Games in films

Hey y'all,

Can anyone think of movies that feature video games, or are based on games?

Here's a few that I could think of.

Super Mario Bros the movie
Mortal Kombat
Street Fighter
Tron (game or movie first? I don't remember).
Tomb Raider
Final Fantasy
Double Dragon
Alone in the Dark
House of the Dead
Wing Commander
Pokemon (I suppose)
Resident Evil

They're the obvious ones... but you get extra points for finding movies that simply feature games such as The Wizard. There's also a scene in one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies where Freddy Kruger uses a nintendo Powerglove.

Look forward to reading your discovered gems.

Falco's picture

I seem to recall seeing the anime movie Tekken a while back at the video store. Street Fighter also was an anime as well.(Much better than the live action one)

After I saw Resident Evil 2 for the first time I have now given up waiting for a good game to movie crossover coming out (Yes I was still holdin out). I had a look at the special features and the director said he put a few scenes in the movie that came strait from the game, to make us gamers happy. Pity the rest of the movie was shit.

Does anybody else think that hollywood is trying to cash in on the video game market by making their movies look like a game, at the cost of what could be realy solid action movies. (eg Die Hard "Yippie-ki-ay mother fucker" [:)]

mcdrewski's picture

I have to get triple word score for both "Tron" and "The Last Starfighter"...

I'm showing my age again, aren't I?

Talvash's picture

I think it was caled "War Games", a dodgy 80's film about a computer game that trys to start a nuclear war. Also there is Yu-ge-Yoo (or how ever the hell it's spelt), harry potter, LoTR, The Matrix and a tone of other kids movies.

hyperswivel's picture

okay, don't make me lay down rules now.
Harry Potter and LoTR were based on books. The Matrix doesn't qualify either. Wasn't Yu-Gi-oh a card game first? War Games almost passes but it doesn't feature any actual video games from reality. Actually, I'm not sure The Last Starfighter has much to do with real games.
Thinking more along the lines of The Wizard, where the Wonder Years kid enters a Nintendo tournament. That kinda thing. And if anyone starts listing games made from movies, I'll do their head in... :)

Wizenedoldman's picture

If those are the rules then you should remove Tron from your list as it was a game based on a movie, a very old movie. Fatal Fury has been turned into an anime. Can we list movies that rip off storylines from games? If so 'Memento' should be listed for lifting their premise from 'Planescape Torment'.

hyperswivel's picture

Yeah, I wasn't sure on Tron.
What about the Doom movie? Where did it go? Also heard rumours that John Woo (Face Off, Broken Arrow) was making a Metroid Prime movie.

palantir's picture

Can anyone think of movies that feature video games, or are based on games?

So can we list movies that featured a particular video game in a scene (but wasn?t an important part of the movie)? That will test your movie/video game buffness!

Off the top of my head:

Terminator II featured Missile command, and After Burner in the video arcade scene where the T1000 first found John Connor.

Fast and the Furious featured Grand Turismo on the PS1 in one of the guys cars just before the four-car race at the beginning of the film.

Shaun of the Dead had a PS2 FPS game in it that they were playing at the start of the movie, but I wasn?t certain which game it was. It looked a bit like Kill Zone. Anyone know for sure?

Um, that?s hard. I can?t think of any others right now.

Oh ? an episode of Seinfield featured Frogger!

MoonUnit's picture

american mcgees alice is to be a ("live action") movie and writing is underway for a american mcgee oz triology in which apparently bruckheimer is interested! (sorry im a twisted films fan, ala burton).

Pantmonger's picture

Samurai Showdown

Stevo's picture

Does a TV series count? If so Battlestar Galactica was originally a video game.

Jacana's picture

If you want movies with games featured in them then there was the atari baseball game that fred savage was playing at the start of The Princess Bride

souri's picture

There's Spyhunter, the old arcade/8 bit game which has been revived on the PS2/Xbox.. I think The Rock is supposed to star in that movie.

There are some real shocking movies in this thread.. Double Dragon and the live Street Fighter movie.. *shudder*

ScORCHo's picture

In Production:


also I just remembered i heard about Splinter Cell a while ago...and sure enough...

Rosco's picture

They play games in 'XXX'. Though I'm not completly sure which ones.

There's a couple of movies that feature games though there not 'real' games, just concepts....

'Big', where the kid at the start and then the end had to melt the wizard or something like that. And the fortune teller is a type of 'game'...blah.

Lawnmower Man uses 'games to teach' hah!

Of course there is 'Existenz' and 'The Thirteenth Floor'
*spoiler* where the game is the movie, ooops i gave away the plots

The movie 'Avalon' follows a similar theme as well, not a bad idea some coolish CG.

And the James Bond movie with the electric shock handles.

There was WarGames and Joysticks in the eighties that featured games.

There's also a Jackie Chan movie, not sure what it was called, there was a cool fight sequence at the end, where the characters for some reason turned into Street Fighter 2 characters, classic :)

And of course the extremely successful Final Fantasy: Spirits Within (cough) and the soon to be released Final Fantasy VII Advent Child(ren)?

Dungeon and Dragons :P. Except they don't get their dice out.

Owh...that hurt!!!

Wizenedoldman's picture

Rosco, the name of that Jackie Chan movie is 'City Hunter', and yes, Jackie himself dresses up as Chun-Li, it's disturbing how well he pulls it off.

G Factor's picture

Bloodrayne is in Post Production
Far Cry and Hunter: The Reckoning are in Pre-Production.

All directed / going to be directed by Uwe Boll, same guy that did Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead. He also bought the movie rights to Dungeon Siege.

Um...there's also a Seinfeld episode about Frogger. Although you don't ever see the game on screen, there's a pretty funny scene of George crossing the road Frogger style! (bird's eye view)

In Bloodsport, Van Damme plays some kung fu arcade game.

souri's picture

[url=""]Doom movie pics[/url]. The middle picture has some nice architecture.

btw, [url=""]IMDb's bottom 100 rated movies[/url] of all time, and here are the video game movies that made the list..

#83. Double Dragon (1994)
#69. Street Fighter (1994)
#64. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
#35. House of the Dead (2003)
#25. Alone in the Dark (2005)

Anyway, I read on Shacknews that [url=""]Bloodrayne[/url] is being directed by Uwe Boll, who also directed House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark. It does not bode too well for Bloodrayne, methinks.

Tall Nick's picture

A not so obvious game placement was in Charlie?s Angels Drew Barrymore walks past a glass door wearing nothing but an inflatable flower, but the kids inside don't notice cause their playing Final Fantasy 8.
The thing that stands out is that they seem to both be playing it.

mcdrewski's picture

Actually, that was a tip of the hat to ET, in which the same house (and of course a very young DB) was used, and the kids there were playing D&D...

souri's picture

Uwe Boll. The guy is nuts. Seriously. He needs to be stopped.

I just had a quick look at his [url=""]profile on IMDB[/url], and saw some more game titles I hadn't known he was associated with. His current list is:

# Fear Effect (2008) (announced)
# Hunter: The Reckoning (2007) (announced)
# Far Cry (2006) (announced)
# Night Claws (2005) (announced)
# In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2006) (post-production)
# BloodRayne (2005) (completed)

# Alone in the Dark (2005)
# House of the Dead (2003)

Also not on that list is [url=""]Postal[/url], which I have no idea why anyone would want to make into a film. It blows my mind that he can still make money from these films after they tank so badly apparently due to government support and tax breaks.

LiveWire's picture

from gamasutra:

- Running With Scissors and Boll KG have announced that plans are still underway to convert the developer's infamous Postal game franchise into a feature film, directed by the equally infamous Uwe Boll. Boll's past game-to-film credits include House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and BloodRayne; in addition, he holds the license for Dungeon Siege, Far Cry, Hunter: The Reckoning, and Fear Effect. "I see it like a mirror for our society -- funny, violent, absurd!" said the director. "So then the movie must be powerful, strange, and so full of the game's political incorrect outrageousness that if we do it correct, we will all probably end up in jail!" Here's hoping.

Caroo's picture

O.o anyone noticed or really gather that most of these movies in pre production are horror/thriller/I can't possibly fuck it up type-o-movies.

They?re naturally picking the very easy ones to build up a story around.

Not being cynical. They have all the right to. But I?d like to see some more interesting concepts explored. Metriod Prime...As good a game it is.. And it is.. Would be kinda shallow without supporting characters...could be wrong.. I?d love to be oh so wrong on that one XD.

As I see it. To make a good movie form a game the game in question needs a solid interesting story to begin with. If a game is made purely on its merit of gimmick it's probably doomed to fail.

LiveWire's picture

i'd love for you to be wrong on the metroid one aswell, unfortunatly though i'll have to agree with you. You simply cant make a movie out of most games, not games that are primarily gameplay driven anyway. Story driven games on the other hand could be adapted. movies are afterall about telling a story, but gameplay is the movie equivilent of action, not story. hence doom, RE, mortal kombat, mario bros are all lowgrade - they have little to no story, or when they do (mario bros) it has little to do with the game. what most of these moves take from the games is atmosphere, and sometimes backstory. certainly no great narative or character development.

palantir's picture

I agree. There are plenty of games with worthwhile story?s that could make good movies, but for some reason movie producers keep focusing on games that were about gameplay. Maybe the Halo movie might be okay because it had a good plot?

I?ve always thought Max Payne could be a cool movie.

souri's picture

Not much of a surprise, but the [url=""]Bloodrayne movie sucks[/url]. (no pun intended)

LiveWire's picture

more from gamsutra:

" Only days after reaffirming his commitment to make the Postal movie, notorious director Uwe Boll has announced the creation of a new production company, Event Film, to handle his Dungeon Siege project. The official title of the movie will be In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, and Boll has announced plans to split the movie's release into two parts, similar to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. The script promises "a huge epic adventure, and to support the exhibitors who can't accept a movie so long, we decided to split the movie in half," said Boll. The two halves of the movie will be released in quick succession, with part 1 coming out in November 2006 and part 2 in December 2006."

i just dont get why they keep alowing him to make these movies!! crap after crap after crap and they keep throwing more and more money at him!

at least with the Doom movie doing so [url=""]poorly[/url] they may not make another one of thoses (yes, they were talking about a sequal), and it might have a roll over affect on this idoit!

Daemin's picture

They're dumping money into this either to (a) launder it, or (b) use it as a "bad" investment so they don't pay that much corporate tax.

I think this comic sums it all up really:

souri's picture

I read somewhere that one of his biggest investors is getting done for tax evasion. [:D]

souri's picture

Ok, I just saw Doom the movie over the weekend.

That movie was almost a total flatliner. Apart from one small fight in a holding cell, and the often talked about first-person-view segment, there wasn't anything else that I thought was very exciting. Most of the other action sequences didn't do much for me.

The story was not great, and the plot and premise wasn't original. I enjoy movies where you sit on the edge of your seat wondering what happens next - and you'll get absolutely none of that with this movie. Totally predictable. As a popcorn flick, Doom was fine. Shut your brain off for an hour and a half, but c'mon, can't Hollywood come up with anything more intriguing than this [:(]

I think I've mentioned elsewhere that I tend to focus on things like the set design, and geez, they must've had a budget of $100 to spend here. If they could've spent some cash some better set designers and concept artists to come up with plastic moulds to put on the walls, or just grab pipes, panels, and electronics from dumps and other places to dress the walls up a bit so they don't look so bland. Some of the sets make this movie look like a cheap sc-fi show from TV.

CynicalFan's picture

Here is one, in Grosse Point Blank, there is a skirmish between the main character and anther hired-killer in a supermarket ? which used to be the site of his childhood home. Oblivious to the carnage of supermarket condiments and whizzing bullets is the teenage store clerk who whilst listening to his walkman is also engrossed in playing the arcade version of the original Doom.

Not sure, but I think they were using it to say something about violence and society in a way. Which I am cool with as long as they are not trying to make games as the collective work of the antichrist, paving the way for Christian hell on earth and his thousand year reign on earth ? or whatever the fundamentalist ?family first? Christian groups want everyone to believe with their scaremongering.

Personally, I really wish that they would stop making movies based on films, as they nearly always suck ? actually, I really wish they would stop making games out to the the root of all evil. Most games have next to no storyline, what does exist of it is merely a weak framework for shallow game world interaction ? like shooting and blowing shit up. Films on the other hand, need far more to entertain people with their plot, character development and dialogue as they are not interactive.

One movie I heard was in the works is the movie adaptation of Deus Ex. That one I wouldn?t mind seeing, even if it doesn?t get high-scores from reviewers ? just to see how a game that sold well because of its story gets translated and accepted in a film format.

Doom is a movie that I have vowed to never see, not even when they show it late at night on free-to-air TV as an oddity to entertain the night-owls with. Really, what in the hell where they thinking?!