - most often books and plays. Recently, of course, as Hollywood continues to run out of good ideas (or at least refuses to develop them), there's been a worryingly large amount of films based on television shows (the enemy!) and there have been more obscure adaptations as well: board games (Clue), trading cards (Mars Attacks!), even TV commercials (an entire series of Ernest films). But perhaps filmdom's nadir of creativity is showcased by this collection of pointless feature films based on blinky, twittering video games. And the trend has only just begun.
- Super Mario Bros. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo: don't they look just like brothers? Somebody thought so, and thought it would be great fun to turn the Mario video games (sans Donkey Kong) into a film. Well about 5 people saw it, and those 5 undoubtedly hurled their popcorn, their Cokes, and perhaps even their excrement at the screen as they were tortured by this multi-million dollar mess.
- Double Dragon. Some stupid kung fu game got turned into an even stupider movie. Audiences got smart for once and stayed away.
- Mortal Kombat. Another stupid kung fu game, this managed to get enough of an audience (perhaps on video) to actually warrant...
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. At which point people finally wised up and avoided it like the plague.
- Street Fighter. Yet another stupid kung fu game, this piffle starred Jean-Claude Van Damme (so you know it's a quality film) and - alas! - the great Raul Julia in his final film role. This film also inspired a sequel, but it was animated and went straight to video, so it doesn't count.
- Battle Arena Toshinden. Who the hell knows what kind of game this was, but my money's on stupid kung fu. This is the only Japanese movie on this list (it's animated), and it's amazing that the Japanese haven't filmed more video game adaptations by now, seeing as how every single Japanese male under 30 seems to be addicted to them.
- Wing Commander. Based on a CD-ROM, this was headed straight to video until its star Freddie Prinze Jr. suddenly became a household name with his surprise hit movie She's All That. So the distributors rushed this turkey into the theatres. Audience apathy rushed it right back out and onto the video shelves where it belongs.
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Now this is scary: the first video game adaptation to star a genuine Oscar winner. My employer Paramount, in its infinite wisdom, sees gold in this material, and Angelina Jolie is doing her bit as the large-breasted adventuress Lara Croft even as I write this. If it becomes the biggest hit of summer 2001 I will kill myself.
- Final Fantasy: The Movie. Those not in the know might wonder if this is a porno! But in fact it's another game-inspired film currently in production. Unlike the others on this list, it is actually the least idiotic-sounding adaptation, being as it is 100% computer animated. As it should be, frankly. If you're going to do this sort of thing at all. Which you shouldn't. Please.